Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush Sr. and Jr., William Taft – these famous political figures all share the same alma mater. Yale University, well into its third century of existence, has been the educational site for many famous political powerhouses. With this affiliation, the university is best known for its political science, history, philosophy, and economics degrees. A stellar law school offers ample opportunities for students who wish to make a change in politics.
While attending Yale is considered a high honor no matter what major a student chooses, perhaps there is a specific reason that the Ivy League is known for political science. Age and rankings speak volumes, but one other characteristic of the university sticks out: its location.
Located in Connecticut, Yale has been around since 1701 – 75 years before the United States became independent. At the time, Connecticut was one of the 13 colonies, and once the Revolutionary War began, it was one of the most active. The now state provided ample soldiers to fight in the war, including General Putnam and Nathan Hale, who was a spy for George Washington. Not only did the colony offer soldiers and leadership, but Connecticut also provided food, weapons, and other supplies, which gave the state the nickname “The Provision State.”
Beyond the war, Connecticut worked with the other colonies to form the United States government and became the fifth state to enter the union. The state continued to prove its worth in historical events, especially once the Civil War began. With famous abolitionists such as John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Connecticut fought with the Union and provided ample resources that resulted in the North’s win.
As these historic events occured, Connecticut began to develop National Historic Landmarks, such as the Charles W. Morgan ship, the Prudence Crandall house, and the Silas Deane house. These landmarks offer fantastic opportunities for students of all ages to explore during class field trips. Especially for students who are homeschooling in Connecticut, an entire history lesson can be taught through experiential learning alone!
While field trips can seem like a trivial part of a child’s schooling, the experiences a student can have in Connecticut can foster a lifelong connection, and perhaps a career in political science or history. There’s so much to learn from by just exploring the state that a history book is practically unnecessary. Yale University is just a part of that history, and can develop the passions of students who have experienced Connecticut’s past. Perhaps that is why Yale is the best university for students pursuing history or political science.