Adams, Brooks,1848–1927, American historian, b. Quincy, Mass.; son of Charles Francis AdamsAdams, Charles Francis,
1807–86, American public official, minister to Great Britain (1861–68), b. Boston; son of John Quincy Adams. After a boyhood spent in various European capitals, he was graduated (1825) from Harvard and studied law under Daniel Webster.
..... Click the link for more information. (1807–86). His theory that civilization rose and fell according to the growth and decline of commerce was first developed in The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895). Adams applied it to his own capitalistic age, of which he was a militant critic, but failed to find the universal law that he persistently sought. His ideas greatly influenced his brother Henry AdamsAdams, Henry,
1838–1918, American writer and historian, b. Boston; son of Charles Francis Adams (1807–86). He was secretary (1861–68) to his father, then U.S. minister to Great Britain.
..... Click the link for more information. , whose essays he edited in The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma (1919). In America's Economic Supremacy (1900), Brooks said that Western Europe had already begun to decline and that Russia and the United States were the only potential great powers left. His other chief works include The Emancipation of Massachusetts (1887), The New Empire (1902), and Theory of Social Revolutions (1913).
See biography by A. F. Beringause (1955); J. T. Adams, The Adams Family (1930, repr. 1957); T. P. Donovan, Henry Adams and Brooks Adams (1961).
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Adams, Brooks(1848–1927) historian, lawyer; born in Quincy, Mass. (grandson of President John Quincy Adams, son of Charles Francis Adams, brother of Henry Adams). After graduating from Harvard (1870), he served his father as secretary in Geneva and practiced law in Boston. His major historical work, The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895), a cyclical view of history, influenced his brother Henry. He lectured on law at Boston University (1904–11).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.