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Carlton J.H. Hayes
Born May 16, 1882
Afton, New York, United States
Died Sept, 2, 1964
Afton, New York, United States
Education B.A., Ph.D. Columbia University
Occupation Historian; Author;Ambassador
Employer Columbia University; United States Government
Title Professor ; Ambassador

Carlton Joseph Huntley Hayes, Ph.D. (1882-1964) was an American educator and European historian, born in Afton, New York.



He graduated from Columbia in 1904, completed his PhD there in 1909. He became lecturer at Columbia in European history in 1907, assistant professor (1910), associate professor (1915), and full professor (1919).

He was head of the History department there several times, developed the theory of Nationalism and was known as the Father of Nationalism, inspiring many students to research in this field.

He held the Seth Low chair of history at Columbia from 1935 until his retirement in 1950.

In 1903 he became an active member of his fraternity Alpha Chi Rho and remained a member over his lifetime.

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

Later he became a founding member of Commmonweal 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.

After the First World War, he joined with Peter Guilday in establishing the American Catholic Historical Association and became its first secretary.

He was a contributor to the League of Nations:The Principle and Practice.

In the 1930’s 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.[1]

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, Evelyn Carroll originally from Oswego NY and by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Tucker and his son, Carroll J.Hayes.


  • Sources Relating to Germanic Invasions (1909)
  • British Social Politics (1913)
  • A Political and Social History of Modern Europe (1916)
  • 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 9781419202742.  
  • Wartime Mission in Spain (1945)
  • The historical evolution of modern nationalism, Macmillan, 1955
  • Contemporary Europe since 1870, Macmillan, 1965


  • Stephen Duggan, ed (1919). The League of Nations, Principle and Practice. The Atlantic Monthly Press.  


  1. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia 1963 ed. William Bridgwater and Seymour Kurtz

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