College of Arts and Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)


Matthew Hill


Carlton J.H. Hayes, Ambassador Hayes, World War II, Spain, Francisco Franco, Nationalism, Catholicism, Columbia University, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wolfram Crisis, Laurel letter, Afton, NY, US-Spanish relations, 20th Century




Carlton Joseph Huntley Hayes was born in Afton, New York, in 1882. His father was the town physician, and his mother was a music teacher. From his parents, he gained a love and appreciation for learning. Upon entering Columbia University at eighteen, young Carlton J.H. Hayes quickly found a niche in history. He was mentored for success by such historical titans as William R. Shepherd, Charles A. Beard, and James Harvey Robinson. Hayes quickly became a strong supporter of the New History School, and his A Political and Social History of Modern Europe is a prime example of that ideology. Throughout much of his career, the main focus of his work attempted to discover the mysteries of nationalism. It is because of his work during those years that he cemented nationalism as a valid scholarly pursuit. Moreover, out of this endeavor came the culmination of the publication of Nationalism: A Religion. This book displayed Hayes as the master of the field and posited the religious character that nationalism assumes once a nation becomes more secular. Hayes’s life was also unique in that from 1942 to 1945; he served as an ambassador to Spain for the United States during World War II. Despite his apparent lack of ambassadorial skills, Roosevelt tasked Hayes to keep Spain out of the war and keep the country from joining the Axis powers. Hayes was successful, and because of his diplomatic skills, Spain saw his mission to Spain as successful. Moreover, this mission was successful because of Hayes’s profession as a historian, Catholic faith and understanding of Spain’s nationalistic character. This knowledge helped the United States get the results it wanted out of Hayes’s mission to Spain. This dissertation delves deeper into these concepts covering Hayes’s youth to death and how he acquired the skills necessary to succeed in all of his endeavors.

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