Saturday, June 28, 2014

WW1: James Bryce, Oxonian in USA Who Was Missed

Lord Bryce (1838-1922)
June 28, 2014–This day World War I started, and eventually claimed 17 million lives.

James Bryce, 1st Viscount, was an Oxford-trained  historian and diplomat. He was a major British presence in Washington in 1907-1913, the years immediately before World War I broke out, 100 years ago today. Some think he might have delayed or contained the war if he had still be in Washington in 1914.

Born in Belfast in 1838, Bryce was educated at the University of Glasgow and at Oxford. At Trinity College, Oxford, he earned both a B.A. in 1862 and a doctorate in civil law in 1870. While at Oxford he wrote a prize essay published as a book, The Holy Roman Empire (1864). His subsequent research interests focused on the British Empire in America and South Africa, and on law and education as public equalizers in Britain.

In 1867 he was called to the bar, practiced law in London for a few years, and in 1870-1893 was Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford, where he founded the English Historical Review (1885) with fellow Trinitarian Lord Acton. Meanwhile, from 1880 to 1907 he was elected to Parliament as a Liberal M.P., rising in Parliament to undersecretary of state for foreign affairs (1886), chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster (1892), and president of the Board of Trade (1894-95).

Bryce visited the United States and updated or debunked (depending on how you want to see it) de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. One view is that his The American Commonwealth (1888) showed that de Tocqueville's portrayal of the United States as egalitarian was no longer accurate because the United States had changed, degenerating like Europe into extreme inequality during the half-century since de Tocqueville's book was published (the era of "robber barons"). As Bryce says:
Sixty years ago, there were no great fortunes in America... Now there is a greater number of gigantic fortunes than in any other country of the world.
Another view is that the United States was never as egalitarian as de Tocqueville perceived through his rose-tinted glasses, and Bryce was not fooled. However, Bryce was impressed with the U.S. educational system, which became his own special interest during the next few years:
[U.S.] elementary schools ... raise the mass to a higher point than in Europe...[while] an increasing class ... has studied at the best universities."
He presided (1894-96) over a UK Commission on Education, called the Bryce Commission, and it recommended creating a Ministry of Education.

Bryce was made Chief Secretary for Ireland in Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet in 1905 and was then appointed H.M. Ambassador to the United States, where he stayed for six years starting in 1907. His previous studies paid off. He was a success in Washington, strengthening the Anglo-American friendship at a crucial time. Bryce made many personal friends in American politics, among them U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Bryce was created a peer in 1914, on his return to Britain.


In 1897, after a visit to South Africa, Bryce published a volume of Impressions of that country, critical of British repression of the Boers. In this he agreed with my great-grandfather Charles Boissevain, who also supported the underdog cause of the Boers. Bryce's views were influential with British Liberals during the Second Boer War.

Bryce was a great admirer of fellow Scotsman James Wilson, one of six men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution:
The speeches of James Wilson in the Pennsylvania ratifying Convention, as well as in the great [U.S.] Convention of 1787, display an amplitude and profundity of view in matters of constitutional theory which place him in the first rank of the political thinkers of his age. 
The German Ambassador in Washington, Graf Heinrich von Bernstorff, later said how glad he was that Lord Bryce had left Washington by this day, June 28, 1914 when World War I broke out. Bernstorff's assignment was to keep the United States neutral. This he did, until the Germans sank the Lusitania in 1917.

Sources: H. A. L. Fisher, James Bryce  (2 vol., 1927, reprinted 1973). E. S. Ions, James Bryce and American Democracy, 1870–1922 (1968, reprinted 1970). Encyclopedia Britannica. John Haldane, “Scots Thinkers Who Forged New Democracy from the Colonies," The Scotsman, April 10, 2008. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

HERALDRY: Stars (Superseded)

Is this the oldest (c. 1346) extant use of the
Washington family arms? 
November 21, 2014

The following post has been superseded by this one:

This post will be left up, so that links are not broken.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RELIGION: Oxford v. Cambridge (Updated Dec. 6, 2015)

Photo of Martyrs Memorial in St. Giles, Oxford
Martyrs' Memorial from the Randolph Hotel.
Balliol, and Back Entrance of Trinity, behind.
Oxford photos by JTMarlin, September 2012.
America's bloody Civil War was fought over states' rights and slavery. Britain's Civil War (1642-51) was primarily about religion.

However, there is an interesting connection between the two civil wars. The religious wars in England in the 16th and 17th centuries continued to be played out in the American colonies and then the United States because:

  • The settlers approved by the Crown were more likely to be in the southern colonies. 
  • The dissidents went to the northeast.
  • The Revolution originated in the northeast and the southern states were convinced to join. 
  • After the United States was established, the differences among the two regions became more prominent.

A monument at the heart of Oxford is a reminder of how much Oxford and Cambridge were at the center of Britain's religious battles, and had an influence on the way the Revolution and Civil War played out in America.

The history takes us to Cambridge to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Catholic Persecution of Protestants, Oxford v. Cambridge

The east-facing view in Oxford from the Randolph Hotel's "Presidential Suite", where President Clinton once stayed, is of the Martyrs' Memorial. Behind it in grey stone is Balliol College, then the back entrance to Trinity College, and then St. John's.

The Memorial was erected to the memory of two Church of England archbishops and one bishop who were burned in 1555-56 at the behest of the ruling Catholic clergy - during the reign of Catholic Queen "Bloody" Mary I (1553-1558). Mary Tudor was the daughter of Henry VIII, who created the Church of England, and Roman Catholic Catherine of Aragon. Mary remained loyal to Roman Catholicism. She was preceded and succeeded by Protestants, Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I.

Martyrs' Memorial from the Randolph.
Detail of statue by Henry Weekes.

The three martyrs, ironically known as "Oxford Martyrs" although they were all Cambridge men, were Thomas Cranmer (Jesus College), Nicholas Ridley (Pembroke College) and Hugh Latimer (Clare College).

A friend from Cambridge, David River, told me there is a saying at Cambridge: "Cambridge makes martyrs. Oxford burns them."

Of the three martyrs, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was the most important, since he served as Henry VIII's adviser on obtaining an annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and he was the architect of the Reformation.

Martyrs' Memorial from
Ground. Balliol Behind.
The martyrdoms of the Protestant bishops - whose offense was being unwilling to profess faith in the transubstantiation of the Eucharist - occurred in front of Balliol on Broad Street, and is marked by a cross in the middle of the street and a plaque on the Balliol wall nearby referring to it. The Memorial replaced a house, creating a space that allows this part of Oxford to include a bus stop and bicycle park.

The Protestant reign of Elizabeth I was benign after that of Mary. But during the reign of Charles I,  dissident Protestants became restless about the privileges of the established church, and Parliament responded by building up its army, which was used by Oliver Cromwell to seize power.  

The Civil War (1642-1651) - Cambridge Pilgrims vs. Oxford Orthodoxy

At Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge earlier this month, I visited the gravesite, since 1960, of Oliver Cromwell's head.

Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntington, near Cambridge, in 1599. He began his studies at Sidney Sussex on the day that Shakespeare died, April 23, 1616. Oliver's father died that year and Cromwell left the University after one year to support his family. He married and had many children.

He had a religious conversion to Puritanism in the 1630s, and rallied support from Protestants who dissented from the Church of England. The different sides of the Civil War were therefore complex, with the addition of Irish and Scottish nationalist concerns.
Portrait of Oliver Cromwell (1599-
1658) hanging in Hall at Sidney
Sussex College, Cambridge.
Photo by JT Marlin, June 2014.

