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 Brooks Adams

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Brooks Adams

  • Birth 24 Jun 1848 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 13 Feb 1927 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 3631

Historian, Author. The youngest child of American Diplomat and scholar Charles Francis Adams, he spent most of his childhood in England, returning to Boston Massachusetts to attend Harvard University (where he graduated in 1870). Over the next year, he served as his father's secretary abroad then later followed in the footsteps of his forbearers by going into the law. In 1881, after receiving a substantial inheritance from his mother's family, he was able to travel extensively abroad. During his travels he formed an active correspondence with his brother Henry Adams, and they each proved to be an inspiration for the other. The two shared a strong relationship and common philosophies of life that in some ways were a departure from the Adams' family legacy. In 1895, Adams published his "Law of Civilization and Decay" in which he related his theory of history that human societies differed among themselves in proportion as they were endowed by nature with energy, and that civilization follows exchanges, or commercial growth and decay. With these exchanges the center of civilization, particularly the economic aspects, moved ever westward. He later predicted in "America's Economic Supremacy" (1900) that that center of civilization would move to America with New York being the economic capital, and that within 50 years America and Russia would be the only two world powers. In "The New Empire" (1902) he discussed America as an economic power, and in "Theory of Social Revolutions" (1912) he attacked Capitalism and the ability of capitalists to govern. Aside from his writing and research, for seven years starting in 1904 he lectured at Boston University Law School. He was also elected a member of the Massachusetts constitutional convention in 1917. In his personal life, Adams struggled with his personal beliefs spending much of his life as an agnostic. Later, however, he returned to the faith as a regular member of the family church at Quincy, Massachusetts. Married in 1889, he had no children; with the absence of children in their lives, he was the last of his family to live in "Peacefield" the Adams' family home. Upon his death, the house and grounds reverted to the government to establish a memorial to the Adams family legacy. His grandfather was 6th United States President John Quincy Adams, and his great-grandfather was 2nd United States President John Adams.

Bio by: Catharine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 30 Sep 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3631
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Brooks Adams (24 Jun 1848–13 Feb 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3631, citing Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .