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Cover illustration: Detail from Figure 4: “The Historic Tree,” a frontispiece to the new edition of Emma Willard’s History of the United States (1852)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Yamaguchi, Yoshinari, author.

Title: American History in Transition : From Religion to Science / by Yoshinari Yamaguchi.

Description: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2020] | Series: Costerus new series, 0165-9618 ; Volume 229 | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Summary: “In American History in Transition Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing. As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview”– Provided by publisher.

Identifiers: LCCN 2020000532 | ISBN 9789004424302 (hardback) | ISBN 9789004424319 (ebook)

Subjects: LCSH: United States–Historiography. | United States–History–Philosophy.

Classification: LCC E175 .Y358 2020 | DDC 973.072–dc23

LC record available at

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download:

ISSN 0165-9618

ISBN 978-90-04-42430-2 (hardback)

ISBN 978-90-04-42431-9 (e-book)

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American History in Transition

From Religion to Science