Educating the people to ensure their greatest possible happiness: Cover Image

Z vzgojo do največje možne sreče ljudstva
Educating the people to ensure their greatest possible happiness:

a few emphases from the history of »enlightening the people« in Slovenia in the 18th and the first half of the 19th century

Author(s): Andrej Studen
Subject(s): 18th Century, 19th Century
Published by: Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino
Keywords: Slovenia;18th century;first half of the 19th century;Slovene;enlightenment;education;agriculture;

Summary/Abstract: The unshakeable faith in educability and the need to educate people was in the centre of the emancipation concepts of the 18th-century enlightenment. Therefore the 18th-century intellectuals wanted to spread their ideas among the widest possible circle of people. In the context of their widespread campaign of accustoming the population to work, diligence and prudent economy, increasing amounts of attention were paid to the education of the people. Also in Slovenia we encounter enlightenment-oriented intellectuals from the ranks of nobility, bureaucracy, clergy and wealthy bourgeoisie, who were convinced that through education and schooling the people could be liberated from the chains of ignorance and that a more rational social order could be established, allowing everybody to achieve the »greatest possible happiness«. In the 1770s Ljubljana became the centre of the new spirit. In his case study the author of the article focuses on some of the more prominent members of the 18th-century enlightenment (Campe, Becker, Franklin), underlines the educational and pedagogical importance of their works, and explores the reception and translations of their works in Slovenia. Besides being an inspiration in other areas, Benjamin Franklin supposedly also influenced the publication of Velika pratika (1795–97), which Valentin Vodnik was encouraged to work on by one of the most notable intellectuals at the time, Žiga Zois. Of course, the exceedingly low literacy rate at the time presented a serious obstacle to the dissemination of information in the Slovenian language. Therefore priests were especially important as intermediaries between the printed word and the people.

  • Issue Year: 54/2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 9-22
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Slovenian