Olivier Zunz (born 1946) is a social historian, and Commonwealth Professor at the University of Virginia, known for his work on Twentieth Century history of the American urban society and the development of modern philanthropy. He is also a leading Tocqueville historian.
Zunz was born and raised in France. He received his BA in history and geography (licence d'histoire et de géographie) from the University of Paris in 1968, his PhD from the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in 1977, where in 1982 he also received his Doctor of Letters. Zunz also spent several years studying at Princeton. He is Commonwealth Professor at the Corcoran Department of History of the University of Virginia since 1978. In 1986 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships for his exceptional work on US history.
In 2011, he was named a Officier of the French Ordre National du Mérite.
Articles, a selection:
The Alexander Hamilton Institute is a former institute for business education in New York City founded in 1909, and dissolved in the 1980s. The Alexander Hamilton Institute was a corporation engaged in collecting, organizing and transmitting business information.Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, Viscount de Tocqueville (; French: [alɛgzi də tɔkvil]; 29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French diplomat, political scientist and historian. He was best known for his works Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes, 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both, he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Democracy in America was published after Tocqueville's travels in the United States and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.
Tocqueville was active in French politics, first under the July Monarchy (1830–1848) and then during the Second Republic (1849–1851) which succeeded the February 1848 Revolution. He retired from political life after Louis Napoléon Bonaparte's 2 December 1851 coup and thereafter began work on The Old Regime and the Revolution.He argued the importance of the French Revolution was to continue the process of modernizing and centralizing the French state which had begun under King Louis XIV. The failure of the Revolution came from the inexperience of the deputies who were too wedded to abstract Enlightenment ideals. Tocqueville was a classical liberal who advocated parliamentary government, but he was skeptical of the extremes of democracy.Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography is the study of the techniques and sources used by historians to develop the recorded history of China.Conservatism in the United States
American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, business, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and favor restricting LGBT rights, while privileging traditional marriage and allowing voluntary school prayer.American conservatism, like most American political ideologies, originates from republicanism, which rejected aristocratic and monarchical government and upheld the principles of the United States Declaration of Independence ("All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness") and the United States Constitution (which established a federal republic under the rule of law). Conservative philosophy is also derived in part from the classical liberal tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, which advocated for laissez-faire economics (also called economic freedom and deregulation).Historians such as Patrick Allitt and political theorists such as Russell Kirk argue that the conservative tradition has played a major role in American politics and culture since 1776. However, they stress that an organized conservative movement with beliefs that differ from those of other American political parties has played a key role in politics only since the 1950s. The recent movement is based in the Republican Party, however some Southern Democrats were also important figures early in the movement's history, especially regarding crime control and labor unions, though most Southern Democrats were liberal.Criticism of the Quran
The Quran is viewed to be the scriptural foundation of Islam and is believed by Muslims to have been revealed, without issue, to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Criticism of the Quran has frequently occurred since western scholarship has looked to decipher, understand and verify the claims of Islamic thought as stated in the Quran. Questions relating to the authenticity and morality of the Quran have been raised by critics. Both critics and some scholars of western, eastern and secular backgrounds claim to have discovered scientific errors adding allegations of contradictions in the Quran while questioning interpretations of its moral and ethical message. The most common criticisms concern various pre-existing sources that Quran relies upon, internal consistency, clarity and moral teachings.Democracy in America
De La Démocratie en Amérique (French pronunciation: [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik]; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 and the second in 1840) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville. Its title translates as On Democracy in America, but English translations are usually simply entitled Democracy in America. In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. The two also briefly visited Canada, spending a few days in the summer of 1831 in what was then Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec) and Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario).
