I was curious about the term “grammar school.” Specifically, I wanted to find some way to track when, why, and to what extent the term “elementary school” in the U.S. has replaced the term “grammar school.”
I failed. But I did come across some other interesting tidbits. (Forgive me if you already know this. But it was news to me – and interesting, too – so I thought I’d pass it along.)
According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), grammar schools in the colonies were founded on the British model. The first such school in the new world was founded as the Latin Grammar School in 1635. Twelve years later, such grammar schools became the standard as the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted something called the Old Deluder Satan Law, requiring any township of at least 100 households to establish a grammar school.
According to this site the Old Deluder Satan Law was a follow-up to the parental neglect law of 1642, which made parents ensure that their children knew the principles of religion and laws of the Commonwealth.
So Satan is behind this grammar stuff after all – just as so many frustrated students and baffled business-letter writers have long suspected.