John W. Burgess was one of the indisputable founders of the discipline of political science in the United States. Two crucial influences on the development of Burgess's political thought were the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. His interest in these historical events, which he saw as central to understanding the importance of the nation-state, deeply influenced the Foundations of Political Science, his most compact exposition of what he believed to be the core principles of political science.
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