CHAPTER 4 HISTORY AS A POLITICAL TOOL
German Statist Philosophy
German professors had developed the smooth technique of advocating socialism without compromising their respectability. They were the German precursors of the later Fabian socialists.
Herbert Baxter Adams as a professor of history and as a trainer of other teachers-expounded what amounted to a classic German type of socialism applied to the American scene. He wrote:
“American local history should be studied as a contribution to national history. This country will be yet viewed and reviewed as an organism of historic growth, developing from minute germs, from the very protoplasm of state-life. And some day this country will be studied in its international relations, as an organic part of a larger organism now vaguely called the World-State, but as surely developing through the operation of economic, legal, social, and scientific forces as the American Union, the German and British Empires are evolving into higher forms. . . . The local consciousness must be expanded into a fuller sense of its historic worth and dignity. We must under stand the cosmopolitan relations of modern local life, and its own wholesome conservative power in the days of growing centralization.”<12>
Even at this early date academic socialists were busy covering their radical manipulations with the cloak of conservatism. We see a modern resurgence of this technique when old Fabian socialists, like Felix Frankfurter are referred to as “conservative” today.
Herbert Baxter Adams was best known “not in writing history, but in training others to write it and he was a powerful influence in creating the New School of Historical Research.“<13>
The teachers in history indoctrinated at Johns Hopkins then fanned out impregnating most of the major colleges and universities in America with collectivist thinking. In the latter part of the 19th century this thinking soon gained the ascendancy.
At the time of Adams’ death in 1901 some 40 volumes of historical material had been published under his editorship. After 1887 he edited a series of monographs for the U.S. Bureau of Education
Just remember, Nazi meant National SOCIALISTS
12… Varieties 0/ History, ed. Fritz Stern, article “American Definition of History” by KJ. Turner, (1861.1932) p. 206, Meridian Books, 1960.
13… Americana·Universal Reference Library, 1908. Vol. 1, HERBERT BAXTER ADAMS.
entitled Contributions to American Educational History, thus exerting a nation-wide influence on teachers of history. Instructors from the Johns Hopkins Graduate School taught in such institutions as Yale, Harvard, Columbia, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago.
Adams and the head of the American Social Science Association, (Frank B. Sanborn) founded the American Social Science Association, 1884. The leftists had an open field. “In all the universities and colleges of the country there were apparently only 15 professors and 5 assistant professors who gave all their time to history.”14
Within the American Historical Association it was stated “it has never been questioned that the main influence in the movement was that of Herbert Adams, professor in the Johns Hopkins University…. “, <15>
Another proficient promoter of the socialistic writings on history and sociology which entered the classrooms of American colleges at the turn of the century, was Albion W. Small (1854-1926). He was professor of history and political economics, and was also a reader of history at Johns Hopkins in 1888-1889. He attended the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig in Germany, where he thoroughly absorbed the viewpoint of state socialism then prevalent there. He was considered the major disciple of the German professor Gustav Ratzenhofer (1842-1904) who asserted that ” … the universal extension of the socialization process tends to produce concord of interests through the increasing perfection of the social organization…. “<16>
In 1913, Small authored a book entitled Between Eras, From Capitalism to Democracy, wherein he enunciated a thinly disguised Marxian socialist doctrine of the class struggle. He used the term “democracy” as a transparent veil for socialistic ideas.<17>
However, his main function was to promote the socialistic works of others and to encourage the planting of teachers with a socialistic
14… American Journal 0/ Sociology, May 1916, article quoting Professor J. F. Jameson, p. 777.
13… ibid, p. 778. This article notes that the American Historical Association then maintained close relations with various Departments within the United States Govern.
16… Encyclopedia 0/ the Social Sciences, Vol. 13, p. 121.
