The Imperial Season: America's Capital in the Time of the First Ambassadors, 1893-1918

The Imperial Season: America's Capital in the Time of the First Ambassadors, 1893-1918

by William Seale


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This story of the young city of Washington coming up in the international scene is populated with presidents, foreign diplomats, civil servants, architects, artists, and influential hosts and hostesses who were enamored of the idea of world power but had little idea of the responsibilities involved.

Between the Spanish American War and World War I, the thrill of America's new international role held the nation's capital in rapture. Visionaries gravitated to Washington and sought to make it the glorious equal to the great European capitals of the day. Remains of the period still define Washington--the monuments and great civic buildings on the Mall as well as the private mansions built on the avenues that now serve as embassies.

The first surge of America's world power led to profound changes in diplomacy, and a vibrant official life in Washington, DC, naturally followed. In the twenty-five year period that William Seale terms the "imperial season," a host of characters molded the city in the image of a great world capital. Some of the characters are well known, from presidents to John Hay and Uncle Joe Cannon, and some relatively unknown, from diplomat Alvey Adee to hostess Minnie Townsend and feminist Inez Milholland. The Imperial Season is a unique social history that defines a little explored period of American history that left an indelible mark on our nation's capital.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588346247
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 12/28/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,170,860
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM SEALE is a historian and the author of The White House: History of an American Idea and several other books on state capitals, courthouses, and historic restoration. He is the editor of White House History, the journal of the White House Historical Association.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Prologue xiii

1 The Capital of the Sleeping Giant 1

2 Men of Distinction 17

3 The Pivotal Year 1898 41

4 World Capital 59

5 Diplomats 79

6 Progress in Marble 104

7 Business and Friendship 119

8 Massachusetts Avenue 133

9 Players 157

10 Commitment 176

12 The World at Last 198

Conclusion: Ember Days 215

Appendix 223

Endnotes 225

Selected Bibliography 241

Index 253

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The Imperial Season: America's Capital in the Time of the First Ambassadors, 1893-1918 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every page. It is about the early 20th century, and tells the ins and outs of politics, diplomacy and society in the national capital at the time America became a world power. The author tells the story through people, some famous, some not, all compelling; and I found the book fascinating.