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Harvard. Pre-Radcliffe economics instruction for women, 1879-1893

 

Before there was a Radcliffe College, there was  “A Society for the Private Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and other Instructors of Harvard College”. Below are excerpts mostly relating to political economy and economics courses from the fourteen reports that preceeded the official establishment of Radcliffe College in 1893/94. I have highlighted the economics references but definitely recommend reading the other text as well. For several years early on enrollments in economics were actually zero. By 1892 seventeen women were enrolled in the introductory economics course. The course descriptions get more detailed in the last half-dozen or so reports.

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REPORT OF THE WORK OF THE FIRST YEAR.
[1879-80]

The Managers of the plan for the Private Collegiate Instruction for Women by Professors and other Instructors of Harvard College take pleasure in making the following Report to the supporters of the undertaking. Funds amounting to more than sixteen thousand dollars were subscribed, by a small number of persons payable at various times within four years from the beginning of the work, according to the needs of the Managers. The Report of the Treasurer, given below, shows the sums paid in, and the mode of their expenditure during the year. The movement was first brought to public notice by a circular issued February 22, 1879. The requisites for admission to the courses of instruction were published in a second circular, issued April 19, and the first examination was held at Cambridge, September 24-27, after which the classes began to receive instruction immediately. Twenty-seven ladies began the year, one of whom soon after left to study abroad, and another withdrew on account of the difficulty of coming to Cambridge regularly while living in another town. The remaining twenty-five continued through the year. At the examination four ladies were examined on a preparatory course the same as that required for admission to college, one on a course akin to that of the Women’s Examination and the remainder in one or more branches. Three began a regular course, the studies taken being the same as those of a first year’s course in college. Another began a four years’ course of advanced studies. The others were special students, of whom thirteen took one study, four took two, and four took four.

Of the different departments of study,

Greek was taken by 6;
Latin by 9;
Sanskrit by 1;
English by 5;
German by 5;
French by 6;
Philosophy by 4;
Political Economy by 6;
History by 4;
Music by 1;
Mathematics by 7;
Physics by 3;
Botany by 5.

 

In Greek, three read Lysias, Plato, and Homer with Mr. L. B. R. Briggs.

One studied Greek Composition and Written Translation with Mr. White.

Two read the Agamemnon and Eumenides of Aeschylus, and Thucydides with Mr Goodwin.

In Latin, five read Livy and the Odes of Horace with Mr. Hale.

Three studied Latin Composition and Translation at Sight with Mr. Gould.

Two read Pliny’s Letters and Tacitus with Mr. Lane.

In Sanskrit, one studied with Mr. Greenough.

In English, four studied Composition with Mr. Hill.

In German, four took the elementary course with Mr. Bartlett.

One studied German Composition and Oral Exercises, and German Literature from Luther to Lessing, with Mr. Sheldon.

Two studied Goethe and German Literature of the XIX. Century with Mr. Bartlett.

In French, three took Mr. Bôcher’s course in La Fontaine, Racine, Taine, and Alfred de Musset.

Two studied the Literature of the XIX. Century with Mr. Jacquinot.

In Philosophy, three studied Metaphysics and Logic with Mr. Palmer.

In Political Economy, six studied with Mr. [James Laurence] Laughlin.

In History, one studied the period of the Revival of Learning and the Reformation with Mr. Emerton.

Two studied the period of the French Revolution with Mr. Bendelari.

In Music, one studied Harmony and Counterpoint with Mr. Paine.

In Mathematics, two studied Solid Geometry, Plane Trigonometry, and Advanced Algebra with Mr. G. R. Briggs.

Three studied Analytical Geometry with Mr. Byerly.

Two studied the Differential and Integral Calculus with Mr. J. M. Peirce.

One received instruction from Mr. Benjamin Peirce in Quaternions.

In Physics, three studied Descriptive Physics, — Mechanics, Light, and Heat with Mr. Willson.

In Natural History, three received Laboratory Instruction in the Microscopic Anatomy, Physiology, and Development of Plants with Mr. Goodale.

Regular examinations were held in the middle and at the end of the year, which were passed by the students with credit.

