The Competitiveness of Nations in a Global Knowledge-Based Economy

L. L. Bernard, J. S. Bernard

A Century of Progress in the Social Sciences

Social Forces, 11 (4)

May 1933, 488-505.



An Early Basis in Law

Toward Moral Philosophy and Moral Science

To a Philosophy of History

And the History of Civilization

The Science of History

And Historical Method

The Rise of Historical Research

The Social Sciences Paralleling the Evolution of Historical Study

The Rise of Political Science

A Stage of Political Economy

Emerging Economics

Professional Economics and Commerce

The Background of “Social Science”

The “Practical” Origins of Social Science in America

The Rise of Sociology

Social Science Organizations and Publications

The Growth of Graduate Social Science

The Expansion of Research

Financial Support

HHC: Index added


THE social sciences cannot be said to have existed as such before the opening of the nineteenth century, but they were beginning to take on the rudiments of form very soon after 1750.  It was about this time that the new and wider social emphasis in the humanities began to find objective expression in books and in college and university curricula.  Prior to this time, and in large measure even down to near the close of the nineteenth century, the major emphasis had been upon the individual relationships and values in the humanities.  The four great branches of the humanities - art, literature, theology, and philosophy -had persistently emphasized the individual, in so far as they dealt with things human.  Art and theology still concern themselves primarily with the individual, but literature and philosophy have moved steadily toward the social emphasis.  Science, which has been created for the most part since 1750, is just now entering very seriously the realm of social phenomena, which were formerly cared for in their more serious aspects by philosophy.  In 1750 there was considerable social philosophy, but practically no social science.


AN EARLY BASIS IN LAW                                                                              

The forms which the social philosophy of the latter half of the eighteenth century took were several, but not conspicuously numerous.  The old doctrine of natural law, which had been created by the Greek philosophers as a basis for their cosmology, and later of their social philosophy, to replace the theological basis, and which had been elaborated and extended, upon the literary foundations of Plato and Aristotle especially, by the philosopher-theologians of the Catholic church in the middle ages, was about to relax its hold upon human thinking.  The great works on Natural Law by Puffendorf, Burlamequi, and Vattel, which, under the influence of the Church, had largely replaced the Roman law, were now definitely giving way in North


America and in England to the more inductive and realistic body of doctrine of the Common law, which in the middle of the eighteenth century was so ably reformulated on the basis of Coke by Blackstone.  Theology, which prior to this time had dominated the whole curriculum in American colleges and universities, now began to retreat into special seminaries designed for students of divinity, leaving the college proper to the liberal arts or humanities for the training, of non-ministerial students.

If Blackstone and his exposition of the Common law destroyed the hold of Natural Law upon the doctrines of human justice, in like manner moral philosophy itself began to replace theology as the arbiter of the theory and practice of morals.  Just as an increasing number of textbooks and treatises on the Common law and its procedure began to appear toward the end of the eighteenth century to supplement Blackstone and to replace Puffendorf, Burlamequi, and Vattel, so also did realistic treatises in moral philosophy, dealing with the concrete problems of individual conduct and especially with the family, poverty, crime, economic and political obligations, and the vices, begin to replace the older moral philosophies based on the ten commandments and other Biblical sources.

That part of the old Natural Law which dealt with legal relations was absorbed and transformed in America and England by the new realistic and inductive municipal and international law, which as early as 1782 or 1784 began to be segregated as a scientific discipline from the colleges and universities into special law schools.  By 1850 private municipal law was taught almost entirely in private and public law schools, which had then become as distinct from the colleges of liberal arts as were the theological seminairies which began to be segregated in 1722. That portion of Natural Law was fundamentally ethical, and which had been erected out of tradition and custom as a body of norms apart from theology, for the guidance of secular ethical conduct, now began to be absorbed into and to be transformed by the new realistic moral philosophy of the end of the eighteenth century in such works as those of Hume, Hutcheson, Adam Smith, Price, Hartley, and Paley.  It was through the writings of Smith (Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1785) and Paley (The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, 1785) especially that the new realistic moral philosophy entered America before the close of the eighteenth century.  Finally, that phase of Natural Law which had served primarily as a connecting link and conciliator with the old theology now began to be reabsorbed into theology as the Natural Theology, emphasized by Paley in his Natural Theology (1801), so long and so widely popular in this country, and in the monumental collective product of the 1830’s and 1840’s in England known as the Bridgewater treatises.



Thus, by means of these three processes of absorption and transformation, the old Natural Law, which had so long occupied the seat of advanced and progressive thinking, disappeared as a separate discipline and school of thought in America and England between 1750 and 1800.  In the same period, approximately, theology was retired from its supreme position as dictator of secular conduct and affairs and was replaced by a new and much more realistic and an increasingly relativistic discipline known as moral philosophy.  With the appearance of Wayland’s Moral Science in 1835 and George Combe’s Moral


Science in 1840, the term moral philosophy itself was revised to that of moral science, the more closely to assimilate the title to the growing respect for the scientific movement which was now concerning itself with even social as well as physical and biological relationships.  At the same time both law and theology were segregated from the general college courses, which formerly they had largely dominated, into professional schools where lawyers and ministers were now trained especially for the functions they were to serve.  Thus began the first professionalization of the applied social sciences.


