Book cover of A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic by Michael Verneyby Michael Verney

A Great and Rising Nation illuminates the unexplored early decades of the United States’ imperialist naval aspirations.

Conventional wisdom holds that, until the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States was a feeble player on the world stage, with an international presence rooted in commerce rather than military might. Michael A. Verney’s A Great and Rising Nation flips this notion on its head, arguing that early US naval expeditions, often characterized as merely scientific, were in fact deeply imperialist. Circling the globe from the Mediterranean to South America and the Arctic, these voyages reflected the diverse imperial aspirations of the new republic, including commercial dominance in the Pacific World, religious empire in the Holy Land, proslavery expansion in South America, and diplomatic prestige in Europe. As Verney makes clear, the United States had global imperial aspirations far earlier than is commonly thought.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for Preble Hall from U.S. Naval Academy MuseumPreble Hall 
A Great and Rising Nation: US Naval Expeditions of the 19th Century
10/16/22         36 min

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Michael A. Verney, “A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic” (U Chicago Press, 2022)
11/23/22             53 min

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