By Neil Smith
An American Empire, developed during the last century, in the past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been broadly assumed that the hot globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, delivering an incisive argument that American globalism had a special geography and was once pieced jointly as a part of a robust geographical imaginative and prescient. the facility of geography didn't die with the twilight of eu colonialism, however it did switch essentially. That the inauguration of the yankee Century introduced a lack of public geographical sensibility within the usa used to be itself a political symptom of the rising empire. This booklet presents an essential geographical-historical context for realizing the ability and bounds of latest globalization, that could now be obvious as representing the 3rd of 3 designated old moments of U.S. worldwide ambition.The tale unfolds via a decisive account of the occupation of Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950), the main recognized American geographer of the 20th century. for almost 4 many years Bowman operated round the vortex of nation strength, operating to carry an American order to the worldwide panorama. An explorer at the recognized Machu Picchu excursion of 1911 who got here to be recognized first as "Woodrow Wilson's geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt's, Bowman used to be current on the production of U.S. liberal overseas coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman used to be on the middle of Roosevelt's kingdom division, eager about the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to eu colonies; he used to be defined through Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he was once a pace-setter in American technological know-how, served as president of Johns Hopkins college, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a classy, contradictory, and now and then arguable determine who used to be greatly within the public eye, he seemed at the conceal of Time journal. Bowman's occupation as a geographer in an period whilst the price of geography was once deeply puzzled offers a distinct window into the contradictory makes use of of geographical wisdom within the development of the yankee Empire. Smith's ancient excavation finds, in extensive strokes but with full of life element, that modern American-inspired globalization springs now not from the Eighties yet from previous moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which led to failure. through recharting the geography of this historical past, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of modern globalization sharply into concentration.
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Additional resources for American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization
Among these was a prescient Vladimir Lenin, who, drawing on the German geographer Alexander Supan and challenging Luxemburg directly, argued that while the colonial powers had “completed the seizure of the unoccupied territories on our planet,” so that “for the ﬁrst time the world is completely divided up,” this implied no inevitability of capitalist collapse. ”29 An arch-anticommunist, Mackinder would have been horriﬁed by the parallels between Lenin’s relational geography of capitalist expansion and his own.
Its allure lay in its modern repackaging of the most cherished myths of national superiority addressed to global claims. Only the United States can win the war and adequately deﬁne war aims, Luce claimed. History bore the United States into a position of global leadership, and it should be unselfconsciously grasped. S. rulers should seize global power for the simple reason that they can: by virtue of their superior economic prowess, it was already de facto theirs. Manifest destiny breaks all bounds of national space.
The intense coupling of history and geography so redolent of the period following the Revolutionary War began to disintegrate, and Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous declaration of the end of the frontier line was a symptom as much as a cause. Geography could no longer contain history, and while history as a social and political discourse was thus liberated to explore the social rather than natural origins of societal change, geography was relegated to the realm of the ﬁxed. Much as history was identiﬁed with Europe, geography was reduced to the stage upon which the emergent American history happened.
American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization by Neil Smith