The public school movement [of the mid-1800s] thrust toward the center of American life, affecting Americans generally, and has resulted in a structure which has lasted to the present. It was aimed at the children, impinged upon the family, and entailed the use of government power in ways that endangered, at the least, the life, liberty and property of Americans, or, if not their lives, their liberty and property. . . .
Nobody much supposed that it was the duty of the taxpayers to pay for the education of their children, nor the right of the government to impose schools or the taxes to pay for them upon parents or others.
Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 3: The Sections and the Civil War, 1826-1877, pg.89