Recitation rooms were rented in two private houses on Appian Way, and there was also provided a separate apartment for the convenience of students who need a place where they can spend the intervals between recitations. Here some of the instructors have left books of reference from time to time. The students have been encouraged to make free use of this room. Blackboards, tables, etc., have been provided for there citation rooms

During the year the Secretary has kept a list of the names of those private families in which students could find board and lodging. On this list only such names were recorded as were approved by the Managers.

There has been no difficulty in finding comfortable and suitable homes for those students who were not provided for by their friends.

 

There are now forty-two ladies in the following classes:—

In Greek, 4 classes, and 18 students.
In Latin, 4 classes, and 15 students.
In English, 2 classes, and 10 students.
In German, 3 classes, and 10 students.
In French, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Italian, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Philosophy, 2 classes, and 8 students.
In Pol. Econ’y, 1 class, and 1 student.
In History, 3 classes, and 8 students.
In Mathematics, 4 classes, and 10 students.
In Physics, 1 class, and 4 students.
In Botany, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Astronomy, 2 classes, and 3 students.

The twenty-nine classes are taught by seven Professors, four Assistant Professors and twelve Instructors.

Ten ladies are pursuing the regular course of four years. Of the remainder, twenty-one take one course, seven take two curses, and four take four courses.

ARTHUR GILMAN,
Secretary.

Cambridge, Nov. 10, 1880

 

Source: Private Collegiate Instruction for Women in Cambridge, Mass. Courses of Study for 1880-81, with Requisitions for Admission and Report of the First Year. Cambridge, Mass.: William H. Wheeler, 1880. Pages 12-15.

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Courses of Study for the Year 1880-1881

Two hours of instruction a week will be given in all courses not otherwise designated.

VIII. POLITICAL ECONOMY.

  1. Principles of Political Economy. Financial Legislation of the United States. Mr. Laughlin

  2. Advanced Course. Cairnes’ Leading Principles of Political Economy. Blanqui’s History of Political Economy. Mr. Laughlin

 

Source: Private Collegiate Instruction for Women in Cambridge, Mass. Courses of Study for 1880-81, with Requisitions for Admission and Report of the First Year. Cambridge, Mass.: William H. Wheeler, 1880. Pages 3, 5.

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WORK OF THE SECOND YEAR
[1880-81]

During the second year of the operation of the plan for the Private Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and other Instructors of Harvard College, forty-seven ladies were connected with the classes.

Numbers in the Classes.

The following table exhibits the numbers in the different classes: —

In Greek, 4 classes, and 21 students.
In Latin, 4 classes, and 17 students.
In English, 2 classes, and 9 students.
In German, 3 classes, and 11 students.
In French, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Italian, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Philosophy, 2 classes, and 9 students.
In Pol. Econ’y, 1 class, and 1 student.
In History, 3 classes, and 12 students.
In Mathematics, 4 classes, and 11 students.
In Physics, 1 class, and 5 students.
In Botany, 1 class, and 2 students.
In Astronomy, 2 classes, and 4 students.

 

The twenty-nine classes were taught by eight Professors, three Assistant-Professors and twelve Instructors of Harvard College, and the instruction given is a repetition of that of the College in the different departments.

 

Work in the Class Room.

There were four classes in Greek. Three ladies read in Aeschylus, Pindar and Aristotle with Mr. Goodwin.

Three studied Greek Composition and Written Translation at Sight with Mr. White.

Four read from Plato (Phaedo), Sophocles (Ajax) and Euripides (Medea) with Mr. Wheeler.

Ten read Plato’s Apology and Crito, and Homer’s Odyssey with Mr. Briggs.

The Latin classes were the following: – Mr. Lane had three in Pliny’s Letters, Horace, Plautus and Cicero.

Mr. J.H. Wheeler had three in Composition and Translation at Sight.

Mr. Greenough had three in Cicero’s Epistles, Terence and the Epistles of Horace.

Mr. Gould had nine in the Odes and Epodes of Horace, Cicero de Amicitia and Composition.

In English, Mr. Hill had four in Composition and five in Literature.

In German, Mr. Bartlett had three in Parzival and other mediaeval poems, and five in Elementary German.

