History of the academy in Missouri
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The demand for the academy in Missouri was the same as the demand for it in any other western state - a popular demand for secondary education. This demand was along several lines; first it was to inculcate special forms of religious faith and practice. While this is true of all periods of the existence of the academy, it is particularly true of the academy at its beginning. Second, as the academy became more prominent it began to preserve social class lines, and to cultivate social exclusiveness. In this respect it became decidedly aristocratic. This was true of the female academies and is true of them today. A third reason, which developed in the later period of the academy movement, was to assist those pupils who were slow of comprehension. A fourth reason, at this same period, was to meet tastes or wants so closely specialized, or of a character so far in advance of common appreciation, as not to be a fair charge upon the state. A fifth reason of this same period was to afford a place of secondary education in districts not advanced enough to support a high school.