Cromwell was elected to Parliament from Huntington in 1628 and then represented Cambridge in the Short Parliament of 1640 and the Long Parliament of 1640-49. In the meantime he advanced in the Parliamentary Army, from cavalry leader to a commander of the New Model Army created in 1645-46. He made Cambridge the military HQ of the Eastern Association of Counties. The country was divided into 11 military areas, each commanded by a major-general picked by Cromwell.

Cromwell almost single-handedly caused a break in the British monarchy. He led troops reporting to Parliament and tracked Charles I down in Oxford, defeating loyalist troops and putting Cromwell at the head of the government.

Although Cambridge was the center of the Roundheads and Oxford of the Cavaliers, many of the Cambridge colleges were pro-Royalist and gave much of their silver plate to help Charles I. Sidney Sussex sent £100 to help King Charles. When this later came to light, the Master of the College was put in prison.

After Charles was defeated, Cromwell urged Parliament to execute him, to reduce the likelihood of a rescue invasion by troops representing Roman Catholics from Ireland and the Continent.  Cromwell was the third person on the list of those who signed the death warrant for the king.  Charles I was beheaded in 1649. The Queen's website suggests that Charles I was a martyr. On the other hand, future royals tended to be more respectful of Parliament. Charles I was the only monarch in British history to have been executed.

From 1649 to 1653, the Rump Parliament ran England under Cromwell's leadership. Cromwell properly feared a counter-attack from Catholics. Charles I's Queen was a Roman Catholic from France, Henrietta Maria, after whom Maryland is named. Charles II was in France to obtain the support of the Catholic monarch.

Cromwell's Irish Campaign, 1649-1650

Cromwell decided to address first a possible attack from the west, with Royalists in Ireland joining up with Irish Catholic confederates, and he decided to protect his back with a crushing campaign. Cromwell went to Ireland in August 1649 with an army of 6,000 troops to suppress an alliance that threatened to turn into a significant rebellion.

I spent my 10th year of life at Blackrock College in Dublin, Ireland, and one of my most vivid memories was hearing from the Holy Ghost Fathers how brutal Cromwell was to the Irish Catholics on this pre-emptive strike.
Sign in a Cambridge restaurant. It
would be funnier if a Cambridge man
hadn't done just that to Irish children.

Cromwell raised his large army by promising those who put up money for the expedition that their security would be Irish land.  So from the beginning he intended to seize much Irish land and leave it in the hands of his supporters.

The Roundhead army met and overcame resistance in Drogheda, killed the garrison, and then moved on to Wexford, impatient to settle a score from 1641, when many Protestants drowned after defeat by the Catholic Confederates. The Wexford defenders were prepared to surrender and Cromwell sent a message suggesting he would be conciliatory. However, an estimated 2,000 defending soldiers and another 1,500 civilians were slaughtered, a massacre that Irish Catholics do not forget. Cromwell moved on to other Irish towns until Galway fell and the rebellion was declared ended in May 1650.

The aftermath of Cromwell's devastating march around Ireland was a complete change in power.  Penal Laws were instituted to keep the population from organizing any resistance. Cromwell's armed agents rounded up Irish beggars, widows and orphans to be sold as slaves or indentured servants to the sugar plantations of the West Indies. The reprisals were directed not only at Roman Catholics but at Ulster Presbyterians, Church of Ireland members and other minority religions. Priests were hanged, exiled or transported to the West Indies. Puritan preachers were brought over from England to replace them.

Cromwell's Scottish Campaign, Victory over Charles II and His Regime

After leaving Ireland, Cromwell's troops moved on to a 1650-1651 campaign in Scotland, with similarly ruthless treatment of Royalists and other potential rebels. The much-feared invasion from France did occur in 1651, but Cromwell by now had a large, seasoned and trained army ready for the invasion. He prevailed at the Battle of Worcester, bringing the Civil War formally to a close.

From 1653 until his death in 1658, Cromwell dissolved Parliament and ruled as Lord Protector as long as he lived. However, even the English came to dislike living under Cromwell's Puritanical regime. His religious conversion in the 1930s led him to dissent from the Church of England, on the basis that the official church had departed from strict adherence to the Ten Commandments and other rules gleaned from the Bible. The Puritans believed that enjoying too many pleasures meant yielding to the Devil and would lead to damnation.

Cromwell essentially ran a Christian caliphate. He shut down many drinking places and sports events. Swearing was punished by a fine, even imprisonment. On Sundays, work was banned and even going for a walk, if not to an approved church, could lead to a fine. Feast days were replaced by a monthly fast day. Cromwell banned feasting or caroling at Christmas, insisting it be celebrated only as a religious event; for example, in London, soldiers confiscated food being cooked for a Christmas dinner and Christmas decorations were banned.

(Later, the Oxford Movement resurrected Christmas carols and Oxford's Charles Wesley wrote "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and with his brother earned points for Methodism by championing the revival of caroling. The most popular early carol in America was "Joy to the World", written by English hymn-writer Isaac Watts based on Psalm 98.)

Women were forbidden by the Puritans from wearing makeup or overly colorful dresses. They were required to wear a long black dress that covered them to their shoes, with a white apron and headdress. Puritan men wore black clothes and short hair.  However, Cromwell himself enjoyed hunting, music and games and allowed ample entertainment at his daughter’s wedding.

Cromwell died in September 1658. His coffin was escorted by more than 30,000 soldiers to Westminster Abbey to be buried. His son, Richard Cromwell, took over as the Second Lord Protector in 1658 but lasted only nine months. The nickname the Royalists gave him was "Queen Dick".  In 1659 he quit (or perhaps more likely was encouraged by the army to leave) and exiled himself overseas.

The Restoration of Charles II and the Saga of Cromwell's Head

A 1960 plaque noting that Cromwell's head is buried nearby in
Sidney Sussex College. 
Charles II was invited to return from exile to become king of England. His return was enthusiastically welcomed by a nation tired of the religious wars.

After the Restoration of the monarchy, Charles II ordered Cromwell’s body, along with two co-conspirators, to be dug up and put on "trial" as traitors and regicides. Cromwell's body and those of his colleagues were found guilty and were hanged from the gallows at Tyburn. Cromwell's head was put on display on a 20-foot pike over Westminster Hall until in 1685 wind from a storm outside broke the pike. Cromwell's head was in private hands from 1685 until 1960.

In 1960, Cromwell's head was given to Sidney Sussex, and it was buried there secretly in an undisclosed location somewhere in the ante-chapel of the College. The strange story is told authoritatively on the Westminster Abbey and Sidney Sussex websites.

SLAVERY: American Colonies before 1776

Betty Wood explains the
 economic aspects of
slavery in the colonies. 
Slavery issue was a hot button in the American colonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. It was a phenomenon of the southern states, those led by Oxonians, rather than of New England, which were colonized more by Cambridge alums.

Opposition to slavery in the last quarter of the 18th century was muted by a common need to oppose the Crown. This colonies were thereby unified long enough for the United States to be formed.

How did this evolve, and how were Oxford and Cambridge alumni involved?

Colonial Economics and Slavery

The Spanish and Portuguese colonies produced gold, silver and other valuable commodities like sugar for their colonial masters.

The same could not be said for the British colonies in the early years. The colonies were viewed as a place for emigrants from Britain to obtain the freedom that comes with land ownership. It was also a market for British goods, but this depended on the colonies generating their own export income, which took some time for them to do.

The mercantilist business model of the Spanish and Portuguese rulers depended heavily on slavery. The mines and single-crop agriculture (sugar and tropical fruits) depended on having a large work force of low-cost workers.