Mr. Sheldon had three in the Romantic School, Lyric Poetry and the practice of writing German.

In French Mr. Jacquinot had two in the study of French Prose.

In Italian, two took the elementary course under Mr. Bendelari.

In Philosophy, Mr. Palmer had six in Metaphysics and Logic and three in the study of Locke, Berkeley and Hume.

In Political Economy, Mr. [James Laurence] Laughlin gave the advance course to one student who had begun the study the previous year.

In History, Mr. Emerton had three in the European History of the Middle Ages.

Mr. MacVane had one in the Mediaeval and Modern History of France and England, who had begun the previous year.

Mr. Young had eight in an Introduction to the Study of History. This was a course of lectures begun by Mr. Emerton, but resigned to Mr. Young on account of an unexpected pressure of other work.

In Mathematics, Mr. Peirce had one student in Quaternions.

Mr. Byerly had two in the Differential Calculus.

Mr. H.N. Wheeler had two in Analytic Geometry.

Mr. Briggs had six in Solid Geometry, Plan Trigonometry and Algebra.

In Physics, Mr. Willson had five in Descriptive Physics, — Mechanics, Light and Heat.

In Botany, Mr. Goodale had four in Laboratory Instruction in the Microscopic Anatomy, Physiology and Development of Plants.

In Astronomy, Mr. Waldo had two students in Descriptive and Practical Astronomy.

 

Readings and Lectures.

The Calendar of the University has been regularly posted upon our bulletin-board, and the students thus notified of the Lectures by the Professors, and the Readings from classical authors, to which they were privileged to go. A number of them have been present at the readings by Professor Child from Chaucer, at the lectures of Professor Lanman on the Veda, and at the Greek readings of Professors Goodwin, White, and Palmer, and of Mr. Dyer and Mr. Briggs. The performance of the Oedipus Tyrannus in Sanders Theatre was an extraordinary opportunity for becoming acquainted with a phase of Greek literature and life which was of as great advantage to the young ladies as to the students of the University.

 

Courses Offered but not Called For.

A comparison of the studies actually pursued by the young ladies and the electives offered in the circular at the beginning of the year shows that thirty-one courses of instruction, offered by twenty-three instructors, were not called for by actual students. Though some of the present students will take some of these courses at other stages of their progress, the comparison seems to indicate on the part of women seeking the higher education a tendency towards the traditional classical curriculum and not towards science, and that the preparatory schools offer advantages for obtaining a knowledge of French and Italian sufficient for most women. All the courses in Greek were taken.

The following list shows the courses not called for:—

LATIN. Latin Poetical Literature, Lectures on the Latin Poets. MR. SMITH. – Cicero, Lucretius and Seneca. MR. GOULD.

SANSKRIT and Comparative Philology. MR GREENOUGH.

ENGLISH. Milton. Lectures on English Literature. MR. PERRY. – Elocution. MR. TICKNOR.

GERMAN. Niebelungenlied or Gudrun. Selections from Goethe or Schiller. MR. LUTZ. — German Literature (Goethe, Schiller and Jean Paul). DR. HEDGE.

FRENCH. Elementary Course. French Prose. MR. JACQUINOT. – Romance Philology. MR. SHELDON and MR. BENDELARI.

ITALIAN. Elementary Course. MR. BENDELARI. — Dante. MR. NORTON.

SPANISH. Course by MR. BENDELARI.

PHILOSOPHY. Psychology. DR. JAMES. – German Philosophy (Critical Study of Kant, Hegel or Schopenhauer). DR. EVERETT. – Ethics. DR. PEABODY. – Advanced Logic. DR. PEABODY.

POLITICAL ECONOMY. Principles. Financial Legislation of the United States. MR. [James Laurence] LAUGHLIN.

HISTORY. The French Revolution. MR. BENDELARI. – The First Ten Christian Centuries or Catholic Civilization of the Middle Ages. Mr. ALLEN.

MUSIC. Harmony and Counterpoint. History of Music. The Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and their successors. (Three distinct courses.) MR. PAINE.

MATHEMATICS. Cosmical Physics. Prof. BENJAMIN PEIRCE.

