As a student at a large land grant university, I'm curious about the history of the academic climate I live in.
Section 4 of the Morrill Act of 1862 states the following:
...each State which may take and claim the benefit of this act, to the endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.
In my mind, this translates to "This act is established for establishing a traditonal university (one which focuses on science and classical studies), with a particular focus teaching practical industrial classes in Ag and mechanics, which incorporates military teaching."
However, can someone tell me what the context and motivation for these aims were at this time in 1862?