In this same period of one hundred years, between 1750 and 1850, another and even more advanced social philosophy had arisen and had taken its place in the thought of men and in the college curricula of both Europe and America.  This new social philosophy was known as the Philosophy of History.  It was first formulated by Vico in Italy in 1725 in his Scienza Nuova, but it rapidly spread to France, where it dominated the thought of the last half of the eighteenth century, and thence to Germany, Scotland, and North America.  It entered North America through the writings of Montesquieu (Spirit of Laws, 1748), of Rousseau, and of the Scotch Philosophers, particularly Hume and Adam Ferguson.  Ferguson’s History of Civil Society (1767) and History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic (1783) can still be picked up fairly easily in the several American editions published in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-88), also largely a treatise in the philosophy of history, was likewise vastly popular in this country.  The philosophy of history attempted to interpret the wider social relations with a historical perspective from much the same sort of secular viewpoint that the new realistic moral philosophy was endeavoring to interpret individual and social behavior from the contemporaneous perspective.  In fact, the philosophy of history and moral philosophy were brother and sister philosophies which had arisen out of the eighteenth century demand for inductive realism and had gradually and more or less effectively divorced themselves, as had law, from the dominance of theology and the more secularized, but still traditional, Natural Law philosophy.



At about the same time that moral philosophy transformed itself into moral science, in its struggle to become even more realistic and non-speculative, the philosophy of history was transformed into the history of civilization.  Guizot’s great work in four volumes bearing this title (Histoire de la Civilisation en Europe 1828, Eng. tr., 1830; Histoire de la Civilisation en France, 1830) represented an attempt to bring the philosophy of history down from a largely speculative survey of all history to a more limited and a more inductive analysis and synthesis of a particular field of history, that of western Europe and particularly of France.  In this transformation of the philosophy of history to the concrete and the inductive it lost some of the general sociological character which it had had in Vico, Montesquieu, and Condorcet, and became more definitely political.  Guizot’s History of Civilization, in the smaller one volume edition, was for more than fifty years an extremely popular college text in this country.  The work of Guizot formed an excellent background for the work on institutional history which came to this country largely through the writings of


Stubbs and Freemen, but which took on a much broader and more sociological form in the excellent analyses of local and general social institutions by Henry Adams, Herbert B. Adams, John Fiske, and Andrew D. White.  Thus the philosophy of history was absorbed and transformed into the history of institutions in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, for reasons which will be explained in the following paragraph.  More recently, especially since the great war, there has been something of a return to emphasis upon the history of civilization, both in general historical writing and in the introductory courses in history in the college curricula.  This new trend toward the history of civilization is partly due to the reaction of sociology, especially of cultural sociology and anthropology, upon history, and partly to the feeling, growing largely out of reflections consequent upon the great war, that mankind must learn to see their evolution, organization, and problems as collective products rather than merely as nationalistic and partisan.



The chief factors which caused the decline of the philosophy of history in the nineteenth century and replaced it with other disciplines were the growth of a science of history, the development of sociology, and the appearance of specialized fields of institutional history.  The French and English enlightenments of the eighteenth century resulted in a great increase in the general historical summaries in the hundred years between 1750 and 1850, designed to interpret both the history of the world and that of major national civilizations, to contemporary readers.  Tytler, Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, Michelet, Smyth, Menzies, Merivale, Taylor, Weber, Lingard, Smollett, Alison, Grote, Prescott, Sparks, Bancroft, and many other writers on general historical subjects made both the college student and the general reader familiar as never before with the main facts of the development of nations and of human institutions.  There began to be for the first time, toward the close of the eighteenth century and early in the nineteenth, a sort of world community feeling due to the development of both the philosophy of history and the more ordinary political and narrative history.  Leading educational theorists in this country, such as Thomas Jefferson and Jared Sparks, recognized the desirability of fostering this growth of a world and international spirit, and also of reemphasizing the cultural achievements of ancient civilizations.  In the first half of the nineteenth century they secured the establishment of history as a definite and accepted part of all college curricula.  But as yet classical history was considered to be of most importance, because classical culture was still regarded as superior to modern culture.  European history was believed to be of more importance than American history.  Until well after 1850, in most of our colleges, history was still taught as an appendage to the foreign languages.  Courses in general or world history were not established regularly until after 1815, when the influence of Jefferson and Sparks made itself felt, and in only the more progressive educational institutions even then.  Ancient history began to detach itself in earnest from the classical languages around 1850, although there were a few earlier movements in this direction.  The first chair in American history appears to have been established at the University of Pennsylvania in 1850.  In the larger number of institutions it still continued, for a decade or two longer, to be taught as a subdivision of English language and literature. , Even


the far-sighted Jefferson was inclined to think that modern history was of much less importance than ancient history as a social study.


The growth of historical writing and the serious introduction of the subject into the college curricula toward the end of the eighteenth century led to a critical evaluation of historical method.  This movement was strongest in Germany, where scholars like Heeren, von Ihering, and von Ranke worked out historical methodology and applied it, gradually converting the learned world to the necessity of basing historical generalizations inductively upon tested data, especially upon documentary evidence.  This critical spirit in history was introduced into this country by students of Heeren, especially by Bancroft and Sparks, and it was reinforced in this country by other American students, like Andrew D. White and the Adamses, who returned to this country to teach history in American universities.  The year 1857 was remarkable in this country because it witnessed the recognition at Michigan, Columbia, and Harvard of the claims of the new critical historical spirit by the expansion of new historical curricula under German trained leaders.  Harvard had already led the way in the preliminary work of Sparks.


