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The Price of Empire

American Entrepreneurs and the Origins of America's First Pacific Empire

Author(s): Miles M. Evers, Eric Grynaviski

ISBN: 9781009396370
Publication Date: 4/4/24
Pages: 214
Format: Paperback
Regular price £22.99 GBP
Regular price Sale price £22.99 GBP

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The United States was an upside-down British Empire. It had an agrarian economy, few large investors, and no territorial holdings outside of North America. However, decades before the Spanish-American War, the United States quietly began to establish an empire across thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean. While conventional wisdom suggests that large interests – the military and major business interests – drove American imperialism, The Price of Empire argues that early American imperialism was driven by small entrepreneurs. When commodity prices boomed, these small entrepreneurs took risks, racing ahead of the American state. Yet when profits were threatened, they clamoured for the US government to follow them into the Pacific. Through novel, intriguing stories of American small businessmen, this book shows how American entrepreneurs manipulated the United States into pursuing imperial projects in the Pacific. It explores their travels abroad and highlights the consequences of contemporary struggles for justice in the Pacific.

  • Provides a theory of American expansion in the Pacific that highlights the role of American entrepreneurs
  • Provides a readable guide to early American foreign policy
  • Includes chapters on American expansion, including visualizing how expansion occurred and highlighting the role played by race and the desire for profit