Existentialism is the philosophical study that begins with the human subject—not the thinking subject, but the acting, living human individual. It is associated with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief in that beginning of philosophical thinking. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Søren Kierkegaard is considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term existentialism, he proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, or "authentically".
Existentialism became popular in the years following World War II, thanks to Sartre who read Heidegger while in a POW camp, influenced many disciplines besides philosophy, including theology, art and psychology. The term "existentialism" was coined by the French Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the mid-1940s. At first, when Marcel applied the term to him at a colloquium in 1945, Jean-Paul Sartre rejected it. Sartre subsequently changed his mind and, on October 29, 1945, publicly adopted the existentialist label in a lecture to the Club Maintenant in Paris; the lecture was published as L'existentialisme est un humanisme, a short book that did much to popularize existentialist thought. Marcel came to reject the label himself in favour of the term Neo-Socratic, in honor of Kierkegaard's essay "On The Concept of Irony"; some scholars argue that the term should be used only to refer to the cultural movement in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s associated with the works of the philosophers Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus.
Other scholars extend the term to Kierkegaard, yet others extend it as far back as Socrates. However, the term is identified with the philosophical views of Sartre; the labels existentialism and existentialist are seen as historical conveniences in as far as they were first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. In fact, while existentialism is considered to have originated with Kierkegaard, the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre posits the idea that "what all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence", as scholar Frederick Copleston explains. According to philosopher Steven Crowell, defining existentialism has been difficult, he argues that it is better understood as a general approach used to reject certain systematic philosophies rather than as a systematic philosophy itself. Sartre himself, in a lecture delivered in 1945, described existentialism as "the attempt to draw all the consequences from a position of consistent atheism".
Although many outside Scandinavia consider the term existentialism to have originated from Kierkegaard himself, it is more that Kierkegaard adopted this term from the Norwegian poet and literary critic Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven. This assertion comes from two sources; the Norwegian philosopher Erik Lundestad refers to the Danish philosopher Fredrik Christian Sibbern. Sibbern is supposed to have had two conversations in 1841, the first with Welhaven and the second with Kierkegaard, it is in the first conversation that it is believed that Welhaven came up with "a word that he said covered a certain thinking, which had a close and positive attitude to life, a relationship he described as existential". This was brought to Kierkegaard by Sibbern; the second claim comes from the Norwegian historian Rune Slagstad, who claims to prove that Kierkegaard himself said the term "existential" was borrowed from the poet. He believes that it was Kierkegaard himself who said that "Hegelians do not study philosophy'existentially'.
Sartre argued that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings —rather than what labels, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit. The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life. Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of existentialist philosophers such as Heidegger, Kierkegaard: The subjective thinker’s form, the form of his communication, is his style, his form must be just as manifold as are the opposites. The systematic eins, drei is an abstract form that must run into trouble whenever it is to be applied to the concrete.
To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must be concretely dialectica
Classicism, in the arts, refers to a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity in the Western tradition, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint and compression we are objecting to the classicism of classic art. A violent emphasis or a sudden acceleration of rhythmic movement would have destroyed those qualities of balance and completeness through which it retained until the present century its position of authority in the restricted repertoire of visual images." Classicism, as Clark noted, implies a canon of accepted ideal forms, whether in the Western canon that he was examining in The Nude, or the literary Chinese classics or Chinese art, where the revival of classic styles is a recurring feature. Classicism is a force, present in post-medieval European and European influenced traditions. Classicism is a specific genre of philosophy, expressing itself in literature, architecture and music, which has Ancient Greek and Roman sources and an emphasis on society.
It was expressed in the Neoclassicism of the Age of Enlightenment. Classicism is a recurrent tendency in the Late Antique period, had a major revival in Carolingian and Ottonian art. There was another, more durable revival in the Italian renaissance when the fall of Byzantium and rising trade with the Islamic cultures brought a flood of knowledge about, from, the antiquity of Europe; until that time, the identification with antiquity had been seen as a continuous history of Christendom from the conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine I. Renaissance classicism introduced a host of elements into European culture, including the application of mathematics and empiricism into art, humanism and depictive realism, formalism, it introduced Polytheism, or "paganism", the juxtaposition of ancient and modern. The classicism of the Renaissance led to, gave way to, a different sense of what was "classical" in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this period, classicism took on more overtly structural overtones of orderliness, the use of geometry and grids, the importance of rigorous discipline and pedagogy, as well as the formation of schools of art and music.
