The fact that the University of Michigan’s library was able to acquire the personal library of the Heidelberg economics professor Karl Heinrich Rau (1792-1870) in 1871 and thereby increase its holdings by an estimated 20-25% has fascinated me. I was curious to find out more about the man who paid $1200 (gold-basis) for Rau’s books and pamphlets.
This post assembles five articles on German universities published by one of the founders of the American Economic Association, its twelfth president Edmund Janes James who like many of his contemporaries received his training in economics in Germany. It is interesting to see how in the 1880’s “Seminar” was italicized as a foreign word. Visitors
12 months ago
While surfing through some early volumes (1890-1895) of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, I stumbled across the following announcement for a Berlin set of a dozen public courses to be held by distinguished scholars (of course the courses would have been offered in German, but it is handy here
___________________ An excerpt from a newspaper report comparing political economy as taught in New York at Columbia University with political economy as taught in Berlin was published in the Columbia University Bulletin in 1897. The unnamed author of the report concluded that “the primacy which Germany enjoyed a few years ago has passed away”. Compare this to a report (1884) overflowing with praise for the
The economist Richard T. Ely was 25 years of age with a freshly earned Heidelberg doctorate when he wrote the following article on American colleges and German universities in late 1879 or early 1880 while still in Germany. According to his autobiography, he was down to his last three pfennige when the check came in
The Cornell professor of history Herbert Tuttle, America’s leading expert on all matters Prussian, wrote the following warning in 1883 against the wholesale adoption of German academic training in the social sciences. Here we see a clear battle-line that was drawn between classic liberal political economy in the Anglo-Saxon tradition and mercantilism-made-socialism from the European
The “Seminary” was the graduate student research workshop of its day. This innovation that combined research with graduate education was imported from Germany at the end of the nineteenth century. The historian Herbert Baxter Adams at the Johns Hopkins University provides us with a wonderful tour of the leading German seminaries of history, art/archeology, economics and statistics.