Henry Adams: the American of Americans Learning Through Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Henry Adams
The “American of Americans” learning through Saint Thomas Aquinas
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[ ] [ ]Maria Guadalupe Mendoza-AvilaAmerican Civilization II Dr. Hanssen
11 April 2013|

Henry Adams
The “American of Americans” learning through Saint Thomas Aquinas
Studying at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas (named after Washington Irving, the first man to write Christopher Columbus’ biography) in 2013 opens students’ minds to being liberal arts thinkers constantly and efficiently. With that, comes learning about Saint Thomas Aquinas in Philosophy courses and even in other courses such as Literary Traditions, Economics, Modern Languages, Psychology and American and Western Civilization courses. There is always a reference made to this great philosopher and thinker in present time universities. Well not only are people talking about Saint Thomas Aquinas in 2013 at the University of Dallas, but so did Henry Adams in the beginning of the twentieth century. The fact that Henry Adams is widely known in the United States of America as a historian, intellectual, writer and scholar among many other things, he is also an important part of the Adams’ politically known family who influenced our country in various ways, such a being Founding Fathers, presidents, intellectuals and having other greater effects on the nation, makes him the perfect candidate to be an intellectual man who was interested in the study of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Even though Henry Adams was already influential in him, having been raised with an enormously intellectual and eye-opening family, he had his own struggles other than the ones that were presented to him by his family about the country on its own. He was able to learn on his own that education is much more than memorizing anything, to him; it was about living it and being an example of how to make history. He knew that the only way to be as influential as he really wanted to be was by broadening his own mind as much as he possibly could. He had grown up with a president grandfather and another influential grandfather, so to him it was important that he knew what was going on in his surroundings and how he would deal with it. Henry Adams grew with an open mind and with many kinds of educations and influences but when he grew older he sought the studies of Saint Thomas Aquinas to help him realize the truth about humans and education. Of course, he was not the only intellectual of the time to write about this great philosopher and religious figure, but Henry Adams had a sort of closer connection to him because of the struggles he had faced growing up and in his married life as well. He knew that with the loss of his wife he had to seek another truth other than just politics. He was going through an internal battle growing up trying to learn as much as possible and to be a successful man as he was “supposed” to be because of his background and family, but he was going through so much pressure that he never really took the time to get to know his true self without others telling him how to be exactly. Henry Adams was known to be an intellectual man but not because of his own accomplishments, which he later came up with by himself after going to Harvard College, but mainly because of his family. He had grown up with the pressure to be a great man, the same way that his elder men had been. In his book, The Education of Henry Adams readers are exposed to his way of life as a child and growing up. The first three chapters seem to be a coming of age novel, but in a satire format. His words are not to be taken completely seriously at first because it becomes obvious that a lot of the dates and times he gives are not correct, but they are rather the opposite which makes readers wonder if they can even believe anything else he writes. Readers need to know his background story to understand that he is a great friend to John Hay who is another great man in the history of the United States...
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