Nationalism and Internationalism: Essays Inscribed to Carlton J. H. Hayes

By Edward Mead Earle | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

FIFTY YEARS AGO, as a new century began, Carlton J. H. Hayes entered Columbia College as a freshman. The succeeding half-century, in which he has studied and taught on Morningside Heights, has been momentous in the history of mankind. It has witnessed, among other things, the decline of Western Europe from the undisputed place it had held for half a millennium or more as the center of world power and of Western civilization. It has seen the coincidental rise of the United States to dazzling and somewhat unwelcome heights of influence in world affairs. In 1900 the United States was the western frontier of Europe; today Western Europe is, in a sense, the eastern frontier of the United States. It now appears to be true, as Canning said more than a hundred years ago, that the New World was called into being to redress the balance of the Old.

Americans have been amazed by this turn of events, which none could have foreseen and few would have wished. But they are less bewildered than they would have been had Carlton Hayes never lived or had he not chosen the career of historian. For his devoted and prodigious labors in European history will not be memorialized exclusively in the files of the professional journals. They will, rather, be perpetuated in the careers, the teachings, the writings of generations of Columbia students who were fortunate enough to sit at his feet and to work at his side. Perhaps even more, his work will have left its mark on all those who studied modern history on any college or university campus in the United States. Professor Hayes has been concerned with teaching European history and winning for it a proper place in the academic curriculum. But in a larger sense he has been a public servant--a minister without portfolio concerned with educating the American people, through successive generations of American youth, to a sympathetic understanding of their European heritage and an intelligent appreciation of their responsibilities to European civilization, of which they are an integral part. If as a nation we now know more and comprehend more than we formerly did of the broad basis of our relations with the European world, a considerable measure of the credit should be ascribed to Carlton Hayes. Through his lectures, his seminars, and his enormously successful textbooks he has reached tens of

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