Carlton J. H. Hayes
Carlton Joseph Huntley Hayes (May 16, 1882 – September 2, 1964) was an American educator and European historian, and an intellectual leader of Catholics in America. He served as American ambassador to Spain in World War II.
Life and careerHayes was born to a Baptist family in upstate New York, the son of Permelia Mary (née Huntley) and Philetus Arthur Hayes. Hayes graduated from Columbia in 1904, completed his PhD there in 1909 with a thesis on the Germanic invasion of the Roman Empire. He became lecturer at Columbia in European history in 1907, assistant professor (1910), associate professor (1915), and full professor (1919).
In 1904 he converted to Catholicism—and went on to be the first Catholic co-chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews along with Everett Clinchy and Roger Strauss. He was head of the Columbia history department several times. After World War I, he joined with Peter Guilday in establishing the American Catholic Historical Association and became its first secretary. Its goal was to promote Catholic history, and to integrate Catholic scholars into the wider world of academe.
Hayes was influenced by Charles A. Beard, a proponent of the “New History,” which emphasized the importance of cultural economic developments as opposed to just warfare and diplomacy. Hayes argued the New History demonstrated that Original Sin was integral to human existence. His two volume Political and Cultural History of Europe, long a major textbook, is filled with examples of such thought, none more so than his discussion of the Industrial Revolution in England. Hayes also developed the historical interpretation of nationalism and was known as the Father of Nationalism, inspiring many students to research in this field.
In his presidential address to the American Historical Association, entitled "The American Frontier—Frontier of What?”, Hayes urged Americans to see their nation as the western frontier of Europe. The Founders had maintained "lively contacts with, and solid knowledge of, the European civilization on whose boundaries they were." In the 19th century, with massive immigration from Europe, "Americans" took a different path than Europeans, becoming a nation of diverse linguistic, religious and ethnic origins, with each group desperate to be accepted. While nationalism in Europe emerged from an appreciation for the cultural or political achievements of one’s compatriots, American nationalism encouraged fresh cultural and political developments. Hayes concluded that had produced an intense, and often artificial form of nationalism, that served to "inoculate us against Europe and built up an isolationist state of mind."
He held the Seth Low chair of history at Columbia from 1935 until his retirement in 1950. In 1945, he became the first Catholic president of the American Historical Association, over the vocal opposition of political opponents who denounced his conservatism.
Later he became a founding member of Commonweal, a weekly Catholic magazine run by lay people.
During World War I he served as captain of the United States Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff in 1918-1919.
Nine years later, under the direction of General Connor, the head of the War Department, he was asked to serve on an advisory committee of historians to organize documents pertaining to the American participation in the fighting in France. This earned him the title of Major.
He was a contributor to the League of Nations:The Principle and Practice.
In the 1930s he was a member of the Catholic Association for International Peace. He became president of the American Historical Association in 1945 and was head of the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown. He was also a member of the American Philosophical Society.
He was awarded the Laetare medal from Notre Dame in 1946 along with the Alexander Hamilton medal from Columbia University in 1952 and the Cardinal Gibbons medal from Catholic University in DC in 1949.
He was also a guest lecturer and teacher at various academic institutions throughout his career and into his retirement and earned the following honorary degrees: University of Notre Dame- 1921, Marquette University – 1929, Niagara College – 1936, Williams College – 1939, Fordham University – 1946, University of Detroit – 1950, Georgetown University – 1953, Michigan State University – 1955, LeMoyne College - 1960.
From 1942 to 1944 he was US ambassador to Spain. Though some criticized him for being too friendly with Francisco Franco, it was generally held that he played a vital role in preventing Franco from siding with the Axis during the war.
He died of a heart ailment, at Sidney Hospital, Sidney, New York on September 2, 1964, age 82.
He was buried from the church he founded in Afton, NY, St. Agnes, and laid to rest at Glenwood Cemetery in Afton, NY. He was survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary Evelyn Carroll, originally from Oswego NY, and by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Hayes Tucker, and his son, Carroll J. Hayes.
WorksSources Relating to Germanic Invasions (1909)
British Social Politics (1913)
A Political and Social History of Modern Europe (1916) vol 1 online;
Brief History of the Great War (1920)
Essays on Nationalism (1926)
Modern history, Macmillan, 1928
Ancient and Medieval History, MacMillan Company, 1929
France, A Nation of Patriots (1930)
The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism (1931)
A Political and Cultural History of Modern Europe, Macmillan, (2 vols. 1932-36 rev. ed., 1939) reprint. Kessinger Publishing, LLC. 2004. ISBN 978-1-4192-0274-2.
Wartime Mission in Spain (1945) a.k.a. Wartime mission in Spain, 1942-1945, by Carlton J(osef).H(untley) Hayes, late American ambassador to Spain. New York, Macmillan, 1945. VIII - 313 pages. Spanish translation: ed. Epesa, Madrid, 1946, 397 pages.
"The American Frontier—Frontier of What?" Presidential address delivered at the annual meeting in Washington on December 27, 1945. American Historical Review 50:2 (January 1946): 199-216. online
The historical evolution of modern nationalism, Macmillan, 1955
Contemporary Europe since 1870, Macmillan, 1965
Co-authorStephen Duggan, ed. (1919). The League of Nations, Principle and Practice. The Atlantic Monthly Press.
About HayesJohn Joseph Shanley, "The Story of Carlton Hayes," The University Bookman Volume 47, Number 1 (Winter 2010)