Initially, the British model was based on the idea that each emigrant would be given some land and Britain surplus population could be put to use on the free land in the New World. Oxonian James  Oglethorpe conceived his new colony of Georgia as a place where slavery would be outlawed and the work force would be made up of convicts or the overlapping category of poor British people (in those days, poverty was an offense; one could go to prison for not paying back debt).

But initial British settlements did not last and others felt threatened by the harsh winters, by native Indians who resisted the arrival of the settlers, by settlers from other countries like Spain coming north from  Florida, or from France coming south or east into New York.

Sugar plantations didn't fare so well in the new American colonies, but early on tobacco became a major cash crop. Then, Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin made possible the harvesting of short-staple cotton and made cotton farming very profitable.

As tobacco and cotton farming grew, the value of slaves in working on the farms became more evident, and the American colonies began importing slaves. The profitable farms also made the colonies themselves more profitable, and the market in the South grew for goods from New England, the mid-Atlantic colonies and from the Mother Country. William Pitt decided that the American colonies were worth fighting over, and he sent an army to chase the French and unfriendly Indians out of the colonies, but left behind debts for his successors to pay for, setting up the dynamics for the American Revolution.

Secular and Religious Movements against Slavery

The movement against slavery came early on from evangelical ministers and Quaker preachers and later from rational philosophers concerned with human rights.

Baptists in the early colonies were often opposed to slavery. Chad Brown (c. 1600-1650), a Baptist minister who co-founded Providence with Roger Williams (alumnus of Pembroke College, Cambridge) was one of the first prominent abolitionists in the colonies.

Rationalist thinkers of the Scottish and English Enlightenment in the mid- to- late 18th century (David Hume died in 1776) criticized slavery for violating basic human rights.

The First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s in the colonies produced movements against slavery, which was seen as un-Christian.

Quakers in North America and Great Britain became well known for their involvement in abolition. During the colonial era in America, it was common for Friends in British America to own slaves. During the early to mid-1700s a disquiet about this practice arose,  through the work of abolitionist Quakers in Philadelphia like Anthony Benezet and John Woolman. By the time of the American Revolution few Friends still owned slaves and Cambridge-educated abolitionists like William Wilberforce and William Pitt (the Younger) were opposing slavery in parliament.

Moses Brown was one of four Rhode Island brothers who, in 1764, organized and funded the tragic and fateful voyage of the slave ship named Sally. Moses Brown had a crisis of conscience and broke  from his three brothers, becoming an abolitionist and a Christian Quaker. The brothers co-founded the college that became Brown University. The family, active mainly in the Baptist community of Providence, was descended from Chad Brown. Brown's brother-in-law and business partner, Jabez Bowen, was a Yale graduate and notable Rhode Island political figure. Three years before the American Revolution broke out, Moses Brown freed the last of his slaves.

James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785), a graduate of Eton and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was among the first to articulate the secular Enlightenment case against slavery, banning it in the Province of Georgia on humanistic grounds (until his influence waned), arguing against it in Parliament, and eventually encouraging his friends Granville Sharp and Hannah More to pursue the cause after his death.

Granville Sharp was an attorney who helped defend the slave Somersett. The Somersett's Case in 1771 emancipated a slave who ran away from his master in England. It established the principle that a slave obtains freedom upon reaching Britain, which helped launch the British movement to abolish slavery that Wilberforce and others picked up after the Revolution.

Though anti-slavery sentiments were widespread and growing after the American Revolution, the new American states that used slave labor, including in the South of the United States, continued to do so.

Benjamin Franklin's Three Visits to England, 1724-1775

How did growing British opposition to slavery affect public opinion in the American colonies? One way was Benjamin Franklin, who made three pre-Revolutionary visits to England, lasting 18 years. He had increasing access to the political leadership. The following summary is based primarily on data from a Revolutionary War website:

On his first trip in 1724-26, Benjamin Franklin went to England when he was 18 to buy printing equipment that the Governor of the colony of Pennsylvania, Sir William Keith, promised to pay for. But Governor Keith did not send to London the needed letter of credit. Franklin therefore worked for  the famed printing house of Samuel Palmer (and later with another famed printer, James Watts) to earn the fare to go back to Philadelphia. Franklin left London in 1726 with Thomas Denham, a Philadelphia shopkeeper who hired Franklin when they returned.

By the time of his second trip to England in 1757, Franklin had served in Pennsylvania as a city councilman, state assemblyman, and Deputy Postmaster General. Pennsylvania was formally owned by the Penn family, since a Royal Charter from Charles II was issued to William Penn in 1681, granting the land to him and his heirs. The colony had a democratic legislature but the Penn family could override it. Conflicts developed over the years between the state Assembly and the Penn family. In 1757, the Pennsylvania Assembly hired Ben Franklin to represent before George II their concerns about the Penn family's arbitrary authority and its exemption from taxes. Franklin was in England for five years but failed in his mission, leaving London in 1762.

Franklin's last and longest trip occurred at the behest of the Pennsylvania Assembly within two years after he returned. The legislature was outraged by George III's Sugar Act, his proposed Stamp Act and other laws initiated by George III's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Charles Townshend. Franklin sailed in 1764 to represent Pennsylvania's interests before the King. He was in England until 1775, later representing other colonies - Massachusetts, New Jersey and Georgia.

Benjamin Franklin used some ingenuity in making the colonies' case in England. For example, he argued that slavery in the colonies was different from slavery in the Caribbean islands and in Brazil, on the basis (among other differences) that slaves in the colonies were allowed to have families. Franklin saw in London the belligerence of the British lawmakers and came to the view that  diplomacy was not going to solve the colonies' problem with the King. He left London in March 1775 and arrived in Philadelphia on May 5. The next day he was elected by the Pennsylvania Assembly as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

Slave traders. Benjamin Franklin argued that slavery in
the West Indies was immoral, but was not such a problem
in the American mainland colonies. Anti-slavery themes
were applied to the relations between the colonies and Britain.
The Growth of Slavery in the American Colonies

Whatever the progress of ideas in opposition to slavery in the American colonies, the fact is that  an estimated 12 million slaves were brought from Africa to the Americas during the most active decades of the slave trade.

During that entire period, a relatively small fraction, about 287,000 slaves were brought to the North American colonies - only 2.4 percent of all the slaves. Most of the 11.7 million other slaves were sold in the Caribbean Islands and Brazil, where they had a shorter life expectancy because they tended to be worked harder and they had no family life. The slaves in the Caribbean and Brazil were said to be in need, in the blind language of the time, of being "replenished".

Although conditions of slaves in the American colonies were terrible, the weather was not as brutal as in the Caribbean and slaves were at least in homes and on farms with a place to live, and often were allowed to have children. Consequently their life expectancy was reportedly higher than most other parts of the continent where slavery existed.

The importation of slaves into the colonies peaked in the decade before the American Revolution. In the 17th century, the colonies imported 21,000 slaves. In the 18th century up to 1760, 189,000 slaves were imported. In the 1760s, another 63,000. In the 1770s, another 15,000.

Benjamin Franklin's Changing Views on Slavery

Franklin himself was a runaway, from a despotic brother and father and the contract that they signed with him binding him to work for them. Yet Franklin relied on slave labor at home and in his business. His newspaper relied heavily on advertising from slave auctioneers and from slaveowners pursuing runaways. This is all in David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (Hill and Wang, division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004).

After the Revolution, historians give great credit to the abolitionists who, in due course, stirred up emotions on both sides that precipitated the Civil War. Benjamin Franklin is counted among these abolitionists.

