Building the Continental Empire: American Expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War

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Ivan R. Dee, Jan 1, 1996 - History - 177 pages
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In this fresh survey of foreign relations in the early years of the American republic, William Weeks argues that the construction of the new nation went hand in hand with the building of the American empire. That empire, he maintains, was of fundamental importance to the new nation, and he shows how a dispute over the future of the empire led the nation to civil war.
Mr. Weeks traces the origins of the imperial initiative to the 1750s, when the Founding Fathers began to perceive the advantages of colonial union and the possibility of creating an empire within the British Empire that would provide security and the potential for commerce and territorial expansion. After the adoption of the Constitution - which brought a far stronger central government than had been popularly imagined - the need to expand combined with a messianic American nationalism. The result was Manifest Destiny, a complex of ideas and emotions that rhetorically justified both the nation and the empire.
With aggressive diplomacy by successive presidential administrations, the United States built a transcontinental empire and achieved supremacy in the Western Hemisphere. From the acquisition of Louisiana and Florida to the Mexican War, from the Monroe Doctrine to the annexation of Texas, Mr. Weeks describes the ideology and scope of American expansion. Relations with Great Britain, France, and Spain; the role of missionaries, technology, and the federal government, and the issue of slavery that forced a breakdown of the expansionist consensus - these are key elements in this succinct and thoughtful view of the making of the continental nation.

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Building the continental empire: American expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Historian Weeks (John Quincy Adams, LJ 6/1/92) offers a straightforward survey of American territorial expansion previous to the Civil War. Most of his focus is on diplomatic and political events, but ... Read full review

Review: Building The Continental Empire: American Expansion From The Revolution To The Civil War (American Ways Series)

User Review  - David - Goodreads

concise and well written. extends on his earlier work about JQ Adams with more emphasis on the society and politicians generally and for a longer period of time. Read full review

Contents

Hemispheric Supremacy
30
The Age of Manifest Destiny
59
Texas and Oregon
86
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

William Earl Weeks teaches American history at San Diego State University. He has also written John Quincy Adams and American Global Empire.

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