This movement towards a critical history greatly stimulated historical research and led to the establishment of state historical societies in the more educationally progressive states like Wisconsin and Michigan, under the secretarial direction of trained historians, around 1850 or soon thereafter.  The Massachusetts Historical Society had been organized in 1791 and incorporated in 1794, but its scientific work began about the same time as that of the other state historical societies.  Much expenditure of effort and money was put forth in the collection of historical documents and materials.  Between 1860 and 1890 American history as a critical subject was really born and fostered.  It also grew in the universities as it grew in the state and university libraries.  Winsor, Thwaites, McMaster, John Fiske, and E. G. Bourne were types of leaders in both movements who created a new form of literature admirably expressed and a new discipline in the universities increasingly well taught.  Research seminars in history were started at Michigan in 1869, and soon thereafter at Harvard, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin, and elsewhere under the leadership of White, the Adamses, Allen, and Turner.  But, with the exception of English constitutional and legal history and a few limited phases of classical history, this research did not extend in this period beyond the limits of American History.  Irving and Motley went abroad for their data.  Prescott had the advantage of the collections of the conquistadores published in Spain.  Our university libraries were not yet rich enough to collect foreign materials on a research scale, and the publication of source materials for distribution to libraries had scarcely begun at that time.  The Library of Congress was as yet largely a local institution, and the great research foundations had not been established.  Since the eighteen-nineties all of these facilities have gradually developed, and in recent years with great rapidity.  Historical research on foreign themes now closely rivals that in American history in this country.  The interchange of fellowships and professorships, research grants from foundations, and the exchange of professional an4 library courtesies have made this possible.


The emphasis upon critical historical research produced, especially in the eighteen-eighties and nineties, an extreme reaction against historical generalization.  Detailed facts, established primarily on the basis of documentary evidence, came to be almost the only respectable products of history.  Even institutional history, which had been developing in the two preceding decades with its primary interests in the history of English law and local governmental institutions and American constitutional law, was threatened with sterilization because of the implied prohibition upon the generalization of general principles.  But fortunately another invasion of ideas, again largely from Germany, saved the situation.  The growth of scientific culture history in Germany and the examples of Spencer, Tylor, and Lubbock in England, and of Letourneau in France, turned the tide from the narrow fact-finding industry of our American imitators of the exclusive document-collecting and scrutinizing type to the recognition of other forms of historical evidence and other sources of historical materials.  Also, the expansion of world trade and the new imperialism were calling for a study of comparative institutions and especially of economic history.  Thus it was culture history, with a large emphasis upon comparative economic history, that recalled history from its growing fundamentalist tendencies and, especially after 1890 and 1900, has made it again a liberal discipline, more sociological in character and with an increasing interest in all institutional types - economic, religious, domestic, educational, artistic, and general cultural, as well as merely political.  The relative importance of constitutional history, along with other types of political history, has greatly declined during the last three decades.



The social sciences proper show in many respects a similar development to that of history, but their origins were primarily in the philosophy of Natural Law and in Moral Philosophy, as outlined above, instead of in chronology and folk literature.  The founders of the United States saw clearly the need for political intelligence in a republic, especially among the leaders.  Washington set aside a portion of his property by will for the establishment of advanced study in politics in the shadow of the national congress.  Benjamin Rush, Dupont de Nemours, Joel Barlow and “a private citizen of Pennsylvania” likewise proposed schemes for a national institution of political research and instruction at the federal capital for the training of national and local leaders.  Perhaps the growing sectionalism prevented the realization of any of these advanced plans.  Possibly also the growth of historical studies and interests on the one hand and the formalizing influences of the classics, tending to reduce all studies to a basis of erudition as contrasted with practical utility, on the other hand, may have operated to discourage the research and practical emphases upon political study.  The historical and the classical viewpoints may have operated cooperatively in this direction.  Anyway, we find little study of practical politics in the college curricula before the middle of the nineteenth century.  Constitutional history developed somewhat after 1825, fostered in part by the publication of the various national and state constitutional documents, begun by the federa1 government immediately upon its founding and continued by both the government and private enterprise thereafter.  There were numerous editions of this collection of constitutional docu-


ments, revised from time to time upon occasion.  We have found editions locally printed at Exeter, New Hampshire, and at Lexington, Kentucky, as early as 1807 and 1813 respectively.  The collection was also reprinted in England before 1800.  It was widely used as a textbook in constitutional law and in constitutional history, as well as for the information and guidance of officials and citizens.  The number of handbooks and treatises on our constitution, usually introduced by a few brief chapters on the theory of law and government in general, appearing in the United States after 1813 was not inconsiderable.  The most important of these was, of course, Kent’s Commentaries on American Law, which was published in 1816-30.  The number of these works, for the most part confined to single modest volumes, steadily increased until they reached a peak in the eighteen-forties and eighteen-fifties, with a second rise numerically after the Civil War.



At about the same time that moral philosophy transformed itself, in name at least, into moral science, political philosophy began to segregate itself into a separate discipline.  As early as 1774 John Adams (Works, IX: 339) spoke of “the divine science of politics,” which indicates that the conception of a political science was of even earlier origin.  The two outstanding works in the field of political philosophy as a new discipline were Francis Lieber’s Political Ethics in 1838 and Frederick Grimké’s Nature and Tendency of Free Institutions in 1848.  To these should be added Lieber’s Civil Liberty and Popular Government, published in 1853.  All of these works were very able and emphasized largely the psychological and the sociological rather than the constitutional implications of government.