But before the Revolution, Franklin was much less activist on the subject of slavery within the United States. He was based in England for 16 of the 18 years before the Revolution! Antagonism toward slaveowners emerged on the secular side for reasons unrelated to Enlightenment views on human rights. The 1764 revenue tax on French and Dutch sugar benefited British plantation owners. They were able to raise their prices at the expense of people living in the mainland American colonies. At the time, the British Parliament considered the West Indies a far more profitable part of the world for them than the mainland colonies, and the objections of the mainlanders, represented in England by Franklin among others, did not get much of a hearing.

The reaction back home in the colonies was one of outrage at both Parliament and the "nabob" plantation owners in the West Indies. One form it took was opposition to slavery - opposition to slavery in the plantations and opposition to the slavery of the colonies to the mother country. But it did not mean questioning the existence of slavery in the colonies, where the concentration of power and money was not as great as in the West Indies and where the colonies agreed to disagree on issues like slavery because they wanted to be united against the Crown.

Franklin and other leaders in the colonies - Steven Hopkins, Governor of Rhode Island, and James Otis, Jr. - a Harvard-educated writer who pushed the anti-slavery arguments to the extreme - painted a picture of all residents of the colonies being slaves to the British crown and Parliament.

The Revolutionary spirit did not precede the antislavery argument, as has often been taught. Instead, the Revolution can be said to have emerged from taking antislavery arguments applied to the wealthy British West Indies slaveowners and applying them to the relations between the colonies and the mother country.  (Waldstreicher, pp. 177-179.)

So the pre-Revolutionary colonies were antislavery relative to the West Indies, their leaders took the view that "slaves, or their labor, was unimportant in mainland America" (Waldstreicher, p. 180). Their sugar slavers were evil, whereas the colonies were slaveowners in some kind of moderation, and were okay.

Benjamin Franklin maintained a dialog on slavery issues in Britain with David Hume, William Pitt the Elder (Trinity, Oxford), Lord Mansfield (Christ Church, Oxford), Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Hillsborough (who maintained a hard line against the colonies after the Townshend Acts), Scottish poet William Knox and Samuel Johnson (Pembroke, Oxford).

Franklin is described as being "downright crafty" in making the case for the innocence of the American colonies. In England, Franklin shifted his focus on the labor of the American colonies to the importance of the land in contributing to British welfare, while insisting that Americans "are not, never were, nor ever will be [Britain's] slaves."

Franklin was supported by Pitt the Elder, who in retirement opposed the taxes and echoed Franklin's argument that the American colonists  were not slaves of the British. Pitt was a hero to Americans because when he was Prime Minister his soldiers had chased the French and their Indian allies from the colonies during the Seven Years ("French and Indian") War; Pittsburgh is named after him - it was formerly the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne.

Monday, June 23, 2014

BOAT RACE: History

Memorial to Dr. Charles Merivale (1808-1893)
 in Ely Cathedral. "Caustic in wit".
The Original Challenge.  The BNY Mellon website on the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race pins the origin of the Boat Race on a very personal story.

The founders of the boat race are two friends from Harrow named Charles:
  • Charles Wordsworth, who had gone on to Oxford  (Christ Church) and
  • Charles Merivale [sic, only one "r"], who went on to Cambridge (St John's College).
Charles Wordsworth was the nephew of the poet William Wordsworth (St. John's College, Cambridge, 1787-1791) and the son of Christopher Wordsworth (1774-1846), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1820-1841.

Charles Merivale deserves most of the credit for the challenge. He actually rowed in the Cambridge boat at #4. The two Charleses met during the vacation in Cambridge and are said to have gone "rowing" on the Cam (they may have been punting).  The two Harrovians decided to organize an intercollegiate challenge.

Punting on the Cam. View looking south from the Garret Hostel
Bridge. Photo by JT Marlin, June 2014.
On February 10, 1829, according to the BNY Mellon site, a meeting of the Cambridge University Boat Club requested Mr. Snow of St John’s to write immediately to Mr. Staniforth of Christ Church with the message
The University of Cambridge hereby challenge the University of Oxford to row a match at or near London, each in an eight-oared boat during the ensuing Easter vacation.
Staniforth and Snow had been contemporary oarsmen at Eton.

However, a guide to Cambridge Colleges published by Pitkin Press, printed in 2014, says the boat race was started by Cambridge as a challenge from the Lady Margaret Boat Club at St. John's College. The Lady Margaret Boat Club is the oldest college boat club on the River Cam and is famed for the scarlet jackets worn by its rowers. This jacket is said to have been the origin of the word "Blazer" as applied to boat club jackets and later to any jackets of a formal nature.

The two stories can be reconciled if we speculate that Merivale took the matter of the challenge up with the Lady Margaret Boat Club and they in turn approached the CUBC.

What is broadly agreed is that the first race eventually took place on June 10, 1829 at Henley-on- Thames. Oxford won this first race easily. The fact that the next race was not until 1836 suggests both how much the initiative had come from Cambridge and how much the eagerness of the Cambridge oarsmen to test themselves may have been dampened by their initial defeat.

Their winning boat from the first race is on display at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley.

Since 1856 the annual event has been uninterrupted except during the two World Wars, although the actual race was interrupted in 2012 by an Australian protester who was subsequently convicted of a crime.

The Course. The 4.2 mile course on the Thames starts in Putney and ends in Mortlake, which also happen to be stations on the SouthWest Trains line, which originates in Waterloo Station. The train trip from Putney to Mortlake takes five minutes, about one-fourth the time it takes to travel on an Oxford or Cambridge boat–although only the cox is able to travel without doing any rowing. The cost of the train each way by is £1.90 or about $3.
The two boats are called "Blue Boats", although they are not in fact painted blue. Cambridge rowers wear shirts that are light blue or have light-blue highlights. Oxford wears dark blue or shirts with dark-blue highlights.

Each year approximately 250,000 people watch the race live from the banks of the Thames while millions watch on television. Cambridge has won 81 races and Oxford 78 races, with one tie.
Writer in 2012 at marker of the start
of the boat race, with Putney Bridge
in the background. UBR stands for
 "University Boat Race."
Boat Race training starts immediately with the beginning of the academic year in September.

The Wikipedia Boat Race entry has an exhaustive history of the boat race, including full coverage of two interesting disputes among the Oxford crew members that involved American rowers who found the Boat Race culture of the time more than they could take.

Several books have been written on the history of the boat race and the various disputes that occurred.
Some Famous Rowers. Investment bankers are said to favor Oxford and Cambridge rowers because they are presumed to be smart, fit and tall–except for the cox. )

The most famous cox may be Jim Rogers, the investment biker, who coxed the Oxford boat and recently donated a new shell to Balliol. Some famous rowers (lists of crews for most years may be found here):
1922-23 (Oxford) Andrew Irvine
1950 (Cambridge) Lord Snowdon
1977 (Oxford) Colin Moynihan
1978-83 (Oxford) Boris Rankov (whose long stint led to the Rankov Rule)
1980 (Cambridge) Hugh Laurie ("Dr. House")
1990-91, 1993 (Oxford) Olympic gold medalist Matthew Pinsent (his sharp comments on the 2012 race are famous)
1997 (Oxford) Olympic gold medalist Tim Foster
1997 (Oxford) Luka Grubber
1997-99 (Oxford) Andrew Lindsay
1998 (Oxford) Ed Coode
1999, 2001, 2006-07 (Cambridge) Kieran West
2010 (Oxford) The Winklevoss twins (who spoke at the 2012 NYC Boat Race Dinner)

Racing Rules. The race is governed by a Joint Understanding between the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs. Since 1983, no rower may row more than four times as an undergraduate and four times as a graduate.

