AHA President, 1908


Yale University

From the American Historical Review 30:4 (July 1925)

George Burton Adams (June 3, 1851–May 26, 1925), professor emeritus in Yale University, died on May 26, at the age of nearly seventy-four. He had been professor of history in Drury College from 1877 to 1888, and in Yale University from 1888 till his retirement in 1917. His first important publication was a book on Civilization during the Middle Ages (1894), followed in 1896 by one on The Growth of the French Nation, and in 1899 by An Outline of European History; but his main interest was in the constitutional history of England, especially in that of the thirteenth century. He was the author of the second volume (1905) of Hunt and Poole’s Political History of England, the volume relating to the period from 1066 to 1216, of a volume on The Origin of the English Constitution (1912), and of one on The Constitutional History of England (1921) in the series of volumes edited by Professor Haskins and published by Holt. His views respecting the constitutional history of the thirteenth century, often first set forth in articles in this journal, received wide acceptance and some dissent, but certainly were expounded with great learning and clearness of thought and expression. He was a member of the Council of the American Historical Association from 1891 to 1897 and from 1898 to 1901, and was president of the Association during the year 1908. From the inception of this journal, in 1895, he was continuously chairman of its Board of Editors until 1913. His services to the Association and to the Review were of the greatest value. He signally aided the Executive Council of the Association, in critical years, by sound judgment, wisdom and consideration in all dealings with others, effective energy, and common sense; and the debt which the Review, especially in the first years following its establishment, owes to these qualities and to his careful and devoted service is greater than can be imagined by the present public. He was a man of transparent integrity, and a good friend.



Mediæval civilization. By George Burton Adams. New York, D. Appleton and company, 1883.

The history of the middle ages. New York, H. Holt and company, 1891

Civilization during the middle ages, especially in relation to modern civilization. By George Burton Adams. New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1894.

Why Americans dislike England. Philadelphia, H. Altemus, c1896. The origin and results of the imperial federation movement in England. By George Burton Adams. Madison, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1899.

European history: an outline of its development. By George Burton Adams; with maps and illustrations. New York ; London: The Macmillan Company, 1899.

The British empire and a league of peace, together with an analysis of federal government, its function and its method. By George Burton Adams. New York and London, G. P. Putnam’s sons, 1919.

Constitutional history of England. By George Burton Adams. New York, H. Holt, 1921.

The origin of the English constitution. By George Burton Adams. Enlarged ed. New Haven: Yale University Press; London : H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1931; Reprint, Beard Books, December 2001.

The history of England, from the Norman Conquest to the death of John, 1066-1216. New York, Greenwood Press, 1969, 1905.