McLaughlin, Andrew C. (Andrew Cunningham), 1861-1947

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Professor of history at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

From the description of Andrew C. McLaughlin papers, 1881-1947. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34422024

American constitutional historian. McLaughlin served as chairman of the Department of History at the University of Chicago from 1906 until 1927, as professor until 1929, and as emeritus from 1929 until 1936.

From the description of Papers, 1881-1944 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52248298

Andrew C. McLaughlin (1861-1947), the son of Scottish immigrants, was born in Beardstown, Illinois and grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. He received a bachelor's degree (1882) and law degree (1885) from the University of Michigan, practiced law in Chicago for several months, and returned to Ann Arbor as an instructor in Latin. When a mentor, Thomas Cooley, became chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, McLaughlin moved to the history department and assumed Cooley's courses in constitutional history. In 1890, he married Lois Angell, daughter of University President James B. Angell. In 1891, he was appointed professor of history.

During these years, McLaughlin published several books on the history of Michigan and became increasingly involved in national historical affairs as head of an American Historical Association committee on secondary teaching and as managing editor of the American Historical Review. By 1903, when McLaughlin was appointed director of the Carnegie Institution's Bureau of Historical Research in Washington, he was a widely respected historian. In early 1906, following the death of Hermann von Holst and the resignation of J. Franklin Jameson at Chicago, President William Rainey Harper and Henry Pratt Judson persuaded McLaughlin to join the faculty of the new Midwestern university. McLaughlin served as chairman of the Department of History from 1906 until 1927, as professor until 1929, and as emeritus from 1929-1936.

While administrative duties took much of McLaughlin's time at Chicago, his Papers reflect three intellectual interests, which dominated the mature years of his career. He was concerned first with the quality of teaching in history. McLaughlin devoted himself to the careful training of students and collaborated with Claude H. Van Tyne of the University of Michigan in writing a textbook on American history. The correspondence between these two scholars is a commentary on the difficulties of conveying historical knowledge without sacrificing its integrity to popular expectations.

McLaughlin was equally concerned with the role of the historian in American society. As council-member and president of the American Historical Association, he argued for an active professional interest in contemporary political issues. When America entered the war against Germany in 1917, McLaughlin led a group of noted historians to form the National Board for Historical Service. "In my judgment," he wrote to Jameson, "the value of the historian now is chiefly in pointing out the route into the future which his various experiences have enabled him to see. In other words, it is time for us to dare to use our historical information for purposes of prophecy and actual guidance". Sponsored by the Bureau, McLaughlin went to Britain in the spring of 1918 to deliver a series of lectures explaining American war aims and endorsing the alliance of the Atlantic democracies. The British tour was one of the proudest moments of McLaughlin's life, and neither the death of his son Rowland on the battlefield nor the later American rejection of the League of Nations could dim his Wilsonian confidence in the elemental justice of the war.

The third concern of McLaughlin's Chicago years was the writing of constitutional history. Beginning with his first major work on the subject, The Confederation and the Constitution, 1783-1789 (1905), he produced a steady stream of articles, lectures, and books on the development of American constitutional democracy: The Courts, the Constitution and Parties (1912); Steps in the Development of American Democracy (1920); The Foundations of American Constitutionalism (1932); and the culminating work of his life of scholarship, A Constitutional History of the United States (1935), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history. McLaughlin's distinctive contribution to the historiography of the Constitution was his conviction that American political institutions were less the fruit of revolutionary fervor than the product of organic development rooted in the British colonial experience. This emphasis on evolution and continuity marked a sharp departure from the interpretations of earlier scholars and laid the basis for a fundamental revision of their work.

From the guide to the McLaughlin, Andrew Cunningham. Papers, 1881-1944, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin was born on Feb. 14, 1861, at Beardstown, IL, the son of David and Isabella Campbell McLaughlin. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1882, and the Bachelor of Laws degree in 1885.

Following his graduation, McLaughlin taught Latin at the University of Michigan, then transferred to the history department, where he taught American History until he left in 1906 to go to the University of Chicago. He taught at Chicago until 1929.

McLaughlin was a recognized scholar of American constitutional history. He also authored textbooks on American history, a monograph on history of higher education in Michigan, a biography of Lewis Cass, and numerous journal articles.

In 1918 he lectured in England and Ireland on the causes that had led the United States into the war. His book America and Britain (1919) was a compilation of these lectures.

McLaughlin was professionally active, serving as director of the Bureau of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution in Washington and managing editor of The American Historical Review (1901-1905). He married Lois Thompson Angell in 1890. He died September 24, 1947.

From the guide to the Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin papers, 1881-1947, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Newberry Library. Office of the President and Librarian. Librarian/Trustee Committee on Books correspondence, 1909-1949. Newberry Library
creatorOf Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin Papers Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Moore, Charles, 1855-1942. Charles Moore papers, 1889-1940. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Harry Burns Hutchins Papers, 1879-1930 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn University of Michigan Faculty and Staff Portraits, ca. 1860-ca. 1960 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Henry Moore Bates papers, 1886-1950 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn William Roscoe Thayer papers, 1762-1927 (inclusive), 1872-1921 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Charles Henry Hull papers, 1850-1945. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Edward Gaylord Bourne papers, 1874-1970 (inclusive), 1885-1907 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf White, Peter, 1830-1908. Peter White papers, 1848-1915. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Bates, Henry Moore, 1869-1949. Henry Moore Bates papers, 1886-1950. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Whitcomb, Winfred Foster, 1878-1955. Winfred Foster Whitcomb papers, 1896-1925. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Rothman, Alice Eleonore. Alice Eleonore Rothman student notebooks, 1893-1894 and 1901. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Letters sent to Walter Hines Page from various correspondents, English period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library
referencedIn Peter White Papers, 1848-1915 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Shirley Wheeler Smith Papers, 1881-1959 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Charles Moore papers, 1901-1940 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Hull, Charles Henry, b. 1864. Charles Henry Hull papers, 1850-1945. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Edgar, Leila Ruth, 1895-. Leila Ruth Edgar student notebooks, 1905-1906. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Edward Gaylord Bourne papers, 1874-1970 (inclusive), 1885-1907 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Henry Charles Lea papers University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn J. Franklin Jameson papers, 1604-1994 (bulk 1900-1930). Library of Congress
referencedIn Edwin C. Goddard papers, [ca. 1884]-[ca. 1940] Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Turner, Frederick Jackson, 1861-1932. Papers of Frederick Jackson Turner, 1862-1976 (bulk 1889-1932). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Claude Halstead Van Tyne papers Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. Edwin C. Goddard papers, [ca. 1884]-[ca. 1940]. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn McLaughlin, Lois T. (Lois Thompson). Lois T. McLaughlin papers, 1872-1915. Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin papers, 1881-1947 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Arthur Lyon Cross Papers Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Jesse Siddall Reeves Papers, 1853-1942, 1901-1942 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Robert Cooley Angell Papers, 1923-1971 Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Robert Cooley Angell Papers, 1923-1971 Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Earle Wilbur Dow papers Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Earle Wilbur Dow papers Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf McLaughlin, Andrew Cunningham, 1861-1947. Andrew C. McLaughlin papers, 1881-1947. Bentley Historical Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Charles Kendall, 1835-1902. person
associatedWith Adams, George Burton, 1851-1925. person
associatedWith Angell, Robert Cooley, 1899-1984. person
associatedWith Bates, Henry Moore, 1869-1949. person
associatedWith Bourne, Edward Gaylord, 1860-1908. person
associatedWith Charles Henry Hull, b. 1864. person
associatedWith Commager, Henry Steele, 1902-1998. person
associatedWith Corwin, Edward Samuel, 1878-1963. person
associatedWith Cross, Arthur Lyon, 1873-1940 person
associatedWith Dodd, William Edward, 1869-1940. person
associatedWith Dow, Earle W. (Earle Wilbur), 1868-1946. person
associatedWith Edgar, Leila Ruth, 1895- person
associatedWith Farrand, Max, 1869-1945. person
associatedWith Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. person
associatedWith Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hull, Charles Henry, b. 1864. person
associatedWith Hutchins, Harry B. (Harry Burns), 1847-1930 person
associatedWith Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937. person
associatedWith Leland, Waldo Gifford, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Margry, Pierre, 1818-1894. person
associatedWith McLaughlin, Lois T. (Lois Thompson) person
associatedWith Michigan Historical Collections corporateBody
associatedWith Moore, Charles, 1855-1942. person
associatedWith Morse, John T. (John Torry), 1840-1937. person
associatedWith Newberry Library. Office of the President and Librarian. corporateBody
associatedWith Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918 person
associatedWith Reeves, Jesse Siddall, 1872- person
associatedWith Remsen, Ira, 1846-1927. person
associatedWith Robinson, James Harvey, 1863-1936. person
associatedWith Rothman, Alice Eleonore. person
associatedWith Shotwell, James Thomson, 1874-1965. person
associatedWith Smith, Shirley Wheeler, 1875-1959 person
correspondedWith Thayer, William Roscoe, 1859-1923 person
associatedWith Turner, Frederick Jackson, 1861-1932. person
associatedWith University of Michigan corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of History. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of History. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of Law. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of Philosophy. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Dept. of Philosophy. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950. person
associatedWith Van Tyne, Claude Halstead, 1869-1930. person
associatedWith Whitcomb, Winfred Foster, 1878-1955. person
associatedWith White, Peter, 1830-1908. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Constitutional history
Voyages and travels


Birth 1861-02-14

Death 1947-09-24





Ark ID: w6kk9cd9

SNAC ID: 71299916