To protect the status of the race as a student event, the Boat Race committee in July 2007 refused to award a blue to 2006-2007 Cambridge oarsman Thorsten Engelmann because he did not finish his year, returning to the German rowing team to prepare for the Beijing Olympics. One proposal is that only students in courses lasting two or more years should be allowed to row.

Organization. Like the British Constitution, the organization of the boat race is not written down in any one place because the agreements are private and have been changing. Oxford's official site includes a useful summary of the culture of the boat race and some information on the costs. The race costs "hundreds of thousands of pounds" for the rights to use the Thames for the race and an equal amount to prepare the two crews for the race.

So title sponsorships can be taken to be of this order of magnitude. The rules of the boat race are set by the Oxford and Cambridge rowing clubs, and they also appear to be in charge of hiring the management company, the Boat Race Company Limited (BRCL), that handles the details of the race. BRCL in turn obtains sponsorships and hires staff and contractors. One of its contractors is Professional Sports, based in Weybridge, which deals with media and addresses details relating to sponsorships. The boat race website also lists contractors who do web site design and updating.
Writer at Putney Pier, next to the start of the Boat Race.

Sponsors. Boat Race sponsors over the years have included Ladbrokes, Beefeater Gin, Aberdeen Asset Management, and until May 2012, as a "Title Partner", the business outsourcing company Xchanging, which has an office in Chicago but was not widely known in the United States.

The new "Title Partner" sponsor with a strong U.S. base has a five-year contract from 2013 to 2017, BNY Mellon. The boat race is called the BNY Mellon Boat Race. Sponsorships are governed by private agreements with BRCL.

BNY Mellon's Newton Asset Management group has already sponsored the women's boat race and starting in 2015 women's race will be given equal billing with the traditional men's race (for which women have been allowed to race in the coxswain spot). This is a long way from 1963, when Murray Edwards College's women's boat beat Oxford’s in what appears to be the first intercollegiate women's boat race.

Besides the title sponsor, the BRCL obtains other partners such as Hackett, Sharp's Doom Bar, Bollinger Champagne, and BBC Sport. It also lists "suppliers" including London Voyagers, Fattorini, Crew Room, Hunter and BT. The BRCL also lists an official charity, London Youth Rowing, which teaches rowing to young people who might never otherwise have a chance to learn to row and get a chance to compete.

Boat Race Dinners. More than 70 Oxford-Cambridge committees worldwide are dedicated to running boat race events - 15 in the United States, five in Canada, and more than 50 in the rest of the world. In addition, many university-specific Oxford and Cambridge alumni associations sponsor dinners at the time of the boat race, i.e., in the March-May period.

The largest Oxford-Cambridge dinner is usually held in New York City, attracting more than 200  people in years 2012-14, although in the first year of President Clinton's occupancy of the White House, more than 300 people signed up for the Washington Boat Race Dinner. (President Clinton did not appear, although many of his appointees did. I was at the dinner. After 1993, Washington BRD attendance fell.)

The 2014 and 2015 NYC BRDs are at the University Club. The NYC dinner is also the oldest continuous Oxford-Cambridge alumni event in the world, celebrating its 82nd uninterrupted annual dinner in 2015. The Vancouver BRD is the oldest, dating back at least to 1929, but it was not held in three of the next four years including 1933 and therefore loses by one year to NYC, which started in 1933 and had not missed a year.

Alumni Boat Races. Over the years a number of efforts to organize Oxford-Cambridge boat races have been made in the United States. Boston is continuing the tradition, with an alumni boat race before its Boat Race Dinner in May.

New York has had several successful launches, but none has endured as long as Boston's. Most recently races were held at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, Conn. Dr. Saman Majd was Race Director in  2006-2007. He spoke about the race at the 2007 NYC Oxford-Cambridge Alumni Boat Race. He has a degree in Physics from Oxford and a PhD in Finance from MIT. He rowed for St. Paul's School, London, and for Christ Church (Captain, 1977). He stroked the Isis crew that set a new course record in the race against Goldie. Since 2004, he has competed for the Saugatuck Rowing Club in the US and World Masters Championships and served as the Club's Commodore in 2006-7.

Friday, June 20, 2014

OXBRIDGE: Influences on Colonial America (Updated May 4, 2016)

New England colonies: CT, MA, NH, RI. (ME was part of MA.)
Mid-Atlantic: MD, NJ, NY, PA, DE. Southern: GA, NC, SC, VA.
My posts (see links below) on the influence of Oxford and Cambridge on the American colonies add up to a draft of a book.

A chart summarizing the Oxford influences may be found here. The following outline shows how the posts fit into an overall outline:

TOPIC: How did Oxford and Cambridge men (they were all men, then) help form the United States of America?

Chapter 1. Early Settlements ("Virginia",  "Carolina"). Sir Walter Raleigh (Oriel College, Oxford) gave the name Virginia to the entire south-eastern seaboard, after Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Raleigh landed at Roanoake Island (now part of North Carolina) in 1584 and again in 1587, bringing more than 100 settlers, but when he returned with the supplies and new settlers, the previous ones had mysteriously disappeared. So there was no ongoing settlement that survived. Raleigh was accompanied by Thomas Harriot (St. Mary, Oxford, which was absorbed into Oriel College), an under-appreciated Oxonian astronomer, navigator, explorer and linguist who is credited with inventing the concept of refraction and with bringing the potato to England. Various sources (e.g., Wikipedia entry on Harriot) show a portrait hanging in Trinity College, Oxford and identify it as Harriot - however, about 50 years ago the College inspected the portrait carefully and decided that the dating and provenance of the portrait make it highly unlikely that the subject is in fact Harriot. The 1607 Jamestown settlement in Virginia survived more successfully, establishing as the Oxford style of settlement the entrepreneurial one. This style was the rule from Georgia up to New Jersey, and was driven by grants of land from the Crown.

Chapter 2. New England Colonies (Yellow). In the colonies of what we now call New England, the impetus to come to America arose from religious persecution in England. The religious emigres from England were bent on creating a friendly and holy new society in American and had no plans to return. The source of discontent was with the complacency of the post-Henry VIII Church of England. Many nobles and scholars saw the C of E as suffering from the same problems that Protestants complained about in the pre-Reformation (Roman) Catholic Church. The C of E was viewed as an unholy agent of the Crown. The Puritan movement originated in certain pockets of Britain, and Cambridge was once of them–especially at certain colleges, such as Emmanuel, St. Catharine's Hall, Sidney Sussex and Christ's College. During the early part of the 17th century, Cambridge produced many dissenters, from whom came the 20,000 Puritans who populated New England during the Great Migration of the 1630s seeking freedom of worship. The educational leaders from among the Pilgrims were largely Cambridge men - for example, John Winthrop (Trinity, Cambridge) in Massachusetts; Roger Williams (Pembroke, Cambridge) in Rhode Island; and John Wheelwright (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) in New Hampshire.
  • Massachusetts was colonized by the Massachusetts Bay Company in London. John Winthrop (Trinity, Cambridge) was involved in its formation and he urged that its charter be moved to the colony itself. Thus the colonizing company became a self-governing commonwealth, welcoming nonconformist religious sects. He was in 1588 in Suffolk, England. He led the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, the largest English fleet to set off for the New World. Winthrop was a Puritan, dissenting from the Anglican Church for hewing too close to Catholic liturgy. He was elected governor before departure and he was re-elected several times. As governor, he tried to moderate the colonists, emphasizing the need to care for the poor, avoid executing too many people for heresy, and not being too strict about requiring women to wear veils. He wrote the famed "City on the Hill" sermon that implied God had chosen the settlers to create a sanctified America. John Harvard (Emmanuel, Cambridge) in 1636 founded the first enduring American university, Harvard. 
  • Rhode Island was led by Roger Williams (Pembroke, Cambridge) who along with Anne Hutchinson left Massachusetts when the Puritans there expelled them. Both fled to Rhode Island. Hutchinson and Williams had been preaching against against Puritan doctrines and the takeover of a government by a religious group. They fled to Rhode Island, establishing the colony as a haven for religious liberty and welcoming Jews and Quakers. Founded by the most radical dissenters from the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island on May 4, 1776 became the first North American colony to renounce allegiance to George III. However, it was a center of the slave trade, because it brought molasses from the Caribbean Islands in exchange for slaves, and made it into rum which it used to buy slaves in West Africa. Rhode Island was the last of the original 13 states to ratify the American Constitution on May 29, 1790. 
  • New Hampshire was colonized in part by refugees from intolerance in Massachusetts, including John Wheelwright (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge), who founded the towns of Exeter, N.H. (and then Wells, Maine) as he fled from the long arm of Puritan orthodoxy.
  • Connecticut is the home of Yale University, which was formed in a similar fashion to Cambridge's origins as a home to Oxford scholars fleeing from the university's persecution of non-conformists. (Archbishop Laud was for a time Chancellor of Oxford and recruited Lawrence Washington, George Washington's grandfather, to help oust non-conformist dons.) Yale was founded by a branch of Puritans who favored the evangelical style of a reformist minister and fled from Harvard's disapproval of of his doctrine and style.
These migrations originating in religious persecution may be said to have pursued the Cambridge style of settlement, based on religious faith rather than entrepreneurial ambitions.