No other general works of equal ability, profundity, and insight in this field appeared before the Actual Government of A. B. Hart in 1903.  The Civil War, with its resulting constitutional issues, again threw the chief attention of students and citizens upon constitutional law and history, and the growing conservatism of history under the influence of the new critical spirit, which became dominant in this country at the same time, discouraged psychological and sociological investigation into the problems of government in favor of documentary study and legal analysis.  But the flowering of the industrial system after 1890 into a plutocratic regime, the popular agrarian revolts of the Granges and of the Populists in the eighteen-seventies, eighties, and nineties, and the great industrial strikes of the nineties, as well as the struggle to control the railroads through an interstate commerce commission, the difficulties of reconstruction in the South, the exposure of the operations of great corrupt political rings in our immigrant-ridden cities, and the rise of the imperialism issue and the demand for protective labor legislation called attention to phases of politics not covered by enacted constitutions and not as yet recorded in constitutional history.  The result has been the rapid growth of a new field of political science which now far overshadows in importance and in the volume of its research and published output the old constitutional law and history.

Perhaps Edmund J. James must be given chief credit for starting this revival of the outlook of Lieber and Grimké, while he was still at the University of Pennsylvania in the late eighteen-eighties, but mention should at least be made of Theodore Woolsey, the admirer and editor of the works of Lieber in the eighteen-seventies.  The most important productions, both of research and of writing, in the field of


actual government have, however, been achieved since 1900.  Hart’s work, already mentioned, was soon followed by a number of studies of special phases of governmental action and of the problems of citizenship.  Political parties, with reference to both their legal and extra legal organization and behavior, came in for a good deal of study by John Macy and others more interested than he in questions of direct primaries and other popular control devices.  Legislative organization and methods were investigated by Woodrow Wilson and other political scientists.  The political aspects of public utilities were studied by L. S. Rowe and others.  Efficiency in government and administration became subjects for analysis by Fairlie, Cleveland, W. H. Allen, and Henry Bruere.  Political corruption was brought into the limelight by a large number of “muckraking” writers, among whom Lincoln Steffens stands out prominently.  Merriam started his work at Chicago in earnest about 1910 and gradually worked over from an emphasis upon administration to political psychology, in which field his department has produced within the last ten years some highly important results.  Columbia and Harvard Universities, under the leadership of C. A. Beard and W. B. Munro, have also built up strong political science departments within the last fifteen years, emphasizing primarily the new psychological and sociological trends in this subject, but not neglecting the other aspects of realistic politics.  The new trend in political science is highly realistic as opposed to the older emphases upon historical and constitutional questions.



Adam Smith provided in his Inquiry Concerning the Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) the major pattern of an important phase of political science.  The problems of national revenues, of a medium of exchange, and of credit and capital offered other patterns, which, when considered together, constituted the new branch of political theory which became known as political economy.  This was a separate study at William and Mary, with Smith’s Wealth of Nations as a textbook, before the end of the eighteenth century.  Chairs in the subject shortly began to he established at Columbia College in 1817, and soon afterwards at the College of South Carolina, Dickinson College, William and Mary, and elsewhere.  A subject so obviously the outgrowth of the industrial revolution and of the new national and commercial problems arising from the new industrial era could not do otherwise than grow in importance throughout the nineteenth century.  A number of important teachers arose in the more progressive colleges, especially in areas with commercial and industrial interests, before 1850.  Prominent among these was John McVickar of Columbia College, Thomas Cooper of the College of South Carolina, Henry Vethake of Dickinson College and later of the University of Pennsylvania, Thos. R. Dew of William and Mary, and George Tucker of the University of Virginia.  All of these, and many more political economists of the second quarter of the nineteenth century, wrote either general or special treatises on the subject.  The tariff issue had begun to be of marked importance by 1819, when Dew’s work on The Restrictive System appeared.  Other books, mainly controversial, followed, but most of them from the North, where H. C. Carey and A. W. Young, and also Francis Bowen of Harvard, in his American Political Economy (1856), became finally the apologists of the American system, as the policy of protectionism was called in this first half


of the nineteenth century.  The panic of 1837 precipitated a flood of literature, some of it of good quality, on money and currency, banks and panics, and the like.  The approaching crisis in the slavery question called forth in the eighteen-fifties a large number of books from both the North and the South on the economics, the ethics, the sociology, the theology, the jurisprudence, and even the anthropology of slavery.  We are inclined to think that no other decade prior to 1890 was as prolific as that of 1850-1860 in books dealing with public questions.  No doubt the approach of a great crisis largely stimulated this great output; but it is equally apparent that the war that followed was responsible for the marked dearth of social science literature in the two decades following the Civil War.  The major output in this period was in the form of war histories and reminiscences, apologetic and backward looking rather than progressively virile.  Had it not been for the rejuvenating influences of the industrial revolution, which matured in the generation following the Civil War, culture, including the social sciences, would probably have taken a permanent slump as the result of that devastating conflict.

In spite of the fact that political economy obtained an early foothold in the colleges and in the public interest of the United States, it was not until in the third quarter of the nineteenth century that any college offered more than one course in the subject, and the first independent chair to give the whole time of its occupant to political economy was that at Harvard, established in 1871 and occupied by Chas. F. Dunbar, whose major interest was banking.  In the decades after 1870 the subject grew rapidly in importance in the Central and North Atlantic states, while in the South it lagged for some time at below the prewar level.  The industrial and commercial expansion of the North was having its natural effect upon the university and college curricula.  By 1884 there were three teachers and eight courses in economics listed at Harvard.  In 1881 the University of Pennsylvania established the Wharton School of Finance and Economy, now Finance and Commerce.  Already General Francis A. Walker was giving the subject a new meaning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and producing his able treatises on Political Economy, Money, Wages, etc.