The court of Louis XIV was seen as the center of this form of classicism, with its references to the gods of Olympus as a symbolic prop for absolutism, its adherence to axiomatic and deductive reasoning, its love of order and predictability. This period sought the revival of classical art forms, including Greek music. Opera, in its modern European form, had its roots in attempts to recreate the combination of singing and dancing with theatre thought to be the Greek norm. Examples of this appeal to classicism included Dante and Shakespeare in poetry and theatre. Tudor drama, in particular, modeled itself after classical ideals and divided works into Tragedy and Comedy. Studying Ancient Greek became regarded as essential for a well-rounded education in the liberal arts; the Renaissance explicitly returned to architectural models and techniques associated with Greek and Roman antiquity, including the golden rectangle as a key proportion for buildings, the classical orders of columns, as well as a host of ornament and detail associated with Greek and Roman architecture.
They began reviving plastic arts such as bronze casting for sculpture, used the classical naturalism as the foundation of drawing and sculpture. The Age of Enlightenment identified itself with a vision of antiquity which, while continuous with the classicism of the previous century, was shaken by the physics of Sir Isaac Newton, the improvements in machinery and measurement, a sense of liberation which they saw as being present in the Greek civilization in its struggles against the Persian Empire; the ornate and complexly integrated forms of the baroque were to give way to a series of movements that regarded themselves expressly as "classical" or "neo-classical", or would be labelled as such. For example, the painting of Jacques-Louis David was seen as an attempt to return to formal balance, clarity and vigor in art; the 19th century saw the classical age as being the precursor of academicism, including such movements as uniformitarianism in the sciences, the creation of rigorous categories in artistic fields.
Various movements of the romantic period saw themselves as classical revolts against a prevailing trend of emotionalism and irregularity, for example the Pre-Raphaelites. By this point, classicism was old enough; the 19th century continued or extended many classical programs in the sciences, most notably the Newtonian program to account for the movement of energy between bodies by means of exchange of mechanical and thermal energy. The 20th century saw a number of changes in the sciences. Classicism was used both by those who rejected, or saw as temporary, transfigurations in the political and social world and by those who embraced the changes as a means to overthrow the perceived weight of the 19th century. Thus, both pre-20th century disciplines were labelled "classical" and modern movements in art which saw themselves as aligned with light, sparseness of texture, formal coherence. In the present day philosophy classicism is use
Shimer College was an American Great Books college located in Mount Carroll Waukegan and Chicago, Illinois. In 2017, it was incorporated into North Central College as the Shimer School of Great Books. Founded in 1853 as the Mt. Carroll Seminary in Mount Carroll, the school became affiliated with the University of Chicago and was renamed the Frances Shimer Academy in 1896, it was renamed Shimer College in 1950, when it began offering a four-year curriculum based on the Hutchins Plan of the University of Chicago. Although the University of Chicago parted with Shimer in 1958, Shimer continued to use a version of that curriculum; the college left Mount Carroll for Waukegan in 1978, moving to Chicago in 2006. A final move to Naperville in June 2017 saw Shimer become the Shimer School of Great Books at North Central College, its academic program was based on a core curriculum of sixteen required courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. All courses were small seminars with no more than twelve students, are based on original sources from a list of about 200 core texts broadly based on the Great Books canon.
Classroom instruction is Socratic discussion. Considerable writing was required, including a senior thesis. Students were admitted on the basis of essays and interviews. Shimer had one of the highest alumni doctorate rates in the country. While in Chicago, Shimer occupied a complex designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on the main campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago's Near South Side; the American Institute of Architects has called the IIT campus one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Shimer was, until joining North Central College, governed internally by an assembly in which all community members had a vote. According to The New York Times, students "share a love of books a disdain for the conventional style of education. Many say they did not have a good high school experience". Students, who tend to be individualistic and creative thinkers, are encouraged to ask questions.
