b. Orléans, France, 4 Septemper 1877; d. Paris, France, 24 March 1965)
Blanchard graduated from the École Normale Supérieure in 1900 and passed the concours d’agrégation in history and geography. At the time, geography was still mainly in a descriptive stage and an adjunct to history. His thesis on Flanders, presented at the University of Lille in 1906, was one of the first important works of regional geography based on research done in situ.
At the time of his appointment as lecturer in 1905, there was not a single student of geography at Grenoble. Through perseverance, teaching ability, and the novelty of his subject, he turned the university into one of the most active centers for geography in France. He later became a professor. In 1940 he was appointed dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and taught there until his retirement in 1948.
Blanchard was the creator of French Alpine geography, founding the Revue de géographie alpine, which published the first works on the French Alps. For the study of mountains he instituted field observation (he was an indefatigable hiker) together with rigorous arguments for studying structure, to which he gave priority (instead of erosion surfaces).
His twelve volumes on the French Alps are considered his chief work, but his range of interests was much greater. In human geography he produced important studies of cities, works that were novel at the time because they combined a study of the site with that of the development of the city. He prepared the volume on western Asia for the series Géographie Universelle (1929), and later published a general study of North America (1933). He knew North America well. He had been appointed instructor at Harvard in 1917 and was a full professor from 1928 to 1936. He also taught at Chicago, Columbia, and other schools in the United States as well as the universities of Montreal and Laval in Canada.
Blanchard was representative of his epoch in French geography. In time, of course, concepts and methods changed, and he was reproached by some for not having advanced his morphology beyond a somewhat oversimplified determinism.
I. Original Works. Blanchard’s writings include La Flanfre… (Dunkerque, 1906), his thesis; Geography of France (Chicago-New York, 1919), written with M. Todd; Les Alpes françaises (Paris, 1925); L’Asie occidentale, in the series Géographie Universelle, directed by P. Vidal de la Blache and L. Gallois (Paris, 1929); L’Amérique du Nord: États-Unis, Canada et Alaska (Paris, 1933); Grenoble: Étude de géographie urbaine (Grenoble, 1935); Les Alpes occidentales, 12 vols (Grenoble, 1941–1958); and A Geography of Europe (New York, 1944), written with R.E. Crist.
II. Secondary Literature. Biographies of Blanchard are J. Blache, in Revue de géographie alpine, 7 (1965), 361–370; P. Dagenais, in Revue de géographie de Montréal, 18 1964), 133–135; D. Faucher, in Revue de géographie des Pyrénées et du Sud-Ouest, 13 (1965), 157; and A. Perpillou, in Acta geographica (Paris), no. 5 (1965), 1. See also In Memoriam Raoul Blanchard, prepared by the Association des Amis de l’Université de Grenoble (Grenoble, 1966).
"Blanchard, Raoul." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/blanchard-raoul
"Blanchard, Raoul." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/blanchard-raoul
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
Raoul Blanchard, 1877–1965, French geographer. He wrote a monograph on Flanders (1906) that earned him the chair of geography at the Univ. of Grenoble, a position he held for 50 years. He established the Institute of Alpine Geography and founded its journal, the Review of Alpine Geography, in 1908. He completed a classic 12-volume work on the French Alps in 1956. Blanchard received awards from the American Geographical Society (1956) and the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (1960).
"Blanchard, Raoul." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/blanchard-raoul
"Blanchard, Raoul." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/blanchard-raoul