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William Dunbar And George Hunter Essay

Modern American scientific identity has its roots in the colleges of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Using the botanical sciences as an example, this essay examines the conflicts between those who viewed scientists as cosmopolitan (or international) and those who viewed scientists as citizens (or servants) of the national state. Whereas today many American scientists claim a cosmopolitan identity, even as they decry steady declines in state aid, two centuries ago, they did just the opposite: to win public support, they quietly subsumed the ideals of cosmopolitanism within a commitment to national service, even as they deftly cultivated a new professional image rooted in a rhetoric of scientific internationalism. The construction of this new self-image was, I argue, a necessary precondition for the creation of the modern American research university—particularly the public research university—which sought to reconcile the competing ideals of scientific cosmopolitanism and citizenship.

Research Scenario

The City of St. Louis Missouri has been given a federal grant to create a new monument in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a National Park Service site along the banks of the Mississippi River.
The govenor must choose which historical figure will be featured as the subject for this new monument. Several consultants from the Missouri History Museum have been hired to provide ideas. The names that emerged were: Lieutenant Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Sacagawea and York (William Clark's slave whose first name is unknown.)
As with many issues that involve spending tax payers' money, no one can agree on who should be honored by this memorial. To help solve this issue and settle the debate, every American is being asked to answer the following question:

Should Lewis and Clark be considered national heroes?

First, you will need to build some background knowledge about this topic.

Option 1:
Read the American Exploration of Louisiana from the Library of Congress and check your understanding. (This is a lengthy document. You should only read page 89- American Exploration of Louisiana to page 101- stop at Lewis and Clark.) Ask yourself: What major expeditions were sponsored before Lewis and Clark? What obstacles did they face?

Option 2:
Choose one of the following historical figures to research. Share your findings with the class.

Check your understanding of the background reading.


Watch the Brainpop video on Lewis and Clark and take the quiz afterwards to check your understanding.

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