Shimer averaged 125 students, enrolled 97 in 2014. Most Shimer alumni went on to graduate studies. In 2016, Shimer announced an agreement to be acquired by North Central College "with the intention of a completed acquisition on or around March 1, 2017." The agreement came to fruition on June 1, 2017 when Shimer's faculty and curriculum were subsumed into North Central as a department known as the Shimer Great Books School of North Central College. In 1852, the pioneer town of Mount Carroll, lacking a public school, incorporated the Mount Carroll Seminary with no land, no teachers and no money; the town persuaded Frances Wood and Cindarella Gregory, two schoolteachers from Ballston Spa, New York, to come and teach. On May 11, 1853, the new seminary opened in a local church with eleven students. Unable to raise sufficient funds locally, the seminary's founders borrowed money to construct a building in 1854, they were discouraged by the school's finances and sold it to Wood and Gregory, who borrowed money for the purchase.
In 1857 Wood married Henry Shimer, a mason, a creditor of the seminary. In 1864, the overcrowded school began accepting female students only. To ensure the seminary's long-term survival, in 1896 Frances Shimer reached an agreement with the University of Chicago in which the school became the Frances Shimer Academy of the University of Chicago and was loosely affiliated with the Baptist Church, she retired to Florida, never returning to the school, died in 1901. University of Chicago president William Rainey Harper was the first to champion junior colleges in the United States, in 1907 Shimer became one of the first schools to offer a junior-college program; the two-year junior-college program, operating with the original preparatory program, was accredited in 1920. The college had a precipitous decline in enrollment and financial stability during and after the Great Depression, weathering the storm under five successive presidents, its survival was due in part to the reorganization of the six-year preparatory program into a four-year junior college program and in part to steep salary reductions.
In 1943, Shimer president Albin C. Bro invited the Department of Education at the University of Chicago to evaluate the college community; the school was renamed Shimer College in 1950, adopting the great-books curriculum in place at the University of Chicago. The university connection dissolved in 1958 after the latter's decision to abandon the great-books plan, Shimer narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 1957; the great-books program at Shimer continued, the school enjoyed national recognition and a rapid growth in enrollment during the 1960s. In 1963, a Harvard Educational Review article listed Shimer as one of 11 colleges with an "ideal intellectual climate". According to a 1966 article in the education journal Phi Delta Kappan, Shimer "present impressive statistical evidence that their students are better prepared for graduate work in the arts and sciences and in the professions than those who have specialized in particular areas". During the late 1960s Shimer experienced a period of internal unrest known as the Grotesque Internecine Struggle, with disputes over curriculum changes, the extent to which student behavior should be regulated and inadequate fundraising by president Francis Joseph Mullin.
Half the faculty and a la
Reed College is an independent liberal arts college in southeast Portland in the U. S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1908, Reed is a residential college with a campus in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood, featuring architecture based on the Tudor-Gothic style, a forested canyon nature preserve at its center. Reed is known for its academic rigor, mandatory freshman Humanities program, senior thesis, unusually high proportion of graduates who go on to earn doctorates and other postgraduate degrees; the college has many prominent alumni, including over a hundred Fulbright Scholars, 67 Watson Fellows, three Winston Churchill Scholars. Reed is ranked fourth in the U. S. of all colleges for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD. The Reed Institute was founded in 1908, held its first classes in 1911. Reed is named for Oregon pioneers Simeon Gannett Amanda Reed. Simeon was an entrepreneur involved in several enterprises, including trade on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers with his close friend and associate, former Portland Mayor William S. Ladd.
Unitarian minister Thomas Lamb Eliot, who knew the Reeds from the church choir, is credited with convincing Reed of the need for "a lasting legacy, a'Reed Institute of Lectures,' and joked it would'need a mine to run it.'" Reed's will suggested his wife could "devote some portion of my estate to benevolent objects, or to the cultivation, illustration, or development of the fine arts in the city of Portland, or to some other suitable purpose, which shall be of permanent value and contribute to the beauty of the city and to the intelligence and happiness of the inhabitants". Ladd's son, William Mead Ladd, donated 40 acres from the Ladd Estate Company to build the new college. Reed's first president was William Trufant Foster, a former professor at Bates College and Bowdoin College in Maine. Contrary to popular belief, the college did not grow out of student revolts and experimentation, but out of a desire to provide a "more flexible, individualized approach to a rigorous liberal arts education".