Chapter 3. The Mid-Atlantic Colonies (Green). Catholic George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford) and his two sons founded Maryland as a haven for Catholics. But most settlers were setting out for the New World in order to prosper and the  southern colonies offered opportunities to make fortunes in tobacco, cotton (especially after Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin) and other export crops. The early colonial settlers in the Mid-Atlantic colonies were given grants of land by King Charles I, especially during the period 1629-1640 when Charles dissolved Parliament and ruled without it.
  • New York was settled by Dutchmen and French Huguenots before it was taken over by the British after a naval victory over Holland. It was named after James, Duke of York, brother of Charles II, who was restored to the throne as James II of England after Cromwell's government ended in 1639-40.  The New York colony, while huge, was preceded by Dutch settlers and became a moderating influence between the nonconformists of New England and the more conformist views of the colonies to the south of New York.
  • Maryland was founded as a haven for Catholics, carved out of the northern reaches of territory that Virginia had some claims to. Charles I gave this land to the first Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford). His sons Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford) and Leonard Calvert (Trinity, Oxford) managed the growth of the state. The elder son Cecil worked the British side of the Atlantic; he is the person after whom the City of Baltimore is named. He successfully staved off challenges to the actions of Charles I during the rule of Oliver Cromwell (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) and the Roundheads. The younger son, Leonard Calvert, migrated to Maryland and became its first governor.
  • Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn (Christ Church, Oxford), who converted to Quakerism and persuaded Charles II and James II to give him land from Western New Jersey and north of Maryland to create a colony where any religions could be practiced without interference. One argument he made to the two kings is that his state could be a place to send religious troublemakers in England. Part of Pennsylvania was carved out to create Delaware, because the established settlers from the outset didn't want to be part of the plan of a Quaker governor. Penn's settlement was the most concentrated migration to the colonies since the Puritan migration of a half-century before.
  • New Jersey began with land taken from the southern end of the New York colony, as in 1664 James II gave the land to Lord John Berkeley and Sir John Carteret, two Stuart loyalists.
Chapter 4. The Southern Colonies (Purple).  Religious settlers in the south include James Oglethorpe (Corpus Christi, Oxford) and John and Charles Wesley (both Christ Church, Oxford) in Georgia.
  • Virginia was originally the name of the entire southeast coastline, settled unsuccessfully by Sir Walter Raleigh, who landed with private funding at Roanoke Island in what is now called North Carolina. Maryland was carved out of Virginia from the north and the Carolinas from the south (Georgia was created partly as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the Carolinas). The cultivation of tobacco in Virginia meant that slavery grew in the state along with opportunity for British landowners like George Washington's ancestors.
  • The Carolinas were settled in part by John Baron Carteret, the 2nd Earl Granville (Christ Church, Oxford). Carolina was named after Charles I, the only British monarch ever executed,  after Cromwell captured him during his retreat in Oxford. The area around Cape Fear was given to eight proprietors by Charles II in return for their support for his succeeding to the monarchy. Carteret inherited from his great-grandfather Sir George Carteret one-eighth of the Province of Carolina along the Virginia border. Unlike other owners, Granville refused to sell the property back to the Crown. He was the real power in the government when Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (Trinity, Oxford) was Britain's 2nd prime minister, after Walpole.
  • Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe (Christ Church, Oxford), who persuaded George II to let him found a slave-free colony to absorb all the prisoners in debtor prisons. (In fact, skilled craftsmen and merchants crowded out the prisoners and they were instead sent to Australia.)  John Wesley (Lincoln, Oxford) came to help Oglethorpe with his mission. The colony also served as a buffer zone against the Spanish in Florida, notably in the settlement of St. Augustine. Although Oglethorpe does not appear to have been a great military commander on the attack side, his troops fended off a Spanish invasion of Georgia. Never again did the Spanish attack the colonies.  The ban on slavery was, alas, removed as soon as Oglethorpe returned to England, as Georgia went into the cotton business.
Chapter 5. The British Civil War and New Migrations to the Colonies. When Oliver Cromwell (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) organized the protestors against Charles I and beheaded him, the tables were turned on royalist Cavaliers like Rev. Lawrence Washington (BNC, Oxford) and his wife Amphilis Washington. The Puritans, who had left England because of persecution by Catholic monarchs, were now in charge. Rev. Washington lost his comfortable living in Purleigh, Essex, and his wife Amphilis persuaded their sons John and Lawrence Jr. to emigrate to Virginia. John's great-grandson George Washington became the new nation's first President.

Chapter 6. Pitt and North - Runup to the Revolution. Pitt the Elder (Trinity, Oxford) made possible the Revolution by chasing French soldiers out of North America.  Lord North (Trinity, Oxford) made the Revolution inevitable through his onerous taxes to pay for Pitt's war.

Chapter 7. Oxbridge Influences On the American Revolution and the New Nation
Suggestions for additions/changes are appreciated -

Thursday, June 19, 2014

BIRTHDAY: June 16–Adam Smith, Balliol, Oxford

Adam Smith
Adam Smith was born in 1723 this day - based on the newer (Gregorian) calendar - in Kircaldy, Fife, Scotland. His contribution to the American Revolution was to provide an economic rationale for the overthrow of foreign domination.

To the French Physiocrats' idea that some labor is productive and other labor unproductive, Smith added the idea that trade broadens the market, thereby allowing more division of labor, which makes labor more productive.

Smith entered the University of Glasgow in 1737, at the age of 14, and studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson, a professorial star of the time, who taught philosophy with the vigor of a preacher.