After they returned to France in February 1832, Tocqueville and Beaumont submitted their report, Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et de son application en France, in 1833. When the first edition was published, Beaumont was working on another book, Marie, ou, L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis (two volumes, 1835), a social critique and novel describing the separation of races in a moral society and the conditions of slaves in the United States. Before finishing Democracy in America, Tocqueville believed that Beaumont's study of the United States would prove more comprehensive and penetrating.History of Detroit
The city of Detroit, the largest city in the state of Michigan, was settled in 1701 by French colonists. It is the first European settlement above tidewater in North America. Founded as a New France fur trading post, it began to expand with British and American settlement around the Great Lakes in the nineteenth century. Industrialization drove it into becoming a world-class industrial powerhouse and the fourth-largest American city by 1920, due to the auto industry. It held that standing through the mid-20th century.
The first Europeans to settle in Detroit were French traders and colonists from the New Orleans (the La Louisiane) colony. Traders from Montreal and Quebec had to contend with the powerful Five Nations of the League of the Iroquois, who took control of the southern shores of Lakes Erie and Huron through the Beaver Wars of the 17th century, during which they conquered or pushed out lesser tribes.
The region grew initially based on the lucrative inland and Great Lakes connected fur trade, based on continuing relations with influential Native American chiefs and interpreters. The Crown's administration of New France offered free land to colonists to attract families to the region of Detroit. The population grew steadily, but more slowly than in English private venture-funded colonies. The French had a smaller population base and attracted fewer families. During the French and Indian War (1756-1763), the French reinforced and improved Fort Detroit (1701) along the Detroit River between 1758–1760. It was subject to repeated attacks by British regular and colonial forces, strengthened by Indian allies.
Fort Detroit was surrendered to the British on November 29, 1760, after the fall of Quebec. Control of the area, and all French territory east of the Mississippi River, were formally transferred to the United Kingdom by the Treaty of Paris (1763) after the UK defeated France in the Seven Years' War. The British census counted 2,000 people in Detroit in 1760, but the population had dropped to 1,400 by 1773. The city was in territory which the British reserved for Indians under the Royal Proclamation of 1763. It was transferred to Quebec under the Quebec Act of 1774. By 1778 in a census taken during the American Revolution, population was up to 2,144. It was then the third-largest city in the Province of Quebec, after Montreal and Quebec.After 1773 a steady but growing trickle of Anglo-European settlers took families across the barrier range, or through lower New York State into the Ohio Country—gradually spreading across present-day Ohio along the south shore of Lake Erie and around the bottom of Lake Huron. After the 1778 Sullivan Expedition broke the power of the Iroquois, the New York corridor joined the gaps of the Allegheny, Cumberland Narrows and Cumberland Gap as mountain passes, enabling settlers to pour west into the mid-west, even as the American Revolution wound down.
After the peace, a flood of settlers continued west, and Detroit reaped its share of population, established itself as a gateway to the west and the Great Lakes, and for a time outshone all other cities west of the mountains, save for New Orleans.
During the 19th century, Detroit grew into a thriving hub of commerce and industry. After a devastating fire in 1805, Augustus B. Woodward devised a street plan similar to Pierre Charles L'Enfant's design for Washington, D.C. Monumental avenues and traffic circles were planned to fan out in radial fashion from Campus Martius Park in the heart of the city. This was intended to ease traffic patterns and trees were planted along the boulevards and parks.The city spread along Jefferson Avenue, with multiple manufacturing firms taking advantage of the transportation resources afforded by the river and a parallel rail line. In the late 19th century several Gilded Age mansions were built just east of Detroit's current downtown. Detroit was referred to by some as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison. Throughout the 20th century various skyscrapers were built centered on Detroit's downtown.
