X hits on this document

PDF document

GERMAN HISTORICAL INSTITUTE WASHNGTON, D.C. ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES No. 8 - page 22 / 46

137 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

22 / 46

20

Germanyand the treatment she had received there and the superior attitude of German scholars and officials.16 Likewise, for all his talk of the German seminar system and his praise of the German university, Herbert Baxter Adams did not and did not intend to introduce that system as such into Johns Hopkins, nor did he hold German historical methods in awe. As early as 1887 he wrote to Frederic Bancroft. I have long cherished the notion that our American students devote too exclusive attention to Germany in their foreign study,explaining that only an older brothers hesitations about French morals had prevented him from following his original plan to study in Paris.17 Although the inspiration for a format in which students rather than professors presented their work certainly came from his German experience, he had no illusion that he could replicate the experience of a German seminar in Baltimore, nor did he consider such an end even desirable: The severe method of the German Seminary will never do here where the instructors are young and not as well able to criticize the work as the man who wrote the paper, except as to literary form,he is reported to have said in the Hopkins Seminar. Criticism here is private between pupil and instructor and we all take pains to profit by such criticism. Americans have better notions of refined criticism than the Germans, whose method is brutal. Criticism, not trampling, is valuable.18

Not only was the pioneering generation not prepared to replicate German

scholarly methods, as James Sheehan has noted, but German influence

American history did not produce much American interest

German

history. American historians turned to Germany in order to discover the intellectual tools and institutional basis with which to create their own

national

16

Finch,

17

Holt,

18

Gettleman, ed.,

, 120.

, 99.

, vol.1, May 8, 1884, 3.

Document info
Document views137
Page views137
Page last viewedSun Dec 04 04:25:28 UTC 2016
Pages46
Paragraphs466
Words10602

Comments