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Building an American empire : the era of territorial and political expansion

Author: Paul Frymer
Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2017]
Series: Princeton studies in American politics.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Westward expansion of the United States is most conventionally remembered for rugged individualism, geographic isolationism, and a fair amount of luck. Yet the establishment of the forty-eight contiguous states was hardly a foregone conclusion, and the federal government played a critical role in its success. This book examines the politics of American expansion, showing how the government's regulation of  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Case studies
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Frymer
ISBN: 9780691166056 0691166056
OCLC Number: 965805033
Description: xi, 293 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Contents: List of Figures vii Acknowledgments ix 1 Introduction 1 2 Boundaries and Movement 32 3 "Advancing Compactly as We Multiply" 72 4 Homesteading and Manufacturing Whiteness 128 5 The Limits of Manifest Destiny 172 6 A Second Removal? The Rise and Defeat of Black Colonization 220 7 America's Settler Empire at the End of the Frontier 263 Index 283
Series Title: Princeton studies in American politics.
Responsibility: Paul Frymer.

Abstract:

"Westward expansion of the United States is most conventionally remembered for rugged individualism, geographic isolationism, and a fair amount of luck. Yet the establishment of the forty-eight contiguous states was hardly a foregone conclusion, and the federal government played a critical role in its success. This book examines the politics of American expansion, showing how the government's regulation of population movements on the frontier, both settlement and removal, advanced national aspirations for empire and promoted the formation of a white settler nation. Building an American Empire details how a government that struggled to exercise plenary power used federal land policy to assert authority over the direction of expansion by engineering the pace and patterns of settlement and to control the movement of populations. At times, the government mobilized populations for compact settlement in strategically important areas of the frontier; at other times, policies were designed to actively restrain settler populations in order to prevent violence, international conflict, and breakaway states. Paul Frymer examines how these settlement patterns helped construct a dominant racial vision for America by incentivizing and directing the movement of white European settlers onto indigenous and diversely populated lands. These efforts were hardly seamless, and Frymer pays close attention to the failures as well, from the lack of further expansion into Latin America to the defeat of the black colonization movement. Building an American Empire reveals the lasting and profound significance government settlement policies had for the nation, both for establishing America as dominantly white and for restricting broader aspirations for empire in lands that could not be so racially engineered."--

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