From Glasgow, Smith went to Balliol College, Oxford on an Exhibition/Scholarship endowed by his fellow Scot, John Snell. Of his Oxford career, we may note two basic facts:
  • Smith was not impressed by Oxford. The teaching quality at Oxford, he later wrote (in Book V, Chapter II of The Wealth of Nations), was poor because the dons were given excessive and secure incomes - making it unnecessary for them to attract students. For Smith, orthodox Church-of-England Oxford was a comedown from the buzz of Glasgow, where the Scottish Enlightenment was shaking up the intellectual landscape. When Smith was caught reading fellow Scotsman David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1738)–an exposition of Hume's Utilitarian Philosophy–his copy of the book was confiscated and he was severely punished. Smith spent his happiest time on the other side of Trinity College, reading at the Bodleian Library. Smith left Oxford in 1746, before his scholarship ended.
  • Balliol College, on the other hand, was impressed by Smith. The College still glories in the fact that the founder of the economics profession once resided there, however unhappily. Smith is described as the college's most famous alumnus. Balliol was selected to receive the Snell Scholarship not because of any special distinction at the time in the college's scholarship, but rather because of its Scottish connections. The college was founded (in principle) by a Scotsman, John I de Balliol, at the urging of the Bishop of Durham. However, the establishment of the college did not occur until after his death - when his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway, confirmed a significant transfer of funds. Their son John became King of Scotland but was challenged and left Britain to seek the protection of the Pope. Every November, Balliol has a Snell Dinner that includes representatives from the University of Glasgow and Balliol's sister college at Cambridge, St. John's.
After leaving Oxford, Smith delivered a successful series of public lectures at the University of Edinburgh, where two years later he befriended Hume. For the next 13 years, he taught at the University of Glasgow, becoming first a professor of logic in 1751 and then a year later, when the position opened up because of the death of the incumbent, of moral philosophy. Besides Hume in Edinburgh, who named Smith his executor, Smith's friends included a variety of Glasgow academics and merchants. Smith's literary executors were chemist-physicist Joseph Black and noted geologist James Hutton.

Smith's first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) was a well-received analysis of the essence of human morality. It depends on sympathy between the person who is acting and a spectator, i.e., sympathy between the individual and other members of society. Smith argued that the basis of "moral sentiments" is "mutual sympathy", which we would today be more likely to call "empathy".

His second book, The Wealth of Nations (1776) had greater influence because it had clearer policy implications. Smith shows that the marketplace is not moral itself, but produces a moral outcome because the pursuit of individual self-interest leads, as if by an "invisible hand," to the Holy Grail of the Utilitarians - the greatest good of the greatest number.

Based on Utilitarian principles, Smith opposed monopolies and government efforts to create or preserve them, preferring competition to maximize consumer welfare. His opposition to monopoly was hugely influential in providing theoretical support to public grievances against the British Crown (and later in France against the French Crown).

Smith was against most government regulation of business but he was not anti-tax. He favored progressive taxes - not just taxation "in proportion to their respective abilities," but something more:
The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
However, his anti-mercantilist ideas - built on those of the Physiocrats - were easily be spun into anti-imperial and therefore anti-imperial-tax rhetoric.

Although The Wealth of Nations did not appear until the American Revolution was under way, Smith's ideas were already percolating among the Founding Fathers. Starting in 1763, Smith travelled as a tutor to Toulouse, France, where he stayed for a year and a half. He then moved on to Geneva, where he met with the philosopher Voltaire, and Paris, where Smith came to know Benjamin Franklin, as well as economists like François Quesnay, leader of the Physiocrats, and his followers, including Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune. Franklin could not have better tutelage for making an economic case against new British laws directed at the colonies.

Quesnay and the Physiocrats provided the anti-mercantilist motif of the Wealth of Nations. Their motto favoring marketplace freedom was "Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même!" (Let it be and let it pass, the world goes on by itself!). Smith, following the Physiocrats, argued that the cause of increase in national wealth is labor, rather than the nation's quantity of gold or silver, which was the mercantilist focus. This argument was used by the American Revolutionaries to argue against oversight and taxation from London. It was also later used by French Revolutionaries, with specific additions from Jean-Baptiste Say, to argue against the necessity of the French aristocracy, with unfortunate consequences for the aristocracy and, in due course, France.

The aristocracy and the church - and even the standing army - were viewed by Adam Smith as unproductive. The distinction between productive and unproductive labour (the "class steril" of the Physiocrats) was a rallying cry of both the American and the French Revolution. To the Physiocrat idea that unproductive labour should be pushed back, Smith added the idea that productive labor is made more productive by deeper division of labor, which is "limited by the extent of the market." Every country should try to broaden its market to deepen the division of labor.

Smith never married. On his death bed, he said he was disappointed he had not achieved more.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

YOUNG AMERICA: The American Universities at 1776 (Updated May 16, 2018)

John Harvard, Cambridge man,
dissenting minister.
When Harvard opened for students in 1642 (it was founded six years before), only 50,000 people lived in Britain's American  colonies.

Yet at the time of the American Revolution more than 130 years later, the colonies had a free population of about 2 million and a slave population of about 300,000, plus children of the slaves who were not at the time counted.

So the colonies grew more than 40-fold during these pre-Revolutionary years of Harvard's existence.

By the end of those 130 years of the colonial era, ten institutions of higher education were founded and nine were open for business, the very first plan for a university being still-born.

Using their modern names, and in order of foundation, the nine institutions that were opened by 1776 are:  Harvard (Massachusetts), William and Mary (Virginia), Yale (Connecticut), Princeton (New Jersey), U. Pennsylvania (Pa.), Columbia (New York), Brown (Rhode Island), Rutgers (New Jersey) and Dartmouth (New Hampshire):
  • Four of the universities are in New England – Harvard, Yale, Brown and Dartmouth. 
  • Two of the other five are in New Jersey, the only colony to have two universities – Princeton and Rutgers. 
  • The remaining three are in New York (Columbia), Pennsylvania (U. Penn.) and Virginia (William & Mary).
Two of the universities – Rutgers and William & Mary – are now public research universities, i.e., they are operated by the states of New Jersey and Virginia. The others are the seven private Ivy League universities.

The Colonies vs. The Mother Country

Having nine institutions of higher education in eight of the thirteen colonies by the time of the Revolution was quite impressive, when one considers that as of 1832, more than half a century after the American Revolution, England still had only two universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

Scotland, however, had five universities in four locations–St Andrews (the first university, in Fife), Glasgow, Aberdeen, Marischal (also in Aberdeen) and Edinburgh.

The First American Colonial Universities - Harvard, William & Mary, Yale

Three threads sum up the religious orientation of the early universities in the American colonies:

1. One church, orthodoxy (Roman Catholicism).
2. An alternative orthodoxy (Church of England).
3. Rejection of both (Dissenters).

Harvard was founded by dissenting ministers, especially from Cambridge. William & Mary was created primarily for Anglicans. Yale was for created for dissenters from the new orthodoxy at Harvard.

Because Harvard was first in line, it tended to influence the universities that followed. Stephen Trachtenberg, former president of The George Washington University and a former Churchill Traveling Scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford, argues that John Dunster's having come to Harvard from Cambridge at a time when they had a four-year undergraduate program meant that Harvard and then other universities required four years for the B.A. degree.

Oxford and Cambridge later reduced the time for the B.A. to three years for most subjects (Greats is still a four-year program), but American universities were by then wedded to the four-year degree.

By and large, Oxford men were Roman Catholics or orthodox Anglicans.  Cambridge men were dissenters, including dissenters from the original dissenters. Among the exceptions was Alexander Whitaker, a Cambridge alumnus who was an Anglican and who paved the way for the first effort to create a university. Unfortunately, it failed.

