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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Wales, the Welsh and the Making of America

A systematic account of the contributions of Welsh immigrants to the United States.

This book is the first systematic attempt to both recount and evaluate the considerable, though undervalued, contributions of Welsh immigrants to the development of the United States. Vivienne Sanders recounts the lives and achievements of Welsh immigrants and their descendants within a narrative outline of American history that emphasizes the Welsh influence upon the colonists’ rejection of British rule, as well as upon the establishment, expansion, and industrialization of the new American nation.

288 pages | 24 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

History: American History, British and Irish History

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"A comprehensive cultural history of the United States of America and Wales, written in a lively accessible style with a cast of heroes of Welsh ancestry such as tough miners’ union boss John Llewelyn Lewis and America’s greatest architect Frank Lloyd Wright ..."      

Lord Elis-Thomas

"There is no better overview of the Welsh in America. The scope is wide, the scholarship impressive. Welsh racism and anti-Irish prejudice co-existed with Welsh achievement and overestimated achievement. Those new to the subject and established scholars will enjoy and learn from this book."
--Hywel Davies, author of Transatlantic Brethren

Hywel Davies, author of Transatlantic Brethren

"From Madoc to the early Quaker migrations – then on through revolution and civil war to industrial and modern times – the good, the bad and the ugly are all represented in this wonderfully readable book. A must for anyone interested in Welsh history and our often overlooked place in the wider Atlantic world."
--Paul Frame, Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies

Paul Frame, Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies

"This is a scholarly, revisionist account of the contribution of Wales and the Welsh to the making of modern America. Based on thorough academic research, and exceptionally well written and readable, it provides a scholarly overview of the key themes of the part played by the Welsh in the colonization of North America, the role of the philosopher Richard Price, and the relationship of Welsh settlers and their direct descendants in both the American War of Independence and the American Civil War. Long-term patterns of assimilation and the contribution of the Welsh to the industrialization of North America are also considered here at some length. The volume is supported by a most helpful bibliographical essay on the most useful published sources in the field."
--J. Graham Jones, Former Head of the Welsh Political Archive, National Library of Wales 

J. Graham Jones, Former Head of the Welsh Political Archive, National Library of Wales

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction Wales, the Welsh and the Making of America

Chapter 1
Madoc – explorer and discoverer of North America?
•Madoc and the early colonisation of America
•Madoc’s descendants: the Welsh Indians
•“Madoc fever” in America
•“Madoc fever” in Wales
•Opposition to the Madoc story

Chapter 2
The Welsh and the colonisation of North America
•Welsh Quakers, Penn and Pennsylvania
•Welsh settlers in Delaware in South Carolina
•The Welsh contribution to education in the colonies

Chapter 3
Richard Price and the American Revolution
•Price and the taxation of the American colonists
•Price’s Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty
•Price and the American Declaration of Independence
•Price’s invitation to America
•Price and the American Constitution
•Richard Price: conclusions

Chapter 4
The Welsh American military contribution to the American War of Independence
•Charles Lee
•“Mad” Anthony Wayne
•Daniel Morgan
•Welsh American Loyalists, neutrals and the case of Daniel Boone

Chapter 5
The Welsh American political contribution to the American Revolution
•The search for Welsh American contributions to the American Revolution
•Robert Morris
•A lost Founding Father – Button Gwinnett
•Thomas Jefferson

Chapter 6
Meriwether Lewis, James Monroe and the American West
•Lewis – background
•The aims of the Lewis and Clark expedition
•The expedition’s relations with the Indians
•Other problems on the expedition
•Lewis’s achievements
•Lewis’s life after the expedition
•James Monroe and the American West

Chapter 7
The Welsh go West
•Getting to America
•Why emigrate from Wales?
•The Welsh on the East Coast
•From the East Coast to the West
•Life in the West

Chapter 8
Welsh Americans and the American Civil War
•Jefferson Davis
•Welsh American contributions to the Union victory
•The Welsh contribution to a Civil War that helped make America
•The perils of ethnic history

Chapter 9
The Welsh and the industrialisation of America
•Oliver Evans
•Iron and steel (Rhys Davies and the Tredegar Ironworks, David Thomas “father of the anthracite industry”, William R. Jones, James J. Davis, Welsh ironworkers, the manufacture of machinery)
•Coal (The Welsh and eastern Pennsylvania, Welsh miners in Ohio, Welsh miners on the mineral frontier, the Welsh and labour unions)
•Industry and business (Griffith J. Griffith)
•Slate and granite (Hugh W. Hughes)
•Copper and tinplate

Chapter 10
Assimilation and the vanishing Welsh
•How and why the Welsh assimilated
•The acceptance of the Welsh – a myth?
•Welsh, Welsh American or American?
•John L. Lewis and the American Dream
•Frank Lloyd Wright

Chapter 11
Wales, the Welsh and the making of America – conclusions
•A special people?
•“Nauseating” Welsh writers

Bibliographical essay


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