Founded explicitly in reaction to the "prevailing model of East Coast, Ivy League education", the college's lack of varsity athletics and exclusive social clubs – as well as its coeducational and egalitarian status—gave way to an intensely academic and intellectual college whose purpose was to devote itself to "the life of the mind", that life being understood as the academic life. The college has a reputation for political liberalism. According to sociologist Burton Clark, Reed is one of the most unusual institutions of higher learning in the United States, featuring a traditional liberal arts and natural sciences curriculum, it requires freshmen to take Humanities 110, an intensive introduction to the Classics, covering ancient Greece and Rome as well as the Hebrew Bible and ancient Jewish history. Its program in the sciences is unusual with its TRIGA research reactor making it the only school in the United States to have a nuclear reactor operated by undergraduates. Reed requires all students to complete a thesis during the senior year as a prerequisite of graduation with successful completion of a junior qualifying exam at the end of the junior year a prerequisite to beginning the thesis.
Upon completion of the senior thesis, students must pass an oral exam that may encompass questions not only about the thesis but about any course taken. Reed maintains a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, its small classes emphasize a "conference" style where the teacher acts as a mediator for discussion rather than a lecturer. While large lecture-style classes exist, Reed emphasizes conference sections. Although letter grades are given to students, grades are de-emphasized at Reed and focus is placed on a narrative evaluation. According to the school, "A conventional letter grade for each course is recorded for every student, but the registrar's office does not distribute grades to students, provided that work continues at satisfactory levels. Unsatisfactory grades are reported directly to the student's adviser. Papers and exams are returned to students with lengthy comments but without grades affixed." There is no dean's list or honor roll per se, but students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above for an academic year receive academic commendations at the end of the spring semester which are noted on their transcripts.
Many Reed students graduate without knowing their cumulative GPA or their grades in individual classes. Reed claims to have experienced little grade inflation over the years, for example, that only ten students graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA in the period from 1983 to 2012. Although Reed does not award Latin honors to graduates, it confers several awards for academic achievement at commencement, including naming students to Phi Beta Kappa. Reed has no fraternities or sororities and few NCAA sports teams although physical education classes are required for graduation. Reed has several intercollegiate athletic clubs, most notably the rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer teams. Reed's ethical code is known as "The Honor Principle". First introduced as an agreement to promote ethical academic behavior with the explicit end of relieving the faculty of policing student behavior, the Honor Pri
Gutenberg College is a private, four-year Great Books college in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1994, the school has 14 students; the college occupies a Jacobean building designed in 1927 by Lawrence, Holford and Bean. The University of Oregon's Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, the building became Delta Zeta sorority in 1946 when Delta Tau Delta moved across the street. In 1985 McKenzie Study Center occupied the building. Gutenberg College grew out of McKenzie Study Center, a Christian ministry that has existed in Eugene for over 25 years. MSC was founded in 1979 as a ministry to present a biblical worldview to University of Oregon students. In 1991, after examining prospective curricula and programs, the board of McKenzie Study Center decided a Great Books curriculum would best accomplish their goals of providing a unique and well-rounded education. Gutenberg started in 1994 with four students and graduated its first class in 1998. Gutenberg has grown, but remains small, with an enrollment of about fifty students.
The Great Books approach is based on a program developed in the mid-1900s at the University of Chicago by Mortimer Adler, Stringfellow Barr, others. This alternative approach to education emphasizes less the vocational skills and specialization of most undergraduate degrees, seeking instead to produce individuals who are well-read, well-reasoned and mature. Personal growth rather than vocational training is emphasized and accomplished through studying the most influential works of Western Civilization in every discipline: philosophy, science, theology and art; the curriculum centers on the most influential primary texts of Western Civilization, which students study with "tutors" in round-table discussions. In addition, the curriculum includes the following: a weekly lecture and practicums in science, math, foreign language and the reading of difficult texts; the curriculum is viewed through a biblical Christian perspective, though the staff and faculty is not associated with any one denomination.
