The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 45
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Education in Texas during the Spanish-Mexican Periods 45
new educational system. Yet, it indicated that the state had finally
recognized the necessity for granting financial assistance. Before
this new policy had an opportunity to bear fruit, a new party,
headed by Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna, gained control of the
federal government and precipitated a period of political unrest
which culminated in 1836 in the Texas Revolution. When Col-
onel Juan N. Almonte made his famous inspection tour through
Texas in 1834, not a single school in all Texas was receiving state
aid.'8 Thus neither federal nor state legislation succeeded in
creating a real system of education.
The individual municipalities, therefore, had to fend for
themselves insofar as education was concerned. Among the
Mexican settlements, Bexar, capital of the department of Texas,
had by far the best educational facilities-and these were far
from good. The vicissitudes of the revolutionary period had
closed the schools founded during the Spanish period. Attempts
at re-establishing a school were stalemated by the lack of a teacher
and the general poverty of the population.1 Repeated appeals
for state aid proved futile. Despairing of securing state aid, the
municipality passed an ordinance establishing a "Public Free
Primary School." This school was to be supported by private
subscriptions plus a municipal subsidy. Instruction was to be
free to all, and the instructor was forbidden to exact any fees.
True to the tradition of Spanish paternalism, every detail of
school management was minutely prescribed. Classes were to be
held from six to ten in the morning during the summer, and
seven to twelve in the winter. Afternoon classes were to be held
from two to six daily, regardless of season. The teacher was to
open the school with prayer. On holidays he was to cooperate
with the village priest in seeing that religious observances were
fulfilled. The curriculum was to consist of the "three R's," man-
ners and morals, and religion. The teacher was to be hired on a
four-year contract at five hundred dollars per annum, payable
isColonel Juan N. Almonte, "Noticia estadistica sobre Tejas" (1835), as quoted
in J. M. Morphis, History of Texas (New York, 1874), 54-59.
o9Report from Sala Capitular of San Fernando de Bexar, 1822, in I. J. Cox,
"Educational Efforts in San Fernando de Bexar," Quarterly of the Texas State
Historical Association, VI, 36; also Salcedo to the Governor, April 18, 1825, in
Eby, Education in Texas: Source Materials, 57. Originals in Bexar Archives.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/63/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.