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Teaching Marianne and Uncle Sam

Public Education, State Centralization, and Teacher Unionism in France and the United States

Nicholas Toloudis

Publication Year: 2012

Offering the first systematic, comparative examination of the origins of teachers’ unions in two countries—France and the United States—Teaching Marianne and Uncle Sam shows how teachers’ unions came into existence not because of the willful efforts of particular actors, but over the course of decades of conflict over the proper role of professional educators in public politics.

Nicholas Toloudis traces teacher unionism back to the first efforts of governments to centralize public education. He carefully documents how centralization created new understandings of the role of teachers in their societies and generated new sources of conflict within teachers’ corps. Using rare archival source materials, Toloudis illustrates how these internal conflicts became salient in teachers’ battles with governments over their legitimate right to exist as collective claim-makers within the polity.

In the series Politics, History, and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey

Published by: Temple University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

The cover of this book depicts two iconic images, one representing France and the other representing the United States. The smiling Marianne sits with one hand on her spear, the other hand leaning against her shield. The eagle’s wings are spread, and it peers at Marianne with interest and...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

And so a long journey comes to an end. This project began with a dissertation idea in the fall of 2000 in a seminar hall at Columbia University. The thesis that emerged from it, though well received by my advisers and colleagues, left me with a sinking feeling about errors of omission and interpretation...

Part I. The Puzzle of Turn-of-the-Century Teacher's Politics

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1. Teachers, Politics, and the State

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pp. 3-17

In August 1900, the first national meeting of locally organized primary schoolteachers’ associations took place in Paris. Thirteen years earlier, the education minister Eugène Spuller had legally forbidden the teachers (instituteurs) from organizing their own trade union. Over the decade that followed, they made...

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2. Centralization, Mobilization, and Selective Engagement

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pp. 18-33

Perhaps the most important presumption of this book is that public school teachers are inescapably political actors. Since they represent local or central governments in their classrooms and, often, in their local communities, their interactions with pupils, parents, administrators, and communities...

II. Centralizing Education and Mobilizing Teachers

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3. Centralizing Public Education and Teachers' Politics in Nineteenth-Century France

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pp. 37-64

During the last two weeks of July 1833, lay public school teachers in the cities and villages all across France were greeted with a surprise in the daily post. Each teacher found an official correspondence from Paris, from no less a luminary than the education minister, François Guizot. The minister...

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4. Centralization and Its Discontents among New York City Teachers

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pp. 65-91

New York City teachers were active and vocal opponents of centralization. While their French counterparts had publicly supported centralization during the 1880s, they had done so timidly, uncertain of their collective power. But in New York City, teachers were part of a loose-knit, but vocal...

III. The Politics of Selective Engagement

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5. Selective Engagement and Teachers' Politics in France, 1887–1950

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pp. 95-125

On the morning of August 3, 1918, a delegation from the Fédération Nationale des Instituteurs (FNSI) congregated in Paris for the annual meeting and was met with a rude surprise. The meeting was to take place at the headquarters of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), located...

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6. Selective Engagement and Teachers’ Politics in New York City, 1920–1960

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pp. 126-156

During the early 1920s, few teachers were actively involved in New York City politics. One reason for their political passiveness was practical: The volume and stressfulness of their work discouraged most teachers from expending more energy after their working days were over.1 Beyond that,...

IV. Conclusion

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7. Marianne and Uncle Sam Revisited

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pp. 159-176

The preceding chapters constitute, among other things, an effort to respond to the lacuna identified by Peter Lindert at the very beginning of this book: Comparative institutional histories of public education are few and far between. Today, with their extensive collective bargaining contracts and...

Notes

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pp. 177-206

Index

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pp. 207-213


E-ISBN-13: 9781439909089
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439909072

Page Count: 212
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Politics History & Social Chan
Series Editor Byline: John C. Torpey

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Subject Headings

  • Teachers' unions -- France -- History.
  • Teachers' unions -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
  • Education and state -- France -- History.
  • Education and state -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
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