Following World War II, the auto industry boomed and the area witnessed suburban expansion. The Detroit metropolitan area has emerged as one of the largest in the United States. Immigrants and migrants have contributed significantly to Detroit's economy and culture. In the 1990s and the new millennium, the city has experienced increased revitalization. Many areas of the city are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and include National Historic Landmarks. The city with its population migration to the suburbs has had to adjust its role in the midst of a much larger metropolitan area in the 21st century.History of New York City (1898–1945)
During the years of 1898–1945, New York City consolidated and came to dominate American life. New York City became the capital of national communications, trade, and finance, and of popular culture and high culture. More than one-fourth of the 300 largest corporations in 1920 were headquartered there.The era began with the formation of the consolidated city of the five boroughs in 1898, with a total population of 3.4 million. New transportation links, especially the New York City Subway, opened in 1904, bound together the new metropolis. Increased immigration of unskilled Catholic and Jewish workers from Southern and Eastern Europe expanded the labor force until the World War ended immigration in 1914. Labor shortages during the war attracted African Americans from the Southeast, who headed north as part of the Great Migration. They sponsored the Harlem Renaissance of literature and culture celebrating the black experience.
The Roaring Twenties were years of glamour and wealth, highlighted by a construction boom, with skyscrapers built higher and higher in the famous skyline. New York's financial sector came to dominate the national and the world economies. The economy of New York City prospered after 1896, with a few short dips, until the decade-long Great Depression, which began with a Wall Street stock market crash in late 1929. The economy recovered by 1940 and flourished during the World War II years. The main bases of the economy were construction, ocean shipping, garments, machine tools, and printing. Labor unions rose and fell and rose again. New York boasted the nation's strongest financial system, a large upscale market for luxury goods, and a flourishing high culture based on many philanthropists, museums, galleries, universities, artists, writers, and publications.
The Democratic political machines in the boroughs generally controlled politics. However, they were finally overthrown in 1933 by reformers who elected and repeatedly re-elected Fiorello La Guardia. Heavy federal patronage helped convert the city to a stronghold of the New Deal Coalition and the model of heavy government spending on infrastructure.History of the Catholic Church in Mexico
The history of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico dates from the period of the Spanish conquest (1519–21) and has continued as an institution in Mexico into the twenty-first century. Catholicism is one of the two major legacies from the Spanish colonial era, the other being Spanish as the nation's language. The Catholic Church was a privileged institution until the mid nineteenth century. It was the sole permissible Church in the colonial era and into the early Mexican Republic, following independence in 1821. Following independence, it involved itself directly in politics, including in matters that did not specifically involve the Church.In the mid-nineteenth century the liberal Reform brought major changes in church-state relation. Mexican liberals in power challenged the Catholic Church's role, particularly in reaction to its involvement in politics. The Reform curtailed the Church's role in education in Mexico, property ownership, and control of birth, marriage, and death records, with specific anticlerical laws. Many of these were incorporated into the Constitution of 1857, restricting the Church's corporate ownership of property and other limitations. Although there were some liberal clerics who advocated reform, such as José María Luis Mora, the Church came to be seen as conservative and anti-revolutionary. During the bloody War of the Reform, when conservative forces attempted to oust the liberal government, the Church was an ally. They also were associated with the conservatives' attempt to regain power durin the French Intervention, when Maximilian Hapsburg was invited to become emperor of Mexico. The empire fell and conservatives discredited, along with the Catholic Church. However, during the long presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876–1911) the liberal former general pursued a policy of conciliation with the Catholic Church, but kept the liberal anticlerical articles of the constitution in force. In practice allowing greater freedom of action for the Catholic Church. With Díaz's ouster in 1911 and the decade-long conflict of the Mexican Revolution, the victorious Constitutionalist faction led by Venustiano Carranza wrote the new Constitution of 1917 that strengthened the anticlerical measures in the liberal Constitution of 1857.
With the presidency of Northern, anticlerical, revolutionary general Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–28), the State's enforcement of the anticlerical articles of Constitution of 1917 provoked a major crisis in Mexico with violence in a number of regions of Mexico. The Cristero Rebellion (1926–29) was resolved, with the aid of diplomacy of the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, ending the violence, but the anticlerical articles of the constitution remained. President Manuel Avila Camacho (1940–1946) came to office declaring "I am a [Catholic] believer," (soy creyente) and Church-State relations improved though without constitutional changes.
