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A Great and Rising Nation

Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic

A Great and Rising Nation

Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic

Publication supported by the Bevington Fund

A Great and Rising Nation illuminates the unexplored early decades of the United States’ imperialist naval aspirations.

Conventional wisdom holds that, until the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States was a feeble player on the world stage, with an international presence rooted in commerce rather than military might. Michael A. Verney’s A Great and Rising Nation flips this notion on its head, arguing that early US naval expeditions, often characterized as merely scientific, were in fact deeply imperialist. Circling the globe from the Mediterranean to South America and the Arctic, these voyages reflected the diverse imperial aspirations of the new republic, including commercial dominance in the Pacific World, religious empire in the Holy Land, proslavery expansion in South America, and diplomatic prestige in Europe. As Verney makes clear, the United States had global imperial aspirations far earlier than is commonly thought

312 pages | 16 halftones | 6 x 9

American Beginnings, 1500-1900

History: American History, Military History


“With its expansive narrative and sophisticated, penetrating insights, A Great and Rising Nation makes a genuine contribution to our understanding of the early American republic and its relationship to the wider world.”

Brian Rouleau, Texas A&M University

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Jeremiah Reynolds and the Empire of Knowledge
Chapter 2 The United States Exploring Expedition as Jacksonian Capitalism
Chapter 3 The United States Exploring Expedition in Popular Culture
Chapter 4 The Dead Sea Expedition and the Empire of Faith
Chapter 5 Proslavery Explorations of South America
Chapter 6 Arctic Exploration and US–UK Rapprochement

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