Update
The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Dismiss

Related Content

Related Overviews

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Social sciences
  • Warfare and Defence

GO

Show Summary Details

Overview

George Bancroft

(1800—1891)


Quick Reference

(1800–1891),

Massachusetts statesman and scholar, while holding various government posts obtained material for his monumental History of the United States (1834–76). As secretary of navy under Polk, he was instrumental in establishing Annapolis as the U.S. Naval Academy, and as secretary of war pro tem (May 1845) he sent General Taylor across the Texas border, precipitating war with Mexico. His standing order to Sloat to occupy California ports in case of war led to the early occupation of that territory. Bancroft was minister to Great Britain (1846–49) and minister to Germany (1867–74). His ten-volume History was revised in 1876 to six volumes. A final revision (6 vols., 1883–85) includes the History of the Formation of the Constitution (1882). Although the work is now outmoded, it is still important as an example of the aggressive yet spiritual nationalism of America's mid-19th century. Some of Bancroft's many orations and essays are collected in Literary and Historical Miscellanies (1855).


Reference entries