17… Albion W. Small. Between Eras From Capitalism to Democracy, 1913
bent, trained in Germany, into various American colleges and universities.<18>
He was a past master in the art of insinuating socialist ideas into the minds of students and professors through cleverly camouflaged terminology. He was also particularly adept at indoctrinating religious groups and pushing them by degrees towards a socialistic agnosticism.<19>
Professor Franklin H. Giddings, a colleague of Small, was located in Columbia University in 1891. Giddings was a professor of Sociology and of the History of Civilization. He was also editor of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (1890-94). During the same period he was an “editor of publications” of the American Economic Association. Eventually, he became a member of the Board of Education of the City of New York (1915-17).
Giddings actively participated in socialist activities for many years. He was one of the pioneer members of the American Socialist Society and taught at the socialistic Rand School of Social Science.<20>
At that time among textbooks used at the Rand School were the Soviets at Work by Nikolai Lenin, and American Socialists and the War by Alexander L. Trachtenberg. Trachtenberg later became known as a chief soviet agent in the United States and the head of the Kremlin publishing outlet in America, International Publishers. <21>
Another outstanding example of the manner in which the Johns Hopkins group germinated the socialistic teaching of history is the case of Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932). He secured his doctorate at Johns Hopkins in 1890. From 1910 to 1924 he taught history at Harvard. The Columbia Encyclopedia states that “Turner’s ideas are now incorporated in all American history texts.”
18…. Albion W. Small’s crusade to put across the work of Lester F. Ward, Dynamic ;Sociology (2 vols.) is well known in academic circles. Ward’s book was a tirade against the system of private enterprise and individual freedom. Ward was at one time a teacher in the Rand School of Social Science on behalf of the American Socialist Society. A. W. Small was influential among instructors at Colby College (of which he had once been President), Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin. He participated in the founding of the University of Chicago, where he became the head of the first Chair in Sociology in the United States.
19…. The letters of A. W. Small to Lester F. Ward, Social Forces, (Dec. 1933); see article edited by Bernard J. Stern, well-known communist theoretician (pp. 163-173).
20… The Case of the Rand School, published by the Rand School of Social Science, July 26, 1919, p. 13.21 ibid, p. n.
During the 1890′s a socialist publication, The Review, reprinted Turner’s famous 1893 essay The Significance of the Frontier in American History with the note that it was “without doubt the greatest contribution yet made in the application of the materialistic conception of history to American conditions.”<22>
Since the materialistic conception of history is the foundation stone of the socialist movement and was invented by Karl Marx there is no doubt that Turner had produced an American historical account fitting into the socialist principle. Leftist books are replete with accounts of Turner’s major theme that the frontier is gone and opportunities for personal advancement have dried up. This theme fits into the socialist premise that the only way out now is a controlled collectivist society.<23>
F.D.R. at Harvard
Among those influenced by Turner was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who absorbed his education in history from Turner and Edward Channing.<24> Channing was the son of William Ellery Channing, well-known Fourierist socialist advocate of a collectivist society.<25>
The future president of the United States, while barely 20 years of age, was thus being taught that the system of private enterprise had run its course, and that a controlled social order must take its place. The germ of the New Deal was thus planted not in 1932, but soon after 1900.
Columbia University became a mecca for the socialistic teaching of history. The chain started by F. H. Giddings was soon joined by James Harvy Robinson, who also taught history. Robinson had absorbed-German socialistic ideas in the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1890. The History Department at Columbia began to be converted into a socialistic center with Robinson as the chief
22… Shannon, The Socialist Party of America, pp. 18-19.
23…. Crusades for American Liberalism, Louis Filler, Harcourt Brace, 1939, p. 75. The extent in which Turner’s works were useful to the socialist movement is the fact that huge socialist tent encampments used his works to promote the socialist
cause at the turn of the present century. Ref.: Shannon, The Socialist Party 0/ America, p.27.
24… Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Crisis of the Old Order, 1957. Schlesinger wrote that F. D. Roosevelt as a student “… listened to many of Harvard’s best-Edward Channing and Frederick Jackson Turner in history ..•” p. 323.
25… C. Sotheran, Horace Greeley and Other Pioneers of American Socialism. Passim.