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Henry Adams - Research Paper Example

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Name of the of the Concerned Professor English 26 February 2012 Henry Adams Introduction It goes without saying that Henry Adams happened to be a really versatile personality and a person of many talents. This American author was a noteworthy historian, author and critic…
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Henry Adams Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages Adams was in a Classical sense a man of intellectual temperament, and the literature created by him extends a true insight into the intricacies and complexities of his time. Life Henry Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 16 February 1838 (Adams 17). His father, Charles Francis Adams was a writer and an influential diplomat (Adams 19). Henry’s mother was Abigail Brown Brooks (Adams 19). Henry Adams was the grandson of the sixth American President, John Quincy Adams, and the great grandson of John Adams, the second American president (Adams 21). There is no denying the fact Henry was born in an environment marked by opportunity, influence and accomplishment. Henry was definitely influenced by this propitious family standing, which facilitated certain advantages to young Henry. It is said that Henry Adams used to spend a significant time in summers, at his grandfather’s home, which was known to be a hub of culture and wealth. The personal library at the disposal of Adams family was considered to be the largest collections of books on varied subjects and topics in those times (Adams 41). Henry Adams spent hours in the family library, satisfying his voracious appetite for knowledge, by reading books on a variety of subjects like astronomy, the Roman and Greek literature, physics, politics and mathematics (Adams 41). It goes without saying that young Henry’s readings extended to him a sound grounding in the essentials of Western civilization. Henry also accrued ample exposure to the intricacies of politics and diplomacy, courtesy his father’s position as a congressman and a politician, and a Vice Presidential candidate in 1848 (Adams 43). Henry joined Harvard in 1854 and turned out to be an able student (Adams 47). However, it needs to be mentioned in those times marked by rigid college regulations, Henry managed to avoid being a stringent conformist (Adams 46). Henry was chosen the Class Day Orator on his graduation in 1858 (Adams 49). He also used to write for Harvard Magazine and tried a hand at acting in Hasty Pudding Club (Adams 49). The very fact that Henry Adams graduated sans any academic distinction made it difficult for people fathom the depth and extent of his knowledge and versatility. Henry went to Germany to study law; however, his lack of proficiency in German led him to travelling across Europe for two years (Adams 64). When Henry Adams returned to America, his father got appointed by President Lincoln as a minister to Great Britain (Adams 21). In the mean time, while Henry left with his father, as his secretary, to England, the Civil War had already begun (Adams 21). Henry Adams aspired to solicit a commission in the army, but at the request of Charles, his elder brother, who was himself an army officer, Henry decided to stay in England to support the Union cause (Adams 83). During this time, as a writer, Henry got published some reports in the New York Times. During his stay in England, Henry Adams also met John Stuart Mill and Sir Charles Lyell, who urged him to study the works of Herbert Spencer and Auguste Comte (Adams 101). These readings were to reorient the mindset of Adams towards science, economics and politics. During this time Henry also managed to get published three well received articles in North American Review (Adams 103). On his return to America in 1868, Henry Adams actively served as a reporter in many news papers. He aspired to be an avid commentator on and critic of his times. In 1870 he left for Boston to serve as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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