Gutenberg offers one degree: a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. Coursework includes the following: two years of classical Greek. All students read the same works over the four-year program. Readings progress through the Great Books chronologically and cycle through the history of Western Civilization twice in the four years of study. To promote lively discussion, classes are kept small five to twelve students. A small number of lectures and secondary sources supplement the classic curriculum. At the end of the first two years, students must pass a series of comprehensive exams in order to progress to the last two years. During the senior year, each student writes an extensive thesis dealing with an issue discussed by two classic authors. Gutenberg's curriculum is demonstrative of educational perennialism. Gutenberg is a non-profit corporation authorized by the State of Oregon to offer and confer a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. On November 3, 2009, Gutenberg College was first awarded full accreditation status by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools Accreditation Commission.
TRACS is an accrediting organization recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. On October 21, 2014, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools Accreditation Commission awarded Gutenberg College "Reaffirmation I" of its Accredited status as a Category II institution; this status is effective for a period of ten years. Gutenberg's students come from a variety of non-religious backgrounds, their educational backgrounds vary: many were homeschooled. Gutenberg offers a housing option with a common meal program. While at Gutenberg, students may take advantage of programs at the University of Oregon, located a block from the Gutenberg campus. Gutenberg students have attended UO lectures and events, they have participated in UO dance, drama and art classes. Gutenberg graduates have pursued a variety of careers, including teaching and the medical profession. Gutenberg College Biblical Foundation Statement Gutenberg College McKenzie Study Center Why Gutenberg College?
Biblical Foundation Statement State of Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
Eugene is a city in the U. S. state of Oregon. It is at the southern end of the verdant Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, about 50 miles east of the Oregon Coast; as of the 2010 census, Eugene had a population of 156,185. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon metropolitan statistical area is the 146th largest metropolitan statistical area in the US and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area; the city's population for 2014 was estimated to be 160,561 by the US Census. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College; the city is noted for its natural environment, recreational opportunities, focus on the arts. Eugene's official slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors", it is referred to as the "Emerald City" and as "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene. In 2021, the city will host the 18th Field World Championships.
The first people to settle in the Eugene area were known as the Kalapuyans written Calapooia or Calapooya. They made "seasonal rounds," moving around the countryside to collect and preserve local foods, including acorns, the bulbs of the wapato and camas plants, berries, they stored these foods in their permanent winter village. When crop activities waned, they returned to their winter villages and took up hunting and trading, they were known as the Chifin Kalapuyans and called the Eugene area where they lived "Chifin", sometimes recorded as "Chafin" or "Chiffin". Other Kalapuyan tribes occupied villages that are now within Eugene city limits. Pee-you or Mohawk Calapooians, Winefelly or Pleasant Hill Calapooians, the Lungtum or Long Tom, they were close-neighbors to the Chifin and were political allies. Some authorities suggest, it is that since the Santiam had an alliance with the Brownsville Kalapuyans that the Santiam influence went as far at Eugene. According to archeological evidence, the ancestors of the Kalapuyans may have been in Eugene for as long as 10,000 years.
In the 1800s their traditional way of life faced significant changes due to devastating epidemics and settlement, first by French fur traders and by an overwhelming number of United States colonists. French fur traders had settled seasonally in the Willamette Valley by the beginning of the 19th century, their settlements were concentrated in the "French Prairie" community in Northern Marion County but may have extended south to the Eugene area. Having developed relationships with Native communities through intermarriage and trade, they negotiated for land from the Kalapuyans. By 1828 to 1830 they and their Native wives began year-round occupation of the land, raising crops and tending animals. In this process, the mixed race families began to impact Native access to land, food supply, traditional materials for trade and religious practices. In July 1830, "intermittent fever" struck the lower Columbia region and a year the Willamette Valley. Natives traced the arrival of the disease new to the Northwest, to the U.
S. ship, captained by John Dominis. "Intermittent fever" is thought by researchers now to be malaria. According to Robert T. Boyd, an anthropologist at Portland State University, the first three years of the epidemic, "probably constitute the single most important epidemiological event in the recorded history of what would become the state of Oregon". In his book The Coming of the Spirit Pestilence Boyd reports there was a 92% population loss for the Kalapuyans between 1830 and 1841; this catastrophic event shattered the social fabric of Kalapuyan society and altered the demographic balance in the Valley. This balance was further altered over the next few years by the arrival of Anglo-American settlers, beginning in 1840 with 13 people and growing each year until within 20 years more than 11,000 US colonists, including Eugene Skinner, had arrived; as the demographic pressure from the colonists grew, the remaining Kalapuyans were forcibly removed to Indian reservations. Though some Natives escaped being swept into the reservation, most were moved to the Grand Ronde reservation in 1856.
