How Far We’ve Fallen

This quick test was administered to British 11-year-olds in 1898. Some samples:

3. Name the conditions upon which the climate of a country depends, and explain the reason of any one of them.

4. Name the British possessions in America with the chief town in each. Which is the most important?

1. Write in columns the [Latin] nominative singular, genitive plural, gender, and meaning of:? operibus, principe, imperatori, genere, apro, nivem, vires, frondi, muri.

4. What important results followed ? the raising of the siege of Orleans, the Gunpowder plot, the Scottish rebellion of 1639, the surrender at Yorktown, the battles of Bannockburn, Bosworth, Ethandune, La Hogue, Plassey, and Vittoria?

I suspect even the most adroit and knowledgable Dartmouth student today would struggle with many of these questions, even were the subject matter less British-oriented.

Would that such things were still considered standard knowledge for youth.