20. Jahrhundert

Herbert Baxter Adams ( 1850-1901 )


"History should not be content with describing effects when it can explain causes. It is just as improbable that free local institutions should bring up without a germ along American shores as that English wheat should have grown here without planting."

Germanic Origin of New England Towns 1882, in: John Hopkins University Studies in History and Political Science 1, Nr. 2 (1883), S. 8.


Stimmen der Forschung

"In fact the reading ideas of the Adams school had about the same relation to science that phrenology had to neurology. It refurbished, with biological metaphors and evolutionary language, the old theory, quite familiar to the romantic historians and to others before them, of the Germanic origins of Anglo-American democracy; by disguising Providence in the garb of Evolution, it restored the ancient idea that the events of history go on under providential guidance. But it was a productive school, which had to its credit the rearing of an extraordinary proportion of the next generation's leading historians."

Richard Hofstadter: The Progressive Historians. Turner, Beard, Parrington, New York 1968, S. 39.


"To the career of a pioneering teacher, Herbert Baxter Adams brought superlative qualities. An indefatigable worker, fondness for people, and a sharp mind made him a successful mentor and a successful administrator. [.] Always available to his pupils during and after student days, Adams influenced the continuing course of historical development in his contacts with former Hopkins men after they had left the University to take up posts of their own."

Bert James Loewenberg: American History in American Thought: Christopher Columbus to Henry Adams, New York 1972, S. 364.


"Herbert Baxter Adams, [...], though not a noteworthy scholar on his own right, was the first indefatigable promoter of professional history. [.], Adams probably did more than anyone else to Germanize American historical scholarship. Yet he took special care to involve amateur historians in the Association and thereby make it a broadly national institution."

John Higham in: History. Professional Scholarship in America , Baltimore 1983, S. 11.


"The name of Herbert Baxter Adams, historian and teacher, has more than that of any other individual been rightly associated with the creation of the modern American historical profession. During his twenty-five years in the combined department of history, politics, and economics at the Johns Hopkins University (1876-1901), Adams came to be identified as the chief voice of the ,New Historical School' which had as its aims the systematic application to American historical sources of the so-called scientific or critical approach which was the hallmark of nineteenth-century German historiography. In his famous seminar, Adams, a gifted teacher, trained a new generation of professional historical scholars and authors [.]."

Raymond J. Cunningham in: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Bd. 47, Ann Arbor/MI 1986, S. 29.


"Herbert B. Adams (1850-1901) gilt, sowohl was seine Tätigkeit als Wissenschaftsorganisator als auch sein historisches Schaffen anbelangt, als führender Kopf der Scientific History . [...] Darüber hinaus hat wohl nie zuvor ein tonangebender amerikanischer Historiker die Vereinigten Staaten in eine so enge Beziehung zu Europa gesetzt."

Matthias Waechter: Die Erfindung des amerikanischen Westens. Die Geschichte der Frontier-Debatte, Freiburg i. Br. 1996, S. 68-70.




Geboren in Shutesbury bei Amherst/MD, als jüngster Sohn von Nathaniel Dickinson Adams (Kaufmann) und Harriet, geb. Hastings


Amherst College, BA


Heirat mit Marian Hooper


Philosophie-, Geschichts- und Politikstudium in Heidelberg, Seminare zur vergleichenden Verfassungsgeschichte bei Johann Bluntschli


Doktor der Philosophie "summa cum laude"


Dozent an der Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore/MD


Professor für Geschichte, Politik und Wirtschaft an der Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore/MD


Mitbegründer der American Historical Association


Sekretär der American Historical Association


Selbsttötung von Marian Adams


Gestorben in Amherst/MD


Werke (Auswahl)


The Germanic Origin of New England Towns. R ead before the Harvard Historical Society, May 9, 1881. With Notes on Co-operation in University Work, Baltimore 1882


Saxon Tithing-Men in America; Norman Constables in America; Village Communities; Methods of Historical Study; Maryland's Influence upon Land Cessions to the United States, alle in: Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, hg. von dems., 4 vols., Baltimore 1883-1986


The Study of History in American Colleges and Universities, Washington 1887


Notes on the Literature of Charities, Baltimore 1887


History of cooperation in the United States. Edited by Herbert Baxter Adams, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. 6th series , Baltimore 1888


Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia , Washington 1888


Contributions to American Educational History, de. by Herbert B. Adams, Washington 1889ff.


Columbus and his Discovery of America, by Herbert B. Adams and Henry Wood. Baltimore 1892 (New York 1978)


Work among w´Workingwomen in Baltimore. A Social Study. Baltimore, 1889


The Life and Writings of Jared Sparks, Boston u. a. 1893 (Freeport/NY 1970)


Is History Past Politics?, Baltimore 1895


The Teaching of History, in: AHA: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1896, Washington 1897, S. 243-263


Jared Sparks and Alexis de Tocqueville (Johns Hopkins University Studies in historical and political science 16,12), Baltimore 1898

1900 ff.

Monographs on American social economics, ed. by Herbert B. Adams ... associate editor, Richard Waterman, jr., Boston/MA 1900ff.


Historical Scholarship in the United States, 1876-1901: as revealed in the correspondence of Herbert B. Adams (Johns Hopkins University. Studies in historical and political science 56, 4), ed. by W. Stull Holt, Baltimore 1938



Cunningham, Raymond J.: The German Historical World of Herbert Baxter Adams: 1874-1876, in: Journal of American History 68 (1981), S. 261-275.

Cunningham, Raymond J.: Is History past politics? Herbert Baxter Adams as precursor of the 'New History', in: History Teacher 9 (1976), S. 244-257.

Cunningham, Raymond J.: Scientia pro Patria. Herbert Baxter Adams and Mugwump Academic Reform at Johns Hopkins 1876-1901, in: Prospects 15 (1990), S. 109-144.

Higham, John: History. Professional Scholarship in America , Baltimore 1983.

Hofstadter, Richard: The Progressive Historians. Turner, Beard, Parrington , New York 1968.

Higham, John: Herbert Baxter Adams and the Study of Local History, in: AHR 89 (1984), S. 1225-1239.

Johns Hopkins University: Herbert Baxter Adams. Tributes of Friends, with a Bibliography of the Department of History, Politics and Economics of the Johns Hopkins University , 1876-1901, Baltimore 1902.

Lingelbach, Gabriele: Klio macht Karriere. Die Institutionalisierung der Geschichtswissenschaft in Frankreich und den USA in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Institutes für Geschichte 181), Berlin 2003.

Loewenberg, Bert James: American History in American Thought. Christopher Columbus to Henry Adams, New York 1972, S. 363-379.

Vincent, John Martin.: Herbert Baxter Adams. A Memorial Address, in: Howard W. Odum (Hg.): American Masters of Social Science, New York 1927, S. 97-127.

Vitzthum, Richard C.: The American Compromise. Theme and Method in the Histories of Bancroft, Parkman, and Adams, Norman/OK 1974.

Waechter, Matthias: Die Erfindung des Westens. Die Frontier-Debatte, Bd. 9, Freiburg i. Br. 1996.



a) Quellen (N.N.)


b) Sekundärinformationen




sehr ausführlicher Eintrag über Adams mit Foto
Anbieter: The Gazette Online.


The Newspaper of the Johns Hopkins University . Cambridge History of English and American Literature


Volltext des Eintrags zu Adams in der Cambridge History of English and American Literature von 1907-1921.


Sarah-Leonie Kaufhold 



Erstellt: 04.03.2006

Zuletzt geändert: 04.03.2006

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