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In this article we analyze the profound impact of Peter Stearns's pioneering work on the history of emotions over more than three decades. Stearns has influenced both the theory and the methodology of emotions historians, as well as providing a large body of work that empirically documents emotional change over time. In our assessment of Stearns's contribution, we emphasize the ongoing political importance and scholarly relevance of this work, particularly as it pertains to the history of childhood and to current concerns with emotional control in American society. We assess the lasting significance of Stearns's tackling of the nature-nurture debate, the evolution of his concept of "emotionology," and the overwhelming importance of Stearns's assertion that the study of emotions was not the exclusive domain of scientists but fair game for historians as well.