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Carl Lotus Becker (September 7, 1873 – April 10, 1945) was an American historian.

Contents

1 Life 2 Writing 3 Political views 4 Works 5 Quotes 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Life[edit] He was born in Waterloo, Iowa. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1893 as an undergraduate, and while there, he gradually gained an interest in studying history. Remaining for graduate work, Becker studied under Frederick Jackson Turner, who became his doctoral adviser there.[1] Becker got his Ph.D. in 1907. He was John Wendell Anderson Professor of History in the Department of History at Cornell University
Cornell University
from 1917 to 1941. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1923.[2] Becker died in Ithaca, New York. Cornell has recognized his work as an educator by naming one of its five new residential colleges the Carl Becker House. Writing[edit] Becker is best known for The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932), four lectures on The Enlightenment delivered at Yale University. His assertion that philosophies, in the "Age of Reason," relied far more upon Christian
Christian
assumptions than they cared to admit, has been influential, but has also been much attacked, notably by Peter Gay. Interest in the book is partly explained by this passage (p. 47):

In the thirteenth century the key words would no doubt be God, sin, grace, salvation, heaven and the like; in the nineteenth century, matter, fact, matter-of-fact, evolution, progress; in the twentieth century, relativity, process, adjustment, function, complex. In the eighteenth century the words without which no enlightened person could reach a restful conclusion were nature, natural law, first cause, reason, sentiment, humanity, perfectibility....

This isolation of vocabularies of the epoch chimes with much later work, even if the rest of the book is essayistic in approach. Johnson Kent Wright writes:

Becker wrote as a principled liberal.... Yet in some respects The Heavenly City presents an almost uncanny anticipation of the "postmodern" reading of the eighteenth century. — "The Pre-Postmodernism of Carl Becker", p. 162, in Postmodernism and the Enlightenment (2001), Daniel Gordon editor

Political views[edit] Interviewed for the pamphlet Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors Becker supported the Spanish Republicans.[3] He also stated his opposition to dictatorship in general.[3] Works[edit]

The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776 (1908) Kansas (1910) The Beginnings of the American People (1915) The Eve of the Revolution (1918) The United States: An Experiment in Democracy (1920) The Declaration of Independence—A Study in the History of Political Ideas (1922, 1942) Our Great Experiment in Democracy (1924) The Spirit of '76 (with G.M. Clark and W.E. Dodd) (1926) Modern History (1931) Everyman His Own Historian (1931) The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932) Progress and Power (1936) Story of Civilization (with Frederic Duncalf) (1938) Modern Democracy (1941) New Liberties for Old (1941) Cornell University: Founders and the Founding (1943) How New Will the Better World Be?—A Discussion of Post-War Reconstruction (1944) Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life (1945) Freedom of Speech and Press "What are Historical Facts"

Quotes[edit]

"History is the memory of things said and done." "The significance of man is that he is insignificant and is aware of it." "The temperament, the objects and the methods of a Mussolini, a Hitler, a Stalin represent everything that I most profoundly despise".[3] "Freedom and responsibility." This saying, from a 1943 lecture, has been frequently misquoted.[4] When Cornell memorialized Becker by naming a residential college in his honor, the university commissioned a large stone placard to be affixed to the building's entryway reading "FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY".[4]

References[edit]

^ Carl L. Becker, "Frederick Jackson Turner," in Everyman His Own Historian: Essays on History and Politics, (Quadrangle Books, 1966), pp. 191-232. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 29, 2011.  ^ a b c "400 To 1 Against Franco" The Milwaukee Journal, May 17, 1938. ^ a b http://www.metaezra.com/archive/2008/09/carl_becker_is_rolling_in_his.shtml

Further reading[edit]

Breisach, Ernst. "Carl Becker" in Kelly Boyd, ed. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 1 (1999) pp 85-86. Smith, Charlotte W. Carl Becker: On History & the Climate of Opinion (1956) Strout, CushingThe Pragmatic Revolt in American History: Carl Becker and Charles Beard (1958) Wilkins, Burleigh T.Carl Becker: A Biographical Study in American Intellectual History (1961) Wilson, Clyde N. Twentieth-Century American Historians (Gale: 1983, Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 17) pp 57–63

External links[edit]

Historiographical Blurb and JSTOR listing [1] Works by Carl L. Becker at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Carl L. Becker at Internet Archive

v t e

Presidents of the American Historical Association

1884–1900

Andrew Dickson White
Andrew Dickson White
(1884-85) George Bancroft
George Bancroft
(1886) Justin Winsor
Justin Winsor
(1887) William Frederick Poole
William Frederick Poole
(1888) Charles Kendall Adams
Charles Kendall Adams
(1889) John Jay (1890) William Wirt Henry (1891) James Burrill Angell
James Burrill Angell
(1892-93) Henry Adams
Henry Adams
(1893-94) George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar
(1895) Richard Salter Storrs
Richard Salter Storrs
(1896) James Schouler (1897) George Park Fisher (1898) James Ford Rhodes
James Ford Rhodes
(1899) Edward Eggleston
Edward Eggleston
(1900)

