UNC students, circa 1800, bridled at authority

“…When college students, like those at the University of North Carolina in 1796, could debate the issue of whether ‘the Faculty had too much authority,’ then serious trouble could not be far away….

“Between 1798 and 1808, American colleges were racked by mounting incidents of student defiance and outright rebellion — on a scale never seen before or since in American history….

“In 1799 , University of North Carolina students beat the president, stoned two professors and threatened others with injury.

“Finally, college authorities tightened up their codes of discipline. But repression only provoked more rebellions. In 1805, 45 students, a majority of the total enrollment, withdrew from the University of North Carolina in protest….”

– From “Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815” by Gordon S. Wood (2009)

 

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