Henricus College would have created the first university in the colonies. It was planned in Henrico (named after James I's son Henry) for Varina, Virginia, in 1618, 18 years before Harvard was created. Cambridge-born alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge (and son of much-admired William Whitaker, Protestant scholar and Master of St. John's College, Cambridge) Alexander Whitaker (1585–1616) paved the way for this plan through his active work in the Virginia Colony in 1611-1616. Coming from Anglican parishes in the north of England, he established two churches near Virginia's Jamestown colony. He baptized Pocahontas, creating the illusion that it would be easy to bring the native Americans into the church. James I was initially enthusiastic about the plan for a university at Henrico, Va. with the idea of providing a place to teach both Anglican and Puritan seminarians and to convert the local Indians to Christianity. An area of 10,000 acres on the side of a river was picked out for the campus. However, the idea was still-born. Before it had any students, the Indians targeted for conversion decided to fight back. They laid waste Henrico with a deadly attack in 1622. The king lost his enthusiasm. The colony of Virginia lost its charter. The university idea was ended in 1624.

Harvard was the first durable university, founded by a Cambridge alumnus (Emmanuel College), John Harvard, who donated his library and some money to create the first colonial college that still survives. John Harvard was born to a butcher (married to a woman from Stratford-upon-Avon) in Southwark, a borough of London. Many of John Harvard's family were wiped out by the plague. He emigrated to Boston and served as a dissenting minister. Harvard College was formed in 1636 and was at first called "New College". In 1638, John Harvard was on his deathbed with tuberculosis, he bequeathed his 320-volume library and half his estate to the college. The college was then gratefully renamed after him. It was envisioned as a place dedicated to educating dissenting (Puritan and other) ministers. It opened for teaching and degree-granting in 1642.

Rev. Dr. James Blair 
William & Mary was the second enduring university. It was named after the two co-regents, William III of Orange and his wife, James II's eldest daughter Mary II, who were brought in by Parliament in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to replace Catholic James II of England (last of the Stuart monarchs), and put an end to any plans for another Catholic resurgence in the monarchy. A new university in Virginia was again promoted, this time by Dr. James Blair, a Church of Scotland and subsequently a Church of England adherent, educated at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. He founded the university at  Middle Plantation, later named Williamsburg in honor of the king. It was founded as planned in 1693 and Dr. Blair served as its president from 1693 to 1743, a 50-year term of office for a college president that one source says has been matched by only one other person in the history of the United States. William & Mary is now a public research university, operating under the oversight of the State of Virginia.

Yale was founded, like Cambridge University, as a refuge for teachers and students troubled by trends in the university they left. The initial step by the Colony of Connecticut to create an institution to train ministers, future politicians and others was passed in 1701, probably because Connecticut was subject to different laws and customs. The initial Yale Fellows, led by James Pierpoint, were all alumni of Harvard - ten Congregationalist ministers who jointly contributed books to create the first Yale library. The first diploma was granted in 1702. The major impetus for the endowment of Yale came from Harvard's sixth (and largely absentee) president Increase Mather, a staunch Puritan who alienated some by being involved in the Salem witch trials and others by then urging restraint. Mather was concerned that the clergy on the Harvard faculty were relaxing their Puritan standards and hoped that Yale would maintain Calvinist religious orthodoxy. In 1718, Increase's son Cotton Mather contacted a Welshman, Elihu Yale to ask him for financial help. Eli Yale had made a fortune while trading in India for the East India Company and gave the university 417 books, nine bales of goods sold for £560, and a portrait of King George I.  The university in return took Yale's name in the hope of further gifts that, alas in the end, did not ensue, in perhaps the first recorded Major Disappointment in a university's Major Gifts campaign.

The Next Three Universities, Founded in the 1740s

Princeton was the first university founded in New Jersey, originally as "the College of New Jersey", in 1746 (it was renamed in 1896). It started teaching a year later and gave its first degree a year after that. It was sponsored by Presbyterians but educated students for ministries in many religions. Its impetus was the Great Awakening, which can be said to have originated from the Oxford "Holy Club" of Charles Wesley and then John Wesley. George Whitefield arrived at Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1732, a provincial youth with a West Country accent (for example, it is recorded that he pronounced “Christ” as “Chroist”). He described himself as coming from the tap-room of the family inn. Whitefield had heard of the “Holy Club” before he arrived, and open-hearted Charles Wesley included him. Charles became Whitefield's chief Oxford mentor. In 1736, steely John Wesley entrusted the newly ordained Whitefield with the oversight of the Oxford methodists, while he went with Charles to Georgia. (In 1739, Whitefield returned the favor.) Whitefield soon became as famed as the Wesleys and is given equal billing as the leading inspiration of the worldwide evangelical Great Awakening. This spirit took shape in Pennsylvania in Log College in Bucks County, founded by Presbyterian Minister William Tennent in 1726. The seven founders of the College of New Jersey were Log College participants, all Yale Presbyterians except for one who attended Harvard. They asked Governor Lewis Morris for a charter and he, being Anglican and a Loyalist, refused it.  When Governor Morris died, John Hamilton became Acting Governor, and he, being somewhat more liberal, provided the charter. Aaron Burr, Sr. turned the evangelical ideals of the College's founders into a reality during his presidency, from 1748 to 1757.

The University of Pennsylvania was founded as an Anglican institution in a state founded by an Oxford-educated Quaker, William Penn. It was originally called the "College of Philadelphia".

Columbia University, originally called "King's College" because it claims a royal charter, was founded in 1754. It was intended for Anglican ministers but was charged with a policy of religious liberty. The impetus for the creation of Columbia was in part that evangelicals across the river had formed the college that was later called Princeton. In 1746 an act was passed by the general assembly of New York to raise funds for the this purpose. In 1751, the assembly appointed ten New York residents, seven of whom were members of the Church of England, to direct state lottery proceeds towards the foundation of a college. Classes were initially held in July 1754 and were presided over by the college's first president, Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was the only instructor of eight students.

The Final Three Universities, Founded in the 1760s

Brown University was founded by Baptists in 1764, but its trustees were required to come from a balanced portfolio of religions, including Anglicans. The Governor of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, was a Cambridge graduate. Rhode Island was a haven for dissenting ministers who were expelled by the Puritan leadership of Massachusetts for straying from Puritan dogma. In 1763, The Reverend James Manning, a Baptist minister, an alumnus of Princeton (as it would be called), was sent to Rhode Island by the Philadelphia Association of Baptist Churches to found the college. At the same time, local Congregationalists were working toward a similar end. Former colonial governors of Rhode Island Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward were involved. The college's charter was granted in the form of an Act passed by Rhode Island's General Assembly. The college was called Brown after a a gift from Nicholas Brown, Jr. The charter required that the makeup of the board of 36 trustees include, 22 Baptists, five Friends, four Congregationalists, and five Church of England members.

Rutgers was created in 1766. Originally chartered as Queen's College, Rutgers was renamed in appreciation of Col. Henry Rutgers, a New York City landowner, whose gift allowed the college to reopen after financial insolvency. Rutgers was originally a private male-only liberal arts college affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church.  It was named as the state's sole land-grant college in 1864 under the Morrill Act.  It evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated "The State University of New Jersey" by the New Jersey Legislature in 1945 and 1956. It is one of only two colonial colleges that later became public universities, the other being William & Mary.

Dartmouth College was created as a Puritan (Congregational) college in 1769 by Eleasar Wheelock, a Congregational minister. New Hampshire itself was founded in part by Cambridge alumnus John Wheelwright, whose dissenting religious views forced him to leave Massachusetts.  Dartmouth went through a long period of difficulties and found its feet in the early 20th century.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Religion at Oxbridge (Superseded)

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OXFORD: Founding of the State of Georgia (Superseded)

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Things that happened long ago, and far away, 
Help explain why things are so, this very day. - JT Marlin, 2014

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