John Jacob Rousseau, the Swiss philosopher was one of the forbidden authors in the index and for the same reason his books were some the most read in New Spain. His classic work in political science, the social contract that points out that a man is born free, but he is found among chains everywhere, such ideas were considered subversive in the XVIII century.

The book was published in 1763, and a year later an edict sanctioned the reading for its invitation to destroy the kingdoms and monarchies, in 1803 and 1808, many edicts reiterated the prohibition, due to the danger of their ideas. Miguel Hidalgo (one of the main characters of Mexican independence) was not only accused of following Rosseau but also of being more blood thirsty than him.

In a famous letter that circulated around in that time, someone who signs as the Anti-Hidalgo says; “This so-called professor is close to being 6 million times more barbaric and fierce than the main predicator of the revolution. He showed it. John Jacob Rousseau in the recollection of his letters, protests more than once, that is believed that the if the revolution is more favorable for the townspeople, it should cost only one man’s blood, it should not start or end. Hidalgo pretends to promote one, the most absurd, anti-religious and inhuman of the many revolutions that had been seen throughout history.”


The French Illustration dared to deny the divine right of kings and affirmed the sovereignty of the townspeople. These ideas, added to the social contradictions generated in France , caused the Great Revolution in New Spain even though there wasn't a definite rupture with the scholastic tradition. The ideas of John Jacob Rousseau and encyclopedias became a valuable instrument to make a rational critic to the colonial regime.

Once the struggle for independence concluded the states started to organize themselves and their fundamental preoccupation was to spread elementary teaching, they considered that the binomial: liberty and education was indispensable.

Many schools had closed and the scarcity of books was suffered which made the formation of teachers an important matter. In 1822, many characters founded the Lancaster Society. The investigations of man who is comteporary of the founding fathers of the society, historian Lorenzo de Zavala, proved that all of the members were free-masons. This society opened up in the country's capital a normal Lancaster school called “The Sun”, which brought huge benefits since it spread the method of mutual teaching and educational reform. Even though some people wanted to weaken its value by pointing it out as fountain of Protestantism, it was the undoubtedly merit of being the first important educational project that developed in the critical period of the beginnings of independent Mexico .

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