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Title:Science Under Siege: Joseph Henry's Smithsonian, 1846--1865
Author(s):Conlin, Michael Francis
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johannsen, Robert W.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This study traces the development of the Smithsonian Institution from its beginning in 1846 to the end of the Civil War in 1865. As the leading antebellum patron of the natural, physical, and social sciences in the United States, the Smithsonian exerted great force on the shape of the American scientific community. The Institution, in turn, was shaped by political concerns, demands for practical applications of science, conformity with natural theology, nationalism, and disputes between scientists. Joseph Henry, the leading American physical scientist of his generation, established an equilibrium between these competing forces and established a research program which supported and published original American research. Congress forced him to accept a large building, a museum, a library, and an art gallery. Although Henry managed to shed the library and the art gallery, the building and museum remained. The partisan politics of the 1850s and the Civil War exacerbated his difficulties. He spent fought a losing battle to prevent the Smithsonian Institution from becoming what it is today---the national museum.
Issue Date:1999
Description:297 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9944824
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1999

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