PHYSICS. Experimental Physics. (Mayer’s Treatise on Light and Sound.) MR. TROWBRIDGE.

MINERALOGY. Crystallography. Mineralogy. MR. MELVILLE.

NATURAL HISTORY. Physical Geography, Structural Geology and Meteorology. MR. DAVIS. – Elementary Botany. Under direction of MR. GOODALE. – Zoology. Lectures by MR. MARK. – Laboratory Work in the Anatomy and Histology of Animals. MR. MARK

[…]

The Future.

The Managers do not make prognostications regarding the future. Their simple purpose from the beginning has been to try the experiment of offering to women advantages that had previously been given to men only. They have in no way endeavored to attract students, but have merely proposed to supply the demands made upon them by duplicating the courses of instruction given in the College. Their success has been beyond their expectations. They have proved that there exists in the community a class of women capable of taking this grade of instruction, and requiring it. The co-operation of the Instructors of the College has been so cheerfully rendered and their work so carefully done that nothing is left to be desired in that direction.

The students have conducted themselves in a manner so exemplary and in all respects satisfactory, notwithstanding the almost entire freedom to which they have been left, that they have rendered the work of both Managers and Instructors pleasant, and have prepared the public to support the movement with heartiness.

The preparatory schools find that there is an increase in the number of young women taking the classical course, and they will soon become more effectual feeders to our classes. The prospect seems to be that the number of students entering for the course of four years will regularly increase, but a rapid augmentation of numbers can hardly be expected.

The Managers raised funds at the beginning of their work, sufficient, in their opinion, to carry it forward four years. Two of those have passed and the funds have not been drawn upon to so great an extent as was anticipated. It may be that the work can be continued for six years, but at the end of that time the Managers will consider that their work has been accomplished.

If, at that time, it appears that it is desirable to make the work permanent, the responsibility will be laid upon the public. Large funds will be required, and the Managers doubt not that they will be contributed.

The endowment at Cambridge of an Institution for Women of the high grade that the Managers have in view would be an honor to women, and women will be found ready to make it sure.

ARTHUR GILMAN.
Secretary

Cambridge, Mass.
December 10, 1881.

 

Source: Private Collegiate Instruction for Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Second Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary. Cambridge, Mass.: William H. Wheeler, 1881. Pages 3-6, 10.

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THE SOCIETY FOR THE COLLEGIATE INSTRUCTION OF WOMEN.
THIRD YEAR.
[1881-82]

The year that has just closed marks an era in the history of the instruction of women by the Professors and other Instructors of Harvard College, for during it the. Managers have obtained a Charter under the seal of the State of Massachusetts, and a legal name, “The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women.”

The Charter states the objects of the organization to be to promote the education of women with the assistance of the Instructors in, Harvard University, “and for this purpose it empowers the Society to “employ teachers, furnish instruction, give aid to deserving students, procure and hold books, suitable apparatus ,and lands and buildings for the accommodation of officers, teachers and students,” to “perform all acts appropriate to the main purpose of the Association.” and to transfer “the whole or any part of its funds or property to the President and Fellows of Harvard College,” whenever the same can be so done as to advance the purpose for which the Society is chartered, in a manner satisfactory to the Association.

The Charter is ample for the present needs of the Society, and places it in a position to receive funds and to hold and administer them legally for the purposes of the collegiate instruction of women. It makes it practicable for the Society to raise a proper endowment to establish the work upon a permanent basis, and it seems that the moment has arrived when the contribution of an adequate fund will found an institution that will give women advantages in Cambridge equal to those enjoyed from time immemorial by their more favored brothers. The students are here in considerable numbers, and they are properly prepared for the instruction that is offered for them. Others are now passing through preparatory courses with the intention of coming here, and there is a prospect that the classes will be kept up year by year by a succession of earnest women who will go out to raise the average of intelligence throughout various portions of the land.

It may be said with some confidence that a fund of one-tenth the size of that represented by the property and endowments of Harvard University, contributed to this Society now, will give women greater privileges than are within their reach in America, and will make them permanent.

The Society not Creating, but Satisfying a Demand.