1901–1925

Charles Francis Adams Jr.
Charles Francis Adams Jr.
(1901) Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
(1902) Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea
(1903) Goldwin Smith
Goldwin Smith
(1904) John Bach McMaster
John Bach McMaster
(1905) Simeon Eben Baldwin
Simeon Eben Baldwin
(1906) J. Franklin Jameson (1907) George Burton Adams (1908) Albert Bushnell Hart
Albert Bushnell Hart
(1909) Frederick Jackson Turner (1910) William Milligan Sloane
William Milligan Sloane
(1911) Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
(1912) William Archibald Dunning (1913) Andrew C. McLaughlin
Andrew C. McLaughlin
(1914) H. Morse Stephens
H. Morse Stephens
(1915) George Lincoln Burr
George Lincoln Burr
(1916) Worthington C. Ford (1917) William Roscoe Thayer
William Roscoe Thayer
(1918-19) Edward Channing (1920) Jean Jules Jusserand
Jean Jules Jusserand
(1921) Charles Homer Haskins
Charles Homer Haskins
(1922) Edward Potts Cheyney
Edward Potts Cheyney
(1923) Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
(1924) Charles McLean Andrews
Charles McLean Andrews
(1924-25)

1926–1950

Dana Carleton Munro
Dana Carleton Munro
(1926) Henry Osborn Taylor (1927) James Henry Breasted
James Henry Breasted
(1928) James Harvey Robinson
James Harvey Robinson
(1929) Evarts Boutell Greene (1930) Carl L. Becker (1931) Herbert Eugene Bolton
Herbert Eugene Bolton
(1932) Charles A. Beard
Charles A. Beard
(1933) William Dodd (1934) Michael Rostovtzeff
Michael Rostovtzeff
(1935) Charles Howard McIlwain (1936) Guy Stanton Ford (1937) Laurence M. Larson (1938) William Scott Ferguson (1939) Max Farrand
Max Farrand
(1940) James Westfall Thompson (1941) Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. (1942) Nellie Neilson (1943) William Linn Westermann
William Linn Westermann
(1944) Carlton J. H. Hayes (1945) Sidney Bradshaw Fay (1946) Thomas J. Wertenbaker
Thomas J. Wertenbaker
(1947) Kenneth Scott Latourette
Kenneth Scott Latourette
(1948) Conyers Read (1949) Samuel Eliot Morison
Samuel Eliot Morison
(1950)

1951–1975

Robert Livingston Schuyler (1951) James G. Randall (1952) Louis R. Gottschalk (1953) Merle Curti (1954) Lynn Thorndike
Lynn Thorndike
(1955) Dexter Perkins (1956) William L. Langer (1957) Walter Prescott Webb
Walter Prescott Webb
(1958) Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins
(1959) Bernadotte Everly Schmitt (1960) Samuel Flagg Bemis (1961) Carl Bridenbaugh (1962) Crane Brinton (1963) Julian P. Boyd (1964) Frederic C. Lane (1965) Roy Franklin Nichols (1966) Hajo Holborn (1967) John K. Fairbank (1968) C. Vann Woodward
C. Vann Woodward
(1969) Robert Roswell Palmer (1970) David M. Potter (1971) Joseph Strayer (1971) Thomas C. Cochran (1972) Lynn Townsend White Jr. (1973) Lewis Hanke (1974) Gordon Wright (1975)

1976–2000

Richard B. Morris (1976) Charles Gibson (1977) William J. Bouwsma (1978) John Hope Franklin (1979) David H. Pinkney (1980) Bernard Bailyn (1981) Gordon A. Craig
Gordon A. Craig
(1982) Philip D. Curtin (1983) Arthur S. Link (1984) William H. McNeill (1985) Carl Neumann Degler (1986) Natalie Zemon Davis
Natalie Zemon Davis
(1987) Akira Iriye (1988) Louis R. Harlan (1989) David Herlihy (1990) William Leuchtenburg (1991) Frederic Wakeman (1992) Louise A. Tilly (1993) Thomas C. Holt (1994) John Henry Coatsworth (1995) Caroline Bynum (1996) Joyce Appleby (1997) Joseph C. Miller (1998) Robert Darnton
Robert Darnton
(1999) Eric Foner
Eric Foner
(2000)

2001–Present

William Roger Louis (2001) Lynn Hunt (2002) James M. McPherson
James M. McPherson
(2003) Jonathan Spence (2004) James J. Sheehan
James J. Sheehan
(2005) Linda K. Kerber (2006) Barbara Weinstein (2007) Gabrielle M. Spiegel (2008) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
(2009) Barbara D. Metcalf (2010) Anthony Grafton
Anthony Grafton
(2011) William Cronon
William Cronon
(2012) Kenneth Pomeranz
Kenneth Pomeranz
(2013) Jan E. Goldstein (2014) Vicki L. Ruiz (2015) Patrick Manning (2016) Tyler E. Stovall (2017) Mary Beth Norton (2018)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 88922339 LCCN: n79121326 ISNI: 0000 0000 8345 2328 GND: 120741156 SELIBR: 325284 SUDOC: 060455063 BIBSYS: 90742538 NLA: 35016153 NDL: 00519901 NKC: jx20090303009 BNE: XX1200674 SN

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