Contribution of Humboldt and Carl Ritter
the founders of modern geography. Alexander von Humboldt Carl Ritter (August 7, 1779 – September 28, 1859) was a German geographer. Along with Alexander von Humboldt, he is considered one of the founders of modern geography. From 1825 until his death, he occupied the first chair in geography at the University of Berlin.
Geographic knowledge saw strong growth in Europe and the United States in the 1800 s. This period also saw the emergence of a number of societies interested in geographic issues. In Germany, Alexander von Humboldt, Carl Ritter, and Fredrich Ratzel made substantial contributions to human and physical geography. Humboldt's publication. Kosmos (1844) examines the geology and physical geography of the Earth. This work is considered by many academics to be a milestone contribution to geographic scholarship.
Late in the 19 th Century, Ratzel theorized that the distribution and culture of the Earth's various human populations was strongly influenced by the natural environment. The French geographer Paul Vidal de la Blanche opposed this revolutionary idea. Instead, he suggested that human beings were a dominant force shaping the form of the environment. The idea that humans were modifying the physical environment was also prevalent in the United States.
In 1847, George Perkins Marsh gave an address to the Agricultural Society of Rutland County, Vermont. The subject of this speech was that human activity was having a destructive impact on land, especially through deforestation and land conversion. This speech also became the foundation for his book Man and Nature or The Earth as Modified by Human Action, first published in 1864. In this publication, Marsh warned of the ecological consequences of the continued development of the American frontier.
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt (September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859) was a German naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist, Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767 -1835). Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography was foundational to the field of biogeography. Died. May 6, 1859 (aged 89) Berlin Nationality. German. Fieldsnaturalist. Known forbiogeogra phy, Kosmos (1845)Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt traveled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time in a manner generally considered to be a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years.
He was one of the first to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular). Later, his five-volume work, Kosmos (1845), attempted to unify the various branches of scientific knowledge. Humboldt supported and worked with other scientists, including Joseph-Louis Gay -Lussac, Justus von Liebig, Louis Agassiz, Matthew Fontaine Maury, and most notably, Aimé Bonpland, with whom he conducted much of his scientific exploration.
Berlin University, 1950.
The first two volumes of the Kosmos were published between the years 1845 and 1847. Humboldt had been intending to write a comprehensive work about different facets of geography and the natural sciences for decades. The writing first took shape in a set of lectures he delivered before the University of Berlin in the winter of 1827 -28. In the words of one biography, these lectures would form "the cartoon for the great fresco of the [K]osmos". The scope of this work may be described as the representation of the unity amidst the complexity of nature. Humboldt's work was by and large a synthesis of Kantian views of unity of natural phenomena. Drawing together the methods and instrumentation of the discrete sciences and with inspiration from. German Romanticism, Humboldt sought to create a compendium of the world's environment. The book was written for an educated audience and contains much contemporaneous scientific data.
KARL RITTER (1779 -1859), was born at Quedlinburg on the 7 th of August 1779, and died in Berlin on the 28 th of September 1859. His father, a physician, left his family in straitened circumstances, and Karl was received into the Schnepfenthal institution then just founded by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744 -1811) for the purpose of testing his educational theories. The Salzmann system was practically that of Rousseau; conformity to natural law and enlightenment were its watchwords; great attention was given to practical life; and the modern languages were carefully taught, to the complete exclusion of Latin and Greek.
University of Halle in 1836
Ritter already showed geographical aptitude, and when his schooldays were drawing to a close his future course was determined by an introduction to Bethmann Hollweg, a banker in Frankfort. It was arranged that Ritter should become tutor to Hollweg's children, but that in the meantime he should attend the university at his patron's expense. His duties as tutor in the Hollweg family began at Frankfort in 1798 and continued for fifteen years. The years 1814 -19, which he spent at Gottingen in order still to watch over the welfare of his pupils, were those in which he began to devote himself exclusively to geographical inquiries. He had already travelled extensively in Europe when in 1817 -18 he brought out his first masterpiece, Die Erdkunde im Verhdltnis zur Natur and zur Geschichte des Menschen (Berlin, 2 vols. , 1817 -1818).
Ritter received an excellent education in the natural sciences and was well versed in history and theology. Guided by the educational principles of the famed Swiss teacher Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and by the ideas of the German philosopher-theologian Johann Gottfried von Herder on the relation between man and his environment, Ritter became a teacher and philosopher in the field of geography, serving as professor at the University of Berlin from 1820 until the end of his life. Viewing geography as an empirical science, he maintained that its methodology required proceeding from one observation to the next, not from opinion or hypothesis to observation. Though he was convinced that there were laws of geography, he appeared to attach no particular importance to establishing them clearly.
He stressed, instead, the importance of utilizing all the sciences to delineate the nature of geography, which was, in his view, unique. Ritter always regarded Humboldt, who was ten years his senior, as his master and partly based his geographical writings on Humboldt's ideas. He was frequently more a historian than a geographer and wrote what has come to be known as a geographical interpretation of history. The opposition to his ideas that developed after his death arose in part from the contention that he had made geography ancillary to history. Even so, during his later life and for nearly 20 years following his death, his ideas deeply influenced geographical research in Germany. His great work, Die Erdkunde was never completed. The first volume, on Africa, was published in 1817 and brought him his appointment at the University of Berlin; a revised edition appeared in 1822. Between 1832 and his death he regularly published new volumes, chiefly on Asia. The work, though incomplete, ran to 20, 000 pages in 19 volumes.