What were the Main Reasons for the Anglicist and Classicist Controversy?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Main Reason for Anglicist and Classicist Controversy was disagreement over the education native Indians should receive. Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian were supported by the Orientalists led by Dr. H.H. Wilson, whereas the Anglicists led by Charles Trevelyan supported English.

Anglicist and Classicist Controversy Reasons

Even though the Charter Act of 1813 was the first law to establish India’s educational system explicitly, it sparked a debate over the preferred method of instruction between Anglophiles and Classicists.

Furthermore, the Charter Act of 1813 lacked clarity regarding educational goals and strategies for enhancing works of literature by India’s educated indigenous. The Charter Act emphasized allocating only one lakh rupees; no specific rules were provided for establishing institutions and colleges in India.

Cause of Anglicist and Classicist Controversy

The following factors were the key causes of the controversy:

  • There were disagreements and conflicts regarding the organizations arranging and managing the schools and colleges.
  • There were also three points of view on the best teaching methods.
  • According to the first point of view, Sanskrit and Arabic should be used as teaching languages to advance western sciences and knowledge.
  • The Indian population was also divided into multiple groups on educational methods.
  • In terms of methodology, it was divided into two parts.
  • Initially, it was assumed that education always spread from the highest levels of society to the general population.
  • It was given the name “Downwards Filtration Theory.”
  • The opposing viewpoint believed that the general public should be taught by the business.


What Were the Main Reasons for the Anglicist and Classicist Controversy?

The biggest reason for the Anglicist and Classicist Controversy was disagreement regarding the education of native Indians. English was backed by Anglicists under Charles Trevelyan. Meanwhile, the Orientalists demanded Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic to be the medium of education.

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