- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: August 2018
- Print publication year: 2018
- Online ISBN: 9781108635301
The Genesis of America investigates the ways in which US foreign policy contributed to the formation of an American national consciousness. Interpreting American nationalism as a process of external demarcation, Jasper M. Trautsch argues that, for a sense of national self to emerge, the US needed to be disentangled from its most important European reference points: Great Britain and France. As he shows, foreign-policy makers could therefore promote American nationalism by provoking foreign crises and wars with these countries, hereby creating external threats that would bind the fragile union together. By reconstructing how foreign policy was thus used as a nation-building instrument, Trautsch provides an answer to the puzzling question of how Americans - lacking a shared history and culture of their own and justifying their claim for independent nationhood by appeals to universal rights - could develop a sense of particularity after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.
Daniel Walker Howe - Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848
J. C. A. Stagg - University of Virginia
M. L. Russell Source: Choice