Could Imperial History Help US Foreign Policy Makers?

monopolists 1

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

Cross-posted from History & Policy

Amid the early decades of the twentieth century, critics of Western imperialism such as economist Joseph Schumpeter and sociologist Thorstein Veblen may have been correct to connect aristocratic tendencies with imperial expansion. And political scientist Louis Hartz may also have been correct when he proclaimed in The Liberal Tradition in America (1953) that, unlike Europe, the United States had no aristocracy. However, Hartz’s analysis will provide little comfort to the vast majority of the American public, who find their more pacific views are not reflected in US foreign policy making. Continue reading “Could Imperial History Help US Foreign Policy Makers?”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Emperor Jones (1933)  The poster for the film would, Kisch says, ‘have cost a lot of time and money to produce’. It featured a painterly style. By contrast, the posters for independent films would often use only two colours and be made in a few hours. Photograph: The Separate Cinema Archive
Emperor Jones (1933)
Photograph: The Separate Cinema Archive

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From connecting US football and decolonization to new histories of black cinema, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

What’s So Shocking about the Wretched of the Earth?

fanon wretched of the earth

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) was a psychiatrist, intellectual and revolutionary. Born in the French Caribbean colony of Martinique, Fanon spent significant periods of his life in France and, crucially, Algeria. There he became an active member of the Front de Libération Nationale that fought, with ultimate success, against French rule. His most famous work The Wretched of the Earth, published shortly before his death from leukaemia, is a classic of decolonization literature. As Jean-Paul Sartre put it in his preface:  Continue reading “What’s So Shocking about the Wretched of the Earth?”

The First World War and the US State Dept.

Cross-posted from the Office of the Historian (US Dept. of State)

Dept. of State*To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Office of the Historian and U.S. Embassy France have carried out a study into the role of the U.S. diplomatic corps stationed in France during 1914–1918. In contrast to the well known record of U.S. actions after it entered the war in April 1917, the stories of U.S. diplomats, consuls, and their family members—particularly during the early months of the crisis (August-December 1914)—were long forgotten, overshadowed by subsequent events of the tumultuous twentieth century. By researching U.S. Government and Government of France records, memoirs, personal papers, and newspaper archives, this study presents a fascinating account of how actions spearheaded by U.S. diplomats—and American citizens—significantly strengthened Franco-American relations in unique, unparalleled ways.

The Office of the Historian has released this electronic preview edition Continue reading “The First World War and the US State Dept.”

Lloyd George’s Greatest War Speech, 100 Years On

Lloyd George

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

Today (19 September) is the centenary of David Lloyd George’s speech at the Queen’s Hall in the West End of London. As we digest the news that Scotland’s voters have rejected independence, it is interesting to reflect on the role that a different form of Celtic nationalism played in shaping the rhetoric of the Great War.

In the first autumn of the war, Lloyd George’s carefully cultivated public character was almost perfectly pitched. Continue reading “Lloyd George’s Greatest War Speech, 100 Years On”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Member, African Choir, London Stereoscopic Company, 1891. Photograph: Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Member, African Choir, London Stereoscopic Company, 1891. Photograph: Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From uncovering portraits of black Victorians to Star Trek‘s colonial past, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

At the ‘Crossroads of Empire’

JCPC exhibition context

Piers Ford

Cross-posted from the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

The London exhibit on law and the British Empire, spearheaded by the Centre’s own Dr. Nandini Chatterjee, has had more than 25,000 visitors so far, and is open to the public until September 26th.

[…] The exhibition – A Court at the Crossroads of Empire: Stories from the JCPC – opened for a two-month run at the beginning of August 2014. Curated by a team of academics related to the “Subjects of Law” network, led by Charlotte, Nandini, and Dr Stacey Hynd (also from the University of Exeter), it traced the JCPC’s evolution from its foundation in 1833 to the emergence of the Commonwealth in the 1950s, largely through the stories of individuals whose cases often had a direct impact on commerce and legal practice, as well as the appellant’s own future – for better or, as it occasionally turned out, worse. Continue reading “At the ‘Crossroads of Empire’”