A major change came in 1992, with the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–1994). In a sweeping program of reform to "modernize Mexico" that he outlined in his 1988 inaugural address, his government pushed through revisions in the Mexican Constitution, explicitly including a new legal framework that restored the Catholic Church's juridical personality. The majority of Mexicans in the twenty-first century identify themselves as being Catholic, but the growth of other religious groups such as Protestant evangelicals, Mormons, as well secularism is consistent with trends elsewhere in Latin America. The 1992 federal Act on Religious Associations and Public Worship (Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y Culto Público), known in English as the Religious Associations Act or (RAA), has affected all religious groups in Mexico.Jesse R. Pitts
Jesse Richard Pitts (1921–2003), was an American sociologist specializing in deviance and social control, family sociology, sociological theory, French society, and criminology. He is considered one of the leading disciples of Talcott Parsons, dean of American sociologists for much of the 20th century. Pitts is perhaps best known for his contributions to a large textbook on sociology, Theories of Society: Foundations of Modern Sociological Theory, edited by Parsons and published in 1961. He pioneered sociological work on marginality, deviance and conformity. He was interested particularly in criminology and the institutional treatment of mental illness. Raised on both sides of the Atlantic, Pitts felt at home in France as much as in the United States. He created the Franco-American periodical The Tocqueville Review, serving as editor from 1978 to 1991.Library of America
The Library of America (LOA) is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature. Founded in 1979 with seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, the LOA has published over 300 volumes by a wide range of authors from Mark Twain to Philip Roth, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Saul Bellow, including the selected writings of several U.S. presidents.List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1986
List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1986 have been awarded annually since 1925, by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."Margaret Weir
Margaret M. Weir (born July 17, 1952) is an American political scientist and sociologist, best known for her work on social policy and the politics of poverty in the United States, particularly at the levels of state and local government.Progressive Era
The Progressive Era was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States that spanned from the 1890s to the 1920s. The main objectives of the Progressive movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office, a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies (trust busting) and corporations through antitrust laws, which were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors.
Many progressives supported prohibition of alcoholic beverages, ostensibly to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons, but others out of a religious motivation. At the same time, women's suffrage was promoted to bring a "purer" female vote into the arena. A third theme was building an Efficiency Movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing, and bring to bear scientific, medical and engineering solutions; a key part of the efficiency movement was scientific management, or "Taylorism". The middle class was in charge for helping reform the Progressive Era, and they got stuck with all of the burdens of this reformation. In Michael McGerr's book A Fierce Discontent, Jane Addams stated that she believed in the necessity of "association" of stepping across the social boundaries of industrial America.Many activists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, medicine, finance, insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized and made "scientific" the social sciences, especially history, economics, and political science. In academic fields the day of the amateur author gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. The national political leaders included Republicans Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette Sr., and Charles Evans Hughes and Democrats William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith. Leaders of the movement also existed far from presidential politics: Jane Addams, Grace Abbott, Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge were among the most influential non-governmental Progressive Era reformers.
Initially the movement operated chiefly at local level, but later it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers, and business people. Some Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in Western Europe and adopted numerous policies, such as a major transformation of the banking system by creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913 and the arrival of cooperative banking in the US with the founding of the first credit union in 1908. Reformers felt that old-fashioned ways meant waste and inefficiency, and eagerly sought out the "one best system".William B. Taylor (historian)
William B. Taylor is a historian of colonial Mexico, who held the Sonne Chair of History at University of California, Berkeley until his retirement. He made major contributions to the study of colonial land tenure, peasant rebellions, and many aspects of colonial religion in Mexico. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Conference on Latin American History, the highest honor of the professional organization of Latin American historians.William T. Rowe
William T. Rowe (b. Brooklyn, New York, 24 July 1947) is an historian of China, and John and Diane Cooke Professor of Chinese History, Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University. He considers himself a social historian of modern China, with both "social" and "modern" very broadly conceived, and works on every century from the 14th to the 20th.