In the eighteen-eighties R. T. Ely, H. C. Adams, H. W. Farnum, Simon N. Patten, and E. R. A. Seligman were returning from their German novitiates, where they had been strongly impregnated with the virus of institutional and cultural history and with the new emphasis upon social economy, and were setting up chairs in Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Michigan, Columbia, Yale, and Wisconsin universities, which were destined to provide a new impetus, not only to political economy in general, but also to a new brand of the subject.  In the 1890’s the German trained advocates of the historical school took possession of the American Economic Association, and the temper of the subject itself ceased to be primarily logical and classical and became largely sociological and even reformistic.  R. T. Ely’s first treatise on the field, entitled Introduction to Political Economy (1889) defined political economy as a branch of sociology.  Only in the large privately endowed universities did the subject remain classical and conservative or become primarily training in the theory of business.  In the western state universities it was liberal and institutional in character, and with the multiplication of


courses within the rapidly growing departments, courses on labor problems, socialism, and social reform became frequent and prominent.

It was in the 1890’s that a new trend toward the application of economics to business first became marked.  The public aspects of the subject became relatively less important in this and the following decades and the private or business aspects grew steadily.  The name itself was transformed in accordance with this new emphasis from political economy to economics, the change in name starting first in the east and moving gradually westward.



Soon after 1900 the professionalization of economics, in response to the maturing industrial, commercial, and financial developments consequent upon imperial expansion and new exploitations of natural resources for purposes of world trade, became so marked that the old departments were no longer able to assimilate the host of new courses in applied economics that demanded entrance into the college and university curricula.  New departments, frequently growing into the status of schools of business or of commerce began to develop generally.  This movement reached its peak in the decade of 1910-1920.  There are now several hundred of these special or professionalized departments and schools.  The training they give is for the most part technical and the old spirit of political economy, with its ideal of national welfare, has been practically abandoned or proscribed in these new professional schools.  Just as the professional law schools trained their students in the method of winning cases rather than in the theory of law as a social control aiming at the support of the social and political order - as the old Natural Law philosophy did - so does the new profession of business train its students in the art of making money largely without regard to the social and national welfare. 1  There has even developed in the social sciences of our day a dogma that they should not go beyond questions of technique in their analysis and teaching and that all questions of ethics or social welfare should be excluded as incapable of scientific treatment.  In so far as this dogma is not the result of a defensive rationalization on the part of a hard-pressed teaching body, it is probably the result of a confusion of the proper ends of the technique of investigation with the proper objectives of teaching in the social sciences.  Of course, the ends of political economy and business economics may well be distinct in this regard.  But the trend seems to be for the business ideal to replace that of political or public economy, just as the former type of courses tend to replace the latter.


This conflict between individual and social interests, and among sections, classes, and philosophies, is not a new thing in the social disciplines.  It is as old as the history of the social subjects and of social thinking in this country.  The leading functions of the old Natural Law philosophy were primarily to universalize truth and secondarily to moralize it.  Natural Law sought to bring harmony between different systems of theological dogmas and revelations by substituting “natural” for “revealed” principles or ideas.  This substitution the Greeks were able to make, but in Mediaeval Europe “natural truth” had to make a compromise with “revealed truth,” and the philosophy of St. Thomas was the result.  It was ethical because its concrete applica-

1.  Compare the newer movements in jurisprudence.


tions were dependent upon general principles or assumptions founded loosely upon cumulative tradition and these were therefore highly flexible and reinterpretable.  The moral philosophy which replaced the philosophy of Natural Law was made even more flexible by seeking its sanction in present utility, as well as in Natural Law and in revelation.  Thus moral philosophy represented an unconscious adaptation of the categories of truth, justice, and, right to the realistic practical demands of an increasingly flexible and changing age.  If the discipline of moral philosophy could have been expanded with sufficient rapidity to encompass all of the social problems of an expanding age it might possibly have preserved the unity of sanctions and thus have furnished an adequate system of social controls.  In order to have accomplished these ends it would have had to transform itself into a science aiming solely at adjustment and have left behind all interfering traditions in the form of theological and metaphysical survivals.  This, we have seen, it was ostensibly attempting to do in the first third of the nineteenth century.  But, as a matter of fact, it was able neither to shake off traditional sanctions and criteria in favor of the scientific method, nor was it possible to expand with sufficient rapidity to enable it to embrace and harmonize all of the diversities of interests and viewpoints that the rapidly growing social complexities of the times were bringing into existence.  As a consequence, the old moral philosophy broke down as a guide to social thinking and social control.  In its place arose the various social disciplines, and especially the forms of political science, political economy, philosophy of history, and institutional history that have already been described.  These various disciplines appeared on the intellectual scene partly in response to the demand for specialization in thinking, and partly to meet the demand for new and variant viewpoints.  As a consequence, they brought disunity of criteria and of sanctions instead of the unity that was so ardently desired, and which theology, natural law philosophy, and moral philosophy had successively sought to achieve and insure.

By the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century this growing disunity of criteria and of sanctions began to be felt and as the second quarter advanced it became acute. Various attempts were made to bring unity out of a growing chaos.  A great popular religious revival swept the country during the first decades of the new century.  But philosophic minds demanded something intellectually more substantial than mystical faith as a basis of unified thinking.  The natural theology movement referred to above, a sort of combination of theology, natural law, moral philosophy, and bits of the new science, came forward to meet the needs of the new intellectuals.  But it failed to convince them.  The remedy would have to be found in science itself, not in an avoidance of science.  If the new science was overspecialized and too highly individualized, even to the point of being anti-social at times, could it not be synthesized and humanized?  Could not a new super-social science be created which would draw its materials from the legitimate social sciences, in fact from all sciences already in existence, and weld these into a new synthetic social science which would serve the common interests of mankind and would be the true social science?  To be sure, not everybody thought out and expressed the problem as clearly as this.  But there is no doubt but such a line of thought was in the back of many minds toward the close of the second quarter of


the nineteenth century, and soon its embodiment and realization were sought in the new social discipline which then arose under the term social science.