It is not the purpose of the Society to stimulate a demand for the education that it offers. Its directors have never held the doctrine that it is the duty of every young woman to pass through a regular course of study such as is represented by the four years’ course of the candidates for the Bachelor’s degree in College. It is their wish simply to offer to women advantages for this highest instruction, and to admit to the privileges of the Society any who may actually need them.

The teachers of America are to a large degree women, and it is desirable that all women who select this profession should be as well prepared to perform its duties as the men are who are engaged in similar work. But it is not teachers only who wish the highest cultivation of the mental powers. Many women study with us for the sake of the general addition to their knowledge. It is not demanded that every man who takes a collegiate course shall become a teacher, and more must not be expected of women.

Numbers of Students in the Different Classes.

 

Department No. of Classes. No. of Students.
Greek 4 23
Latin 4 16
English 4 25
German 4 14
French 2 4
Italian 1 1
Fine Arts 1 1
History 2 11
Mathematics 4 12
Physics 1 3
Botany 1 5

 

[…]

Courses Offered but not Taken

Latin. One course offered was not called for.
Sanskrit. Two courses.
English. One course.
French. Two courses.
Italian. One course.
Spanish. One course.
Philosophy. One course.
Political Economy. Two courses.
History. Three courses.
Fine Arts. One course.
Music. Three courses.
Astronomy. Two courses.
Mineralogy. Two courses.
Physical Geography. One course.
Meteorology. One course.
Botany. One course.
Zoology. Two courses. (One of Lectures and one of Laboratory Work.)

It appears that twenty-eight courses were given during the year, and twenty-seven that were offered were not given. This shows that the courses offered are for the present beyond the immediate demand for any one year, but, as the demand varies from year to year, with the progress of the different classes and the differing tastes and needs, of the students, the list of electives cannot be curtailed to advantage.

It will be seen that the managers have endeavored to use a liberal discretion in the application of the privilege reserved to them, of withholding any course not applied for by three properly prepared candidates. They have waived the rule in the case of any student whose stage of progress made any special course a necessity for her during the year. It must at times happen that the highest courses will be applied for by small numbers, and in such cases the rule must be occasionally waived, or the most advanced students discouraged.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Third Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary. Cambridge, Mass.: William H. Wheeler, 1882. Pages   3-5 ,7-8.

________________________

 

From Fifth Year [1883-84] Annual Report

Department No. of Classes. No. of Students
1882-83. 1883-84. 1882-83. 1883-84.
Sanskrit 0 1 0 1
Greek 5 6 23 43
Latin 4 4 22 27
English 3 4 15 38
German 3 3 14 18
French 1 1 4 5
Philosophy 1 2 5 11
Music 0 1 0 3
History 3 2 9 12
Mathematics 2 2 11 10
Physics 1 1 8 5
Astronomy 2 0 4 0
Botany 2 1 5 9
Totals 27 28 120 182

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Fifth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1884. p. 9.

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From Sixth Year [1884-85] Annual Report

 

Department No. of Classes.
1884-85.
No. of Students.
1884-85.
Greek 4 25
Latin 5 31
English 4 59
German 3 16
French 2 12
Philosophy 3 16
Political Economy 1 9
History 4 20
Mathematics 3 16
Physics 1 6
Zoology 1 4
Totals 31 214

[…]

Political Economy.

Nine heard lectures from Professor [James Laurence] Laughlin on Banking and on Finance, and studied under him Mill’s Principles of Political Economy.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Sixth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1885, p. 9, 11

 

_______________________

From Seventh Year [1885-86] Annual Report
November 16, 1886

[…]

Political Economy.

Professor [James Laurence] Laughlin. Mill’s Principles of Political Economy. Lectures on Banking and the Financial Legislation of the United States.—6 [students].

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Seventh Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1886, p. 12

________________________

 

From Eighth Year [1886-87] Annual Report
October 25, 1887

[…]

Political Economy.

Professor [James Laurence] Laughlin. Mill’s Principles of Political Economy. Dunbar’s Chapters on Banking. Lectures.—7 [students].

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Eighth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1887, p. 11.

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From Ninth Year [1887-88] Annual Report
November 5, 1888

[…]

Political Economy.