Strict racial segregation was enforced and mixed race people, known as Métis in French, had to make a choice between the reservation and Anglo society. Native Americans could not leave the reservation without traveling papers and white people could not enter the reservation. Eugene Franklin Skinner, after whom Eugene is named, arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1846 with 1200 other colonists that year. Advised by the Kalapuyans to build on high ground to avoid flooding, he erected the first Anglo cabin on south or west slope of what the Kalapuyans called Ya-po-ah; the "isolated hill" is now known as Skinner's Butte. The cabin was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the settlement was known by Anglos as Skinner's Mudhole, it was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City in 1853. Formally incorporated as a city in 1862, it was named Eugene in 1889. Skinner ran a ferry service across the Willamette River; the first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College, founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon.
It fell victim to two major fires in four years, after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location o
Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U. S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers; as of 2017, Portland had an estimated population of 647,805, making it the 26th-largest city in the United States, the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area, making it the 25th most populous MSA in the United States. Its Combined Statistical Area ranks 18th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area. Named after Portland, the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s near the end of the Oregon Trail, its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, the timber industry was a major force in the city's early economy. At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering.
After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate. Beginning in the 1960s, Portland became noted for its growing progressive political values, earning it a reputation as a bastion of counterculture; the city operates with a commission-based government guided by a mayor and four commissioners as well as Metro, the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. The city government is notable for its land-use investment in public transportation. Portland is recognized as one of the world's most environmentally conscious cities because of its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, farm-to-table dining, expansive network of public transportation options, over 10,000 acres of public parks, its climate is marked by cool, rainy winters. This climate is ideal for growing roses, Portland has been called the "City of Roses" for over a century. During the prehistoric period, the land that would become Portland was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from Lake Missoula, in what would become Montana.
These massive floods occurred during the last ice age and filled the Willamette Valley with 300 to 400 feet of water. Before American pioneers began arriving in the 1800s, the land was inhabited for many centuries by two bands of indigenous Chinook people—the Multnomah and the Clackamas; the Chinook people occupying the land were first documented in 1805 by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Before its European settlement, the Portland Basin of the lower Columbia River and Willamette River valleys had been one of the most densely populated regions on the Pacific Coast. Large numbers of pioneer settlers began arriving in the Willamette Valley in the 1830s via the Oregon Trail, though life was centered in nearby Oregon City. In the early 1840s a new settlement emerged ten miles from the mouth of the Willamette River halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver; this community was referred to as "Stumptown" and "The Clearing" because of the many trees cut down to allow for its growth. In 1843 William Overton saw potential in the new settlement but lacked the funds to file an official land claim.
For 25 cents, Overton agreed to share half of the 640-acre site with Asa Lovejoy of Boston. In 1845 Overton sold his remaining half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Maine. Both Pettygrove and Lovejoy wished to rename "The Clearing" after their respective hometowns; this controversy was settled with a coin toss that Pettygrove won in a series of two out of three tosses, thereby providing Portland with its namesake. The coin used for this decision, now known as the Portland Penny, is on display in the headquarters of the Oregon Historical Society. At the time of its incorporation on February 8, 1851, Portland had over 800 inhabitants, a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. A major fire swept through downtown in August 1873, destroying twenty blocks on the west side of the Willamette along Yamhill and Morrison Streets, causing $1.3 million in damage. By 1879, the population had grown to 17,500 and by 1890 it had grown to 46,385. In 1888, the city built the first steel bridge built on the West Coast.
Portland's access to the Pacific Ocean via the Willamette and Columbia rivers, as well as its easy access to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road", provided the pioneer city with an advantage over other nearby ports, it grew quickly. Portland remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River; the city had its own Japantown, for one, the lumber industry became a prominent economic presence, due to the area's large population of Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks, Red Cedars, Big Leaf Maple trees. Portland developed a reputation early in its history as a gritty port town; some historians have described the city's early establishment as being a "scion of New England. In 1889, The Oregonian called Portland "the most filthy city in the Northern States", due to the unsanitary sewers and gutters, and, at the turn of the 20th century, it was considered one of the most dangerous port cities in the world.
The city housed a large number of saloons