The term social science is of much earlier origin than the period here mentioned.  John Adams, in 1784, said, “I really think that the science of society is much behind other arts and sciences, trades and manufactures, - that the noblest of all knowledge is the least general.”  The French had sought the unitary view and interpretation of human relations so much desired in a philosophy of history rather than through a moral science.  The great attempts of Saint Simon, Fourier, and Comte in the same direction grew out of the French enlightenment and were allied to the philosophy of history rather than to the moral philosophy and the theology of the Scotch and English schools.  Fourier used the term social science in his works on the theory of social organization, and his American interpreter, Arthur Brisbane, repeated the term in his writings and urged the doctrines of Fourier as the theory of a social science.  But the vogue of Fourier was practically over in this country before the end of the eighteen-forties, and that of Comte had scarcely begun.  In the meantime a much more practical movement, also calling itself social science, had begun in England.  This movement was much more closely allied to the problems of social reform, such as social legislation, sanitation, education, jurisprudence and legal reform, punishment and reformation, and population, (these are actual group divisions of their programs) than to either moral philosophy or the philosophy of history.  Social science in England conformed to the cultural environment and grew rapidly in the interest of social and industrial reorganization.  In the late eighteen-fifties the British National Association for the Promotion of Social Science was meeting annually and publishing annual volumes of more than seven hundred pages.  Several leading Americans were occasional attendants upon these meetings and were studying the British social science movement.  There were also Americans present at the first international congress of social science held at Brussels in 1861.



The Civil War quickened the interests of many of our most thoughtful men and women in developing some unified science that could deal with social problems and in i86z the Association for the Advance­ment of Social Science was organized in New York City. In 1862 the American Social Science Association was established in Boston, after a local association had been formed in the same city in the spring of that year.  The call for the organization of the national association was made by the Massachusetts Board of State Charities, of which F. B. Sanborn was Secretary and Samuel G. Howe a member.  Various local or branch social science associations were soon formed in Quincy, Mass., New Haven, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, and Galveston.  State social science bodies were organized in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.  The state organizations had much to do with the promoting of more effective work with the dependent, defective, and delinquent classes in those states.  Most of these state and local organizations have long since been abandoned or transformed into other less general organizations, such as state conferences of charities and corrections, now known as conferences of social work.  Thus the all-inclusiveness and generality of the interests of the social science associations have for the most part


steadily diminished as their activities have been increasingly professionalized.  The national association itself disappeared in 1909, although some attempts at its revival on a different basis have been made.  The Philadelphia association, formed in 1869, has shown the greatest vitality and still continues to discharge practically the same general social science functions for which it was organized, under the present title of The American Academy of Political and Social Science, adopted in December, 1889.

The academic and literary aspects of the development of the new synthetic discipline of Social Science show similar historical curves.  In 1858-59, H. C. Carey published a large three-volume work on Social Science, and many other books bearing closely similar titles appeared in the next two decades, all of them emphasizing strongly the applied aspects of social science, and most of them being mainly treatises on economic and social reform, perhaps more often of economic than of social ills.  Oberlin was apparently the first college to add the new subject to its curriculum, offering, 1858-1871, a course on social and political science.  Perry at Williams included the subject in his course in political economy in 1865.  Pennsylvania instituted a course on social science in 1868, and many other colleges followed with courses bearing the same title, among them being Michigan, Yale, Cornell (where Sanborn himself gave the course), Missouri, Iowa, and Columbia.  But by 1890 social science as a special social science discipline was being rapidly replaced by sociology, although several institutions continue to carry the title social science in their curricular organization to this day.



The new social science was little more successful than had been the other attempts at unifying the whole field of human social knowledge and of devising universally valid sanctions and criteria of action.  There were several reasons for this failure.  Perhaps the most important of these was the growing inability of any one mind to grasp the whole range of the rapidly increasing funds of social knowledge.  Another reason was the fact that the rapidly expanding industrial order was creating a vast number of social problems which could not wait to be investigated and controlled until they were assimilated to and harmonized with the whole fund of social knowledge and endeavor.  Thus, just as social problems were constantly growing up locally and in various fields of human relations, so were interpretations and solutions being worked out in the same local and piecemeal manner.  A third cause of failure was the fact that most of the men and women who organized the American Social Science Association were interested primarily in social reform.  This fact doubtless made them more painfully aware of the lack of ideological unity in the field of social science as a basis for effective sanctions and criteria for their ameliorative work, but it also rendered them less able to achieve the very unity they sought.  A group of theorists who did not feel the pressure for rapid results might have done much more toward the creation of a unified social science.  A fourth factor of importance was the spread of the Comtean and Spencerian sociologies, especially after 1871, which had worked out much more logical and vastly more complete theoretical bases for the unification of all science, and particularly of the social sciences, especially on the bases of classification and method.  It was but natural that sociology should supplant social science as an integrative movement in the social sciences.  The decade of the eighteen-nineties was largely devoted by the sociolo-


gists to this attempt at integration, and Small continued his endeavors in this direction until 1910, when he published his Meaning of Social Science.  Even his Origins of Sociology (1914) shows that he had not given up the attempt entirely more than a decade later.