Professor [James Laurence] Laughlin and Mr. Coggeshall. — Mill’s Principles of Political Economy. Dunbar’s Chapters on Banking. Lectures on Money, Finance, Labor and Capital, Coöperation, Socialism and Taxation.—5 [students].

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Ninth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1888, p. 18.

________________________

From Tenth Year [1888-89] Annual Report
October 29, 1889

[…]

Political Economy.

Professor [Frank William] Taussig and Mr. [Francis Cleaveland] Huntington. 1st half year. “Principles of Political Economy.” J. S. Mill (Laughlin’s Edition) Books I, II, III, and IV. Lectures on Co-operation (Mr. Taussig). 2nd half year, “Some Leading Principles of Political Economy.” J. E. Cairnes. The whole book except Chapters 4 and 5 of Part I. “History of Bimetallism in the United States.” J. L. Laughlin.—7 students.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Tenth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1889, p. 16.

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From Eleventh Year [1889-90] Annual Report
October 28, 1890

[…]

Political Economy.

Mr. [Edward Campbell] Mason. First half year. Principles of Political Economy. J. S. Mill. Books I, II (omitting Chapters V-X), III (Chapters I-XVI). Second half-year. The working Principles of Political Economy, by S. M. Macvane. Chapters XXV XXVI. Principles of Political Economy. J. S. Mill. Books III (Chapters XVII, XVIII), V (Chapters I-VII). Some Leading Principles of Political Economy, by J. E. Cairnes. The whole book except Chapter 5, Part I.—5 students.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Eleventh Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1890, p. 25.

________________________

From Twelfth Year [1890-91] Annual Report
October 27, 1891

[…]

Political Economy.

Mr. [Edward Campbell] Mason and Mr. [William Morse] Cole — Mill’s Principles of Political Economy: Book I; Book II, Chap. XI et seq; Book III, to chap. XXIV; Book IV, to chap. VII. Cairnes’s Some Leading Principles of Political Economy. Lectures: Socialism; Banking; Recent Financial History in U. S. During the first half year attention was given to the main principles of Political Economy. In the second half-year the object was to illustrate the application of principles dealt with in the first half-year, and to give general information on certain economic questions of practical importance. The work was mainly descriptive and historical and was carried on partly by lectures and partly by the discussion of the books mentioned above.—8 students.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Twelfth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1891, p. 23.

________________________

From Thirteenth Year [1891-92] Annual Report
October 25, 1892

[…]

Political Economy.

(Primarily for Undergraduates.)

Professor [Frank William] Taussig and Mr. [William Morse] Cole. — Mill’s Principles of Political Economy: Production; Wages, Profits, Rent; Value; Money and Credit; International Trade; Progress of Society; Taxation. Cairnes’s Some Leading Principles of Political Economy. Lectures; Social Questions, Banking, Recent Financial History in the United States. During three-quarters of the year attention was given to the main principles of Political Economy. During the remainder of the year the work consisted of the application of principles and the description of some leading economic features of society. — 17 students.

 

(For Graduates and Undergraduates.)

Mr. [Edward] Cummings. — The Principles of Sociology. — Development of the Modern State, and of its Social Functions.

An introductory course in sociology, intended to give a comprehensive view of the structure and development of society in relation to some of the more characteristic ethical and industrial tendencies of the present day.

The course began with a hypothetical consideration of the relation of the individual to society and to the State-with a view to pointing out some theoretical misconceptions and practical errors traceable to an illegitimate use of the fundamental analogies and metaphysical formulas found in Comte, Spencer, P. Leroy Beaulieu, Schaeffle, and other publicists.

The second part followed more in detail the ethical and economic growth of society. Beginning with the development of social instincts manifested in voluntary organization, it considered the genesis and theory of natural rights, the function of legislation, the sociological significance of the status of women and of the family and other institutions — with a view to tracing the evolution of certain types of society based upon a more or less complete recognition of the social ideals already considered.

The last part dealt with certain tendencies of the modern state, discussing especially the province and limits of state activity, with some comparison of the Anglo-Saxon and the continental theory and practice in regard to private initiative and state intervention in relation to public works, industrial development, philanthropy, education, labor organization, and the like.

