The creation of a new nation with a growing democracy coincided with the expansion of common, or public, elementary schools. Boys who would one day be voting citizens needed education to sustain the democracy. But women could not vote, so why educate girls? Most educators admitted that the female brain could cope with the three Rs. Many realized the important role mothers had in bringing up their children (some of whom would be male). As mothers, women would have to instruct their sons in democratic ideals and civic responsibility. Then there was the moral angle. Mothers were the moral pillars of the family, and on them depended the maintenance of a strong moral order in society.