But the attempt was, for the time being, futile.  The social sciences were expanding so rapidly that they utterly refused to be bound or restricted in their development by any consideration of unity.  Their growth was partly an administrative matter, and consequently personal jealousies entered into the situation.  But prosperity also brought individualism and individualization to the social sciences as well as to individuals in the years between 1900 and 1920.  By 1920 the various social sciences were in many respects overdeveloped, although in other respects they were still underdeveloped.  One of the most evident facts connected with their development was that they had expanded across traditional boundary lines and were overlapping one another.  This overlapping began before 1900, but it had become acute by 1910.  It is now difficult, for example, to distinguish current history from the other social sciences, social economics and political psychology from sociology, or the fiscal aspects of economics from political science.  All of the social sciences are now of their own initiative approximating at many points the sociological viewpoint which Small vainly attempted to establish as a logical postulate.  On the other hand, sociology has largely forgotten to assert its earlier claims as the unifying social science and has turned to do the work of investigation, teaching, and writing that lies nearest at hand.  There are some indications, even, that a newer generation of economists, political scientists, educationists, and psychologists, may call upon some of its theorists to plan the work of correlating the fields and activities of the social sciences which formerly they severally repudiated.  Or, it may be that the continued expansion of the boundaries of the various social sciences may ultimately result in the wiping out of all important boundary lines and the separate social sciences may disappear in a functional unity and reappear as the unified social science so ardently sought in the middle of the nineteenth century.  Perhaps the chief obstacle to this consummation at the present time is the existence of administrative boundary lines in our universities, with very evident personal jealousies behind them.


The American Social Science Association really began to split up in 1870, when it promoted a national prison congress at Cincinnati, under the leadership of E. C. Wines, Z. R. Brockway, and T. W. Dwight.  This congress organized itself into the National Prison Association, which in 1908 was transformed into the American Prison Association, thus taking away from the American Social Science Association some of the intimate support of leaders who had formerly worked through the mother organization.  In 1874 the American Social Science Association likewise promoted the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, which became independent in 1879 and in time largely absorbed the older organization.  The American Social Science Association also contributed to the rejuvenation of the American Statistical Association, which occurred with the election of Walker as president in 1883.  From this same source also came the American Historical Association in 1884 and the American Economic Association in 1885.  The American Anthropological Association arose out of older organizations in 1902.  In


1903 the American Political Science Association developed out of the American Historical Association, and in 1905 the American Sociological Society arose primarily out of the American Economic Association.  If we may justly speak of the associations arising in the eighteen-seventies and eighties as daughter societies we can as properly designate the last two societies as grand daughter associations.  History rarely offers as complete an example of a voluntary organization performing its function of generation or promotion and then retiring from the scene of its former activities to give place to the more extended work of its descendants as has been evident in the career of the American Social Science Association.  Other younger grand daughters, such as the American Country Life Association (1918) and the American Farm Economic Association (1919) should also be included in our list.

The growth of serial publications in connection with these organizations has also been rapid and marked within the last fifty, and especially within the last twenty-five, years.  The New York Society for the Advancement of Social Science, organized in 1861, began in 1865 the publication of an excellent Social Science Review of nearly five hundred pages annually, but this journal was soon discontinued for lack of support.  In the same year the American Social Science Association began publishing their papers and in 1869 they initiated the publication of the Journal of Social Science.  Other social science publications enjoying shorter careers were Papers of the Philadelphia Social Science Association (1871-89); Proceedings and Papers of the Social Science Association of Indiana (Indianapolis, 1882.); and Social Science (New York, 1887).  The Philadelphia association has published its Annals regularly for more than forty years, and it now issues six large volumes annually, constituting the most voluminous of the social science serial publications in this country.  The New York Political Science Association also publishes an important annual.  The various state associations, as well as various local associations, publish more or less complete reports of their meetings.  The reports of the Prison association, of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (now of Social Work), and of the National Education Association have, from their beginnings, constituted standard volumes of distinctive merit.

The American Historical Review was established in 1895, and the Journal of Modern History in 1929.  The Current History Magazine appeared, as the result of the great war, in 1914 as a private venture of the New York Times Company.  The Historical Outlook was also started as a private venture in 1909.  Many of the state historical societies now publish their own reviews, and there is also the important Mississippi Valley Historical Review for the middle west.  The Political Science Quarterly was begun at Columbia University in i886 and the Quarterly Journal of Economics at Harvard in 1886.  The University of Chicago established the Journal of Political Economy in 1891 and the American Journal of Sociology in 1895.  The American Economic Society began to publish its own American Economic Review, in addition to its annual publications, in 1911.  The American Anthropologist started publication under that title in 1888.  The Survey (1897, present title 1909), Social Forces (1922.), Sociology and Social Research (1911), and The Family (1920) are other sociological journals of importance.  The national and local educational journals are too numerous to mention.  The American Political Science Review (1906), the official organ of the American Political


Science Association, The National Municipal Review (1912.), and The American City (1909) are standard political science journals.  Since 1888 the American Statistical Association has had a regular organ, now known as its Journal.  Each of the important social science associations also publishes its annual proceedings, usually amounting to several hundred pages, in addition to whatever periodical it sponsors.  The serial publications of the various social sciences in the United States have now become enormous in quantity and total more than one hundred separate periodicals and annuals.