Each student selected for special investigation some question closely related to the theoretical or practical aspects of the course; and a certain amount of systematic reading was expected. — 6 students.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Thirteenth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1892, pp. 25-26.

________________________

From Fourteenth Year [1892-93] Annual Report
October 31, 1893

[…]

History

(Primarily for Graduates.)

Professors [William J.] Ashley and [Abert Bushnell] Hart.— Seminary in Economic and American History. The purpose of this research course was to train students in the use of sources, in the collection of material, and in reaching independent results on important questions. Each student had frequent conferences with one or other of the instructors; the general exercises were lectures on methods by the instructors, and papers prepared by the students as reports of their work. The subjects studied were Manumission in America; the early phases of the Anti-slavery movement; the Freedman’s Bureau; Serfdom in England; the Black Death; and the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381. The students had the use of the Harvard College Library and of the various Boston libraries. — 6 students (1 graduate).

[…]

Economic [sic].

(Primarily for Undergraduates.)

Professor [William J.] Ashley and Mr. [William Morse] Cole. — The first half-year was devoted to a consideration of the main conceptions of Political Economy, and the work took the form of recitations based upon Mill’s Principles.
The class read the chapters on the functions of labor, capital and land and the laws governing their increase; on the distribution of produce among laborers, capitalists and landholders; on the exchange value, both domestic and international, of commodities; on the functions of money and the laws governing its value; on the influence of progress upon the production and distribution of wealth. The class-room work consisted of general informal discussion suggested by the chapters read, with the intent that the students should acquire facility in independent thinking upon economic subjects.
The second half-year was chiefly occupied by lectures on Socialism, Methods of Industrial Remuneration, Taxation, Protection, Banking and Currency. Students were required to read certain portions of Rae, Contemporary Socialism, Schloss, Methods of Industrial Remuneration, Dunbar, Banking, Taussig, Silver Situation, and other works. — 8 students.

 

Professor [William J.] Ashley. — The Economic History of Europe and America, down to the Eighteenth Century. This course of lectures and exercises dealt with the following topics, among others; the scope and purpose of economic history; the agricultural and industrial organization of the Roman Empire, — the villae and collegia; the tribal system of the Celts, Teutons, and Slavs; the problem of the origin of the manor; the manor in its complete form, and its subsequent transformation; the rise of commerce and industry, and the history of merchant gilds and craft gilds in relation thereto; the organization of international trade in the Middle Ages; the agricultural changes of the Sixteenth Century in England and elsewhere; the great trading companies; the woollen trade of England, and the domestic system of industry; the transition from English to American agrarian conditions. — 8 students.

 

(For Graduates and Undergraduates.)

Mr. [Edward] Cummings. — The Principles of Sociology. — Development of the Modern State, and of its Social Functions. An introductory course in sociology, intended to give a comprehensive view of the structure and development of society in relation to some of the more characteristic ethical and industrial tendencies of the present day.
The course began with a hypothetical consideration of the relation of the individual to society and to the State — with a view to pointing out some theoretical misconceptions and practical errors traceable to an illegitimate use of the fundamental analogies and metaphysical formulas found in Comte, Spencer, P. Leroy Beaulieu, Schaeffle, and other publicists.
The second part followed more in detail the ethical and economic growth of society. Beginning with the development of social instincts manifested in voluntary organization, it considered the genesis and theory of natural rights, the function of legislation, the sociological significance of the status of women and of the family and other institutions — with a view to tracing the evolution of certain types of society based upon a more or less complete recognition of the social ideals already considered.
The last part dealt with certain tendencies of the modern state, discussing especially the province and limits of state activity, with some comparison of the Anglo-Saxon and the continental theory and practice in regard to private initiative and state intervention in relation to public works, industrial development, philanthropy, education, labor organization, and the like.
Each student selected for special investigation some question closely related to the theoretical or practical aspect of the course; and a certain amount of systematic reading was expected. — 3 students.

 

Source: The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women by Professors and Other Instructors of Harvard College. Fourteenth Year Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary, 1893, pp. 34-38.

Image Source: Fay House,   Radcliffe College Archives W359459_1.

 

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier

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