Articles | Volume 77, issue 4
Standard article
04 Nov 2022
Standard article |  | 04 Nov 2022

A theory for the “Anglo-Saxon mind”: Ellen Churchill Semple's reinterpretation of Friedrich Ratzel's Anthropogeographie

Ian Klinke

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Cited articles

Adams, E. E.: Ellen Churchill Semple and American geography in an era of imperialism, unpublished PhD thesis, College of William and Mary, 2011. 
Ashutosh, I.: Mapping race and environment: geography's entanglements with Aryanism, J. Hist. Geogr., 61, 15–23,, 2018.  
Ashworth, L.: Mapping the New World: Geography and the interwar study of International Relations, Int. Stud. Quart., 57, 138–149,, 2013. 
Atwood, W. W.: Ellen Churchill Semple – 1863–1932, Science, 75, 657,, 1932. 
Bassin, M.: Turner, Solov'ev, and the “frontier hypothesis”: The nationalist signification of open spaces, J. Mod. Hist., 65, 473–511,, 1993. 
Short summary
This paper examines the intellectual relationship between the influential American geographer Ellen Churchill Semple and her professor, the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel. Semple clearly developed her own theory of anthropogeography from a reading of Ratzel. But she did so in a political context, i.e. post-slavery North America. Her theory clearly expresses that context and her dissatisfaction with particular elements in Ratzel's corpus.