Wishing to lead mankind out of suffering, Comenius maintained that only through an educational system of universal knowledge would the world achieve peace and harmony. He believed that ignorance was the cause of all wars. His ideas were heard far and wide. The great pedagogue received many invitations by those interested in his pansophic teachings. On the bequest of parliamentarians, Comenius travelled to England to reform public education in 1641. In The Way of Light, he portrayed his vision for establishing universal textbooks and schools, a common language, and a universal academy. When the English Civil War broke out, Comenius turned down an offer to become the first president of Harvard University and left for Sweden. In return for creating new textbooks while staying in Swedish controlled Elbing on the Baltic Coast, he asked that the Czech people be given independence at the end of the 30 Years’ War. The promise was not upheld at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, dashing Comenius’ hopes of returning home once again.
Photo: John Amos Comenius featured on a Czech banknote