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McGuffeys Homogenized AmericaThe McGuffey Readers helped to shape the young minds of millions of children Used as a learning tool they could be found in school rooms everywhere especially in the Midwest For some people they were the only source of reading material available They were very widely published second only to the King James Bible in printed volumes About 50 to 100 million copies were published between 1836 and 1890 In short the McGuffey readers were radically popular Because these books were so incredibly influential one must question the content that they presented which would inevitably have an effect on the people who would read it While the readers consisted of a variety of selected short stories poems essays and famous speeches all of them shared a common trait Each passage stressed values and virtues which were then thought to be favorable by the moral majorityOf course McGuffey had to have been very careful when selecting the works that would be in his Readers He had to cater to the said moral majority His focus audience would determine how well the Readers were accepted Because of this his audience was basically the white Protestant Americans as they were the most common One of the main priorities was satisfying the largest number of people This way only the fewest amount of potential readers would be excluded After all what could seem virtuous to some people might be offensive to others With this in mind the works that were included in the McGuffey Readers contained lessons that were especially of interest to the focus audience of white ProtestantsAs mentioned before the McGuffey Readers put a lot of emphasis on the moral lessons that they taught This was especially true for religion Because the line between church and state was so thinly drawn back then it was not thought to be wrong to teach religion in schools In fact the majority encouraged it This is shown exceedingly
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