John Bascom And The Origins Of The Wisconsin Idea by J. David HoevelerJohn Bascom And The Origins Of The Wisconsin Idea by J. David Hoeveler

John Bascom And The Origins Of The Wisconsin Idea

byJ. David Hoeveler

Hardcover | July 20, 2016

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In the Progressive Era of American history, the state of Wisconsin gained national attention for its innovative economic and political reforms. Amidst this ferment, the "Wisconsin Idea" was popularized—the idea that a public university should improve the lives of people beyond the borders of its campus.

During his term as governor (1901–1906), Robert La Follette routinely consulted with University of Wisconsin researchers to devise groundbreaking programs and legislation. Although the Wisconsin Idea is often attributed to a 1904 speech by Charles Van Hise, then president of the University of Wisconsin, David Hoeveler argues that it originated decades earlier, in the creative and fertile mind of John Bascom.

A philosopher, theologian, and sociologist, Bascom (1827–1922) deeply influenced a generation of students at the University of Wisconsin, including La Follette and Van Hise. Hoeveler documents how Bascom drew concepts from German idealism, liberal Protestantism, and evolutionary theory, transforming them into advocacy for social and political reform. He was a champion of temperance, women's rights, and labor, all of which brought him controversy as president of the university from 1874 to 1887. In a way unmatched by any of his peers at other institutions, Bascom outlined a social gospel that called for an expanded role for state governments and universities as agencies of moral improvement.

Hoeveler traces the intellectual history of the Wisconsin Idea from the nineteenth century to such influential Progressive Era thinkers as Richard T. Ely and John R. Commons, who believed university researchers should be a vital source of expertise for government and citizens.
J. David Hoeveler is a Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is the author of seven books, including Creating the American Mind, The Evolutionists, and Watch on the Right.
Title:John Bascom And The Origins Of The Wisconsin IdeaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:July 20, 2016Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299307808

ISBN - 13:9780299307806


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Preparations
2 A Political Professor
3 Wisconsin: A State and Its University
4 New Theology, New University
5 The University and the Social Gospel
6 Progressivism 1: Temperance
7 Progressivism 2: Women
8 Progressivism 3: Money and Class
9 The Wisconsin Idea
A Bascom Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"As we face contemporary privatization trends that undermine higher education as a public good, the book serves as a reminder of the powerful ideas that nurtured the land-grant college promises of democratic service and state engagement. Hoeveler has a magisterial command of intellectual movements that resist generalization and that demand readers wrestle with nuance and complexity." —History of Education Quarterly