By Gary B. Cohen
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Additional resources for Education and Middle Class Society in Imperial Austria, 1848-1918
16 Beyondthe ever-present desires to economize expenditures and combat any subversive political tendencies in the educational system, the governments of Francis I and Ferdinand I feared the production of any more aspirants to the state bureaucracy or the learned professions than were needed. In 1826 the commission reintroduced· the admissions examinations ~hat had been diobp~d in 1804, imposed a limit of eighty students per class in the lower forms, and encouraged a more rigorous weeding out of weaker students.
Theneo-absolutist regime believed that the monarchy must be restored as the pre-eminent force in Central Europe and that it must continue to lead the German Confederation. Impressed by the pace of Prussian development, the new Austrian leaders proved willing to accept parts of the· Prussian model as they charted new policies for state administration' economic development, and educ·ation. 39 Many of the innovative policies and new administrative structures evoked opposition from reactionaries among the aristocracy and some of the Catholic hierarchy, but the trauma of 1848 and the ensuing 24 CHAPTER ONE war with Hungary convinced the new emperor arid his advisors that they must carry out broad reforms.
Before the mid-nineteenth century, families in smaller towns and villages who lacked privilege, wealth, or advanced education had been able to send only a few of their sons to Gymnasien, universities, and technical institutes. At the end of the century, much larger numbers of youth from humble circumstances were able to study even though as late as 1910 the academic secondary schools still enrolled only around 3 percent of all eleven- to eighteen-year-olds and the universities and technical colleges, less than 2 percent of all nineteen- to twenty-twoyear-aIds as matriculated students.