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

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

by William Earl Weeks
     
 

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A new, succinct history of American expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War, showing how an aggressive foreign policy went hand in hand with the rise of nationalism.

Overview

A new, succinct history of American expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War, showing how an aggressive foreign policy went hand in hand with the rise of nationalism.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This concise history argues that American expansionist policies from the Revolution until the 1850s unified the new nation in a consensus that broke down only with Northern opposition to the South's dream of creating slave states that would expand into Latin America. The erosion of this consensus led to the Civil War, according to Weeks, who teaches American history at San Diego State University. The author advances his case in six chapters-administration by administration, from Jefferson to Lincoln-describing how the policies inspired by the assumption of Manifest Destiny strengthened nationalistic fervor through a series of wars he calls imperialistic, which built the nation with "unprecedented speed and ease." A master of no-frills history, Weeks makes his arguments in as few words as possible, rushing on to very tidy conclusions. While clearly and interestingly written, the book is history as overview, lacking local color or opposing opinions. (Nov.)
Library Journal
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 he also covers the intellectual foundations of Manifest Destiny thought. The concluding chapter contains an account of the never-consummated attempts to expand into the Caribbean and Central America. Weeks is objective and succinct, and the book demonstrates solid scholarship. At the same time, the subject is rather too familiar to engage many general readers, few of whom will care to retread ground traveled in their high school studies. Most libraries probably have very full holdings on this subject, and there is little reason for them to add this book. It can, however, be recommended to public, school, and undergraduate collections in need of refreshing their coverage of the area.Fritz Buckallew, Univ. of Central Oklahoma Lib., Edmond
Booknews
In his new history of America's expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War, Weeks argues that the United States was determined not only to build the new nation; presidents from Jefferson to Buchanan also aimed to construct the American "empire," and this goal often went hand in hand with the rise of nationalism. His compact account of the construction of the nation from 1815 to 1861 emphasizes some surprisingly aggressive diplomacy by successive presidential administrations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566631358
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Series:
American Ways Series
Pages:
189
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author

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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