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Chapter 27 - The World

Race, Red-Baiting, and the Wilsonian Century

from Part III - Transformations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2021

Tim Dayton
Affiliation:
Kansas State University
Mark W. Van Wienen
Affiliation:
Northern Illinois University
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Summary

This chapter explores the mutually reinforcing transformations in American state-society and foreign relations engendered by the First World War and its aftermath. Scholars have long recognized the war as a critical event in the emergence of American global power and the concomitant rise of Wilsonian liberal-internationalism. Yet it is the post-World War II period that is typically designated as the decisive moment of epochal rupturing in US history. This chapter seeks to problematize these notions of a sharp epochal break, demonstrating the more fluid lines of continuity between the two periods contextualized within the longue durée of American state-formation. In particular, it highlights the ideo-political and cultural antecedents to Wilson’s liberal internationalist order-building project and its relationship to the defence of white supremacy at home and abroad. In so doing, the chapter demonstrates how the post-1945 US-led Western liberal international order was built upon white supremacist foundations and a particular form of racialized anti-communism that had emerged decades earlier. US hegemonic practices were, on this view, constituted in and through the racial articulation of an anti-communist “common sense” defined by a militantly normative Americanism that found its roots in the First World War period.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • The World
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.028
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  • The World
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.028
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The World
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.028
Available formats
×