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Merriam, Charles E. (1874–1953)

Charles E. Merriam Jr., born in Hopkinton, Iowa, spent his early years in academia at Lenox College and then in the law program at Iowa State University. From there, he majored in social science at Columbia College. Merriam studied in Germany until he accepted a teaching appointment at the University of Chicago.

Merriam was an advocate of the political process, both professionally and personally. He was political science department chair in the 1920s to the 1940s and set the political science agenda in post–World War II decades. Merriam became a proponent of empiricism in the humanities and in social and political science. As such, he objected to methodologies that subscribed to the denial of free will. To develop political theory, he promoted behavioral science while ...

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