Peter Chardon Brooks Adams was an American historian and a critic of capitalism.
He graduated from Harvard University in 1870 and studied at Harvard Law School in 1870 and 1871. Adams believed that commercial civilizations rise and fall in predictable cycles. First, masses of people draw together in large population centers and engage in commercial activities. As their desire for wealth grows, they discard spiritual and creative values. Their greed leads to distrust and dishonesty, and eventually the society crumbles. In The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895), Adams noted that as new population centers emerged in the west, centers of world trade shifted from Constantinople to Venice to Amsterdam to London. He predicted in America's Economic Supremacy (1900) that New York would become the center of world trade.
He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1918.
The 1900 US Census shows Brooks Adams as living in Quincy, Mass. The Census report also shows he married Evelyn Davis around 1890. The census does not show the couple having any children.
Adams National Historical Park, formerly Adams National Historic Site, in Quincy, Massachusetts, preserves the home of Presidents of the United States John Adams (1735-1826) and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), of U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Charles Francis Adams, and of the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams and many other members of the famous Adams political family.
The national historical park's eleven buildings tell the story of five generations of the Adams family (from 1720 to 1927) including Presidents, First Ladies, U.S. Ministers, historians, writers, and family members who supported and contributed to their success. In addition to Peacefield, home to four generations of the Adams family, the park's main historic features include the John Adams Birthplace (October 30, 1735), the nearby John Quincy Adams Birthplace (July 11, 1767), and the Stone Library (built in 1870 to house the books of John Quincy Adams and believed to be the first presidential library), containing more than 14,000 historic volumes in 12 languages.
There is an off-site Visitors Center less than a mile (1.6 km) away. Regularly scheduled tours of the houses are offered in season (April 19 to November 10), by guided tour only, using a tourist trolley provided by the Park Service between sites. Access to United First Parish Church, where the Adamses worshipped and are buried, is provided by the congregation for which they ask a small donation. The church is across the street from the Visitors Center.
- John Adams Historic Site - National Park Service official website
Adams was a great-grandson of John Adams, a grandson of John Quincy Adams, the youngest son of U.S. diplomat Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886), and brother to Henry Adams, philosopher, historian, and novelist, whose theories of history were influenced by his work. His maternal grandfather was Peter Chardon Brooks, the wealthiest man in Boston at the time of his death.
Brooks is a direct descendant of the following:
- John Adams Immigrant Ancestors - US President John Adams (1735-1826) and descendant of early immigrant ancestors to Plymouth Colony. Part of the Adams political family of Boston Brahmin fame with direct connections to many highly notable relatives.
- Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796)/immigrant ancestors - delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of the US Constitution, and a descendant of several early Mayflower pilgrims.
- Brooks Adams - Wikipedia