Graduate work may be said to have begun in earnest in larger educational institutions of this Country after the Civil War, but until in the eighteen-nineties it was still the usual practice of the more ambitious youths who were training for important university positions to go abroad, and especially to Germany, for their graduate degrees.  This remained the prevailing practice until well into the last decade of the century, when there began to be a decline in the curve of the teachers trained abroad, followed by a fairly sharp drop in the first decade of the twentieth century.  Today very few of our social science teachers and investigators go abroad for the major part of their training, and perhaps more go for part of their training to London than to either Germany or France.

We have already referred to the graduate seminars in history established at Michigan, Harvard, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins ,in the eighteen-sixties and seventies.  The seminar method of instruction soon spread also to economics, and in the last decade of the century to political science, sociology, and anthropology. Johns Hopkins University, established primarily for the purpose of promoting graduate study, gave a great impetus to history and the social sciences in the eighteen-eighties.  The founding of the University of Chicago in 1892 immediately offered an equally great stimulus in the same direction.  Now Columbia and Harvard began to develop the same fields of study and research and soon became worthy rivals of their two great competitors.  Michigan, Wisconsin, Yale, and Cornell did not lag far behind.  The development of graduate work in the social sciences has been steady and rapid since 1900.  No fewer than twenty-two major universities are now doing work of this sort of a sufficiently high grade and in such volume as to justify their inclusion in the following list: California, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Illinois, Iowa, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio State, North Carolina, North­western, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Southern California, Stanford, Washington, Wisconsin, and Yale.

In the matter of volume of undergraduate work many other universities have made equally marked progress.  History and the social sciences have now taken their places in the curricula alongside of English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology as the subjects which enroll the largest numbers of students.  They no longer struggle for a place in the course of study, but are the most liberally elected of all the non-required subjects offered by the universities and colleges.



Research work has never been wanting in the social sciences of this country, but it has grown steadily, both in volume and in quality, in the last half century, and especially in the last quarter century.  Under the stimulus of the new critical history, research was first applied on a


large scale in the field of history, and especially in connection with the state historical societies and the seminars mentioned above.  A series of brilliant historical writers and teachers, especially in American history, produced valuable research results throughout the nineteenth century.  Most of this work was at first in connection with official documents, and had to do with constitutional history, local government, or other institutional activities, but the work of McMaster with newspaper materials, unpublished manuscripts, letters, etc., liberalized historical research and directed attention to the reconstruction of the everyday life of the people.  The economic historians followed the same general lead, as did the economists and sociologists.  Statistical studies, never neglected, became increasingly significant in the last third of the nineteenth century, owing to the growing importance of economic life and the use of public record keeping.  The national and state governments have for some fifty years improved constantly their public statistics and their periodical surveys of economic, health, and social conditions.  Private surveys, following the English models, were made early, and the Survey of Maine (1829) was a work of considerable importance.  The survey became especially popular in this country after 1890, and resulted in a flood of surveys from about 1905 to the close of the great war.  One of the most notable of the early undertakings of this sort was the Pittsburgh Survey of 1907.  One of the leading applied sociological journals was renamed The Survey (1909) as a result.  Various church foundations, state agricultural colleges and universities, state bureaus, and even the federal government went in extensively for surveys on a large scale.  These were both statistical and generally descriptive in character.  The Russell Sage Foundation organized its energies very largely for survey activities at this period.  The result of all of these surveys was the collection of a vast amount of data regarding contemporary society which could be used for study and further interpretation.

In more recent years the trend in research has been toward more intensive analyses of restricted problems or local situations.  The various research activities here described indicate a decided shift from the historical emphasis over to the collection and study of contemporary data as a means to the interpretation and control of existing society.  The origins of contemporary society having been in a measure determined, the energies of the researchers have more recently been turned in the direction of the analysis of this society itself as a basis for the application of social science to its direction and control.  For the first time in human history, man is making a serious attempt to direct the development of society on the basis of ascertained facts, instead of on the basis of traditions, beliefs, and mere assumptions.



The last quarter century has also witnessed the establishment of previously undreamed of opportunities and facilities for research in the social sciences.  The Russell Sage Foundation was established exactly twenty-five years ago in 1907.  This organization was followed by the Carnegie Foundation (1911), the Laura Spelmen Rockefeller Memorial (1918) and the Commonwealth Fund (1918).  Lately the Rockefeller Foundation through a Social Science Division has made large grants.  In recent years these research foundations have greatly multiplied and the National Research Council and the Social Science Research Council have arisen as clearing houses for research un-


dertakings.  The universities have also increased their grants to research and have improved their research facilities rapidly.  The Yale Institute of Human Relations, established in 1926, now has some seven and a half millions of dollars at its disposal for social science research and a constantly growing organization.  The University of Chicago has constructed a $2,000,000 social science research building, for the coordination and housing of its various types of research in the social sciences and for providing the necessary equipment.  Other universities are moving in the same direction.  One of the marked features of social science research activities everywhere is the growth of coordinating councils for the encouragement of cooperation in research planning and execution.  Along with the rapid development of research enterprise has, quite naturally, arisen the need of more adequate publication facilities.  We have already noted the rapid increase in periodical literature since 1890.  University presses have also been established in connection with many of the larger universities which take care of some of the research output, and other demands for the publication of research findings are met by private enterprise and by grants from foundations.

On the whole, it may be said that research is one of the major interests and activities of modern society in the United States and that the publication of research findings is a chief public and private concern.  The absorption of the results of research in university and public school text-book making and teaching has kept pace quite successfully with the work of the researchers.  The chief lag in the application of the findings of the researchers has been in the fields of legislation and public administration.