Dr. John Recchiuti Highlights the Various Phases of History During the Faculty Lecture

April 06, 2010

The world as we know it today is a compendium of eras that have evolved through time influenced by a number of social movements, according to Dr. John Recchiuti, professor of history and director of the American Studies program at Mount Union College, who presented the Faculty Lecture Thursday.

Recchiuti, who recently authored a highly acclaimed book entitled 'Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive Era Reform in New York City,' traced the world's historical eras and read pertinent excerpts from his book.

'In the last 200 years everything has been transformed and changes are occurring faster,' Recchiuti said. 'Important changes occurred during the Enlightenment period, perhaps most significant was the writing of the American constitution. Prior to the Enlightenment, opinions were formed along religious lines but this period was pivotal in human history.'

According to Recchiuti, in the early years of recorded history the world was mainly based on religion and then the change to commerce came about during the Industrial Revolution. During this time there was a transportation revolution due to the steam engine. Urbanization and immigration also became key elements during this era, he said.

The Scientific Revolution followed and the changes were rapid and profound. 'Science and technology revolutionized human life and transformed it,' Recchiuti said.

According to Recchiuti, the change from religion to commerce to science inspired a change in education. 'The small, private religiously affiliated college has given way increasingly to the modern, secular and scientific research university,' Recchiuti said.

Recchiuti's lecture was delivered 48 years after the first faculty lecture given at the College when another historian, Dr. John Saffell presented 'An Historian Looks At His World' in 1959.

Each year a member of the Mount Union College faculty is selected to give a special lecture relating interesting or important developments in his or her own field or exploring matters of general concern to the faculty.

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