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Path of empire : Panama and the California Gold Rush.

McGuinness, Aims.

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ISBN 10: 0801475384 / ISBN 13: 9780801475382
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Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 2009. Reprint. Paperback. xiii,248 pp. (The United States in the world). Condition : as new copy. ISBN 9780801475382[KEYWORDS: HISTORY, history, Geschichte. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 258997

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Titel: Path of empire : Panama and the California ...

Einband: Soft cover

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Most people in the United States have forgotten that tens of thousands of U.S. citizens migrated westward to California by way of Panama during the California Gold Rush. Decades before the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, this slender spit of land abruptly became the linchpin of the fastest route between New York City and San Francisco―a route that combined travel by ship to the east coast of Panama, an overland crossing to Panama City, and a final voyage by ship to California.

In Path of Empire, Aims McGuinness presents a novel understanding of the intertwined histories of the California Gold Rush, the course of U.S. empire, and anti-imperialist politics in Latin America. Between 1848 and 1856, Panama saw the building, by a U.S. company, of the first transcontinental railroad in world history, the final abolition of slavery, the establishment of universal manhood suffrage, the foundation of an autonomous Panamanian state, and the first of what would become a long list of military interventions by the United States.

Using documents found in Panamanian, Colombian, and U.S. archives, McGuinness reveals how U.S. imperial projects in Panama were integral to developments in California and the larger process of U.S. continental expansion. Path of Empire offers a model for the new transnational history by unbinding the gold rush from the confines of U.S. history as traditionally told and narrating that event as the history of Panama, a small place of global importance in the mid-1800s.

From the Back Cover:

"Path of Empire provides a transnational context for Gold Rush history and draws links between continental expansion and empire-making abroad. Aims McGuinness also shows that colonialist incursions and continental incorporations were closely connected--that the informal empire that was established in Central America was crucial to the formal Americanization of California. This brief book about a small place delivers on its bold ambitions."--Stephen Aron, UCLA, and Executive Director, Institute for the Study of the American West, Autry National Center

"Because it was built in Panama, the first transcontinental railroad--built to connect the eastern U.S. to California--is little known to students of U.S. history. In Path of Empire Aims McGuinness offers a fascinating example of 'connected histories.' His attention to the interplay of U.S. and Latin American nation-building and racial ideology in one small place offers an international history and a tale of historical detective work."--Donna R. Gabaccia, Director, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

"You simply must take up Aims McGuinness's offer here, of a lyrical and troubling trip across Panama before there was a canal. What unfolds is better than the transnational history we've all been calling for. His scope takes our breath away, but his real commitment is to the density of daily life, the arc of narrative, and the oracular truths of the archive. The grasping of North America and the birth pangs of 'Latin' America will never read quite the same."--Carl H. Nightingale, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

"Aims McGuinness provides a model of how to do global history from a local perspective. Path of Empire views the global transformations wrought by the California Gold Rush from the vantage points of both poor and elite Panamanians. McGuinness recasts our historical narrative of U.S. imperialism in Central America while he sheds new light on how nineteenth-century intellectuals came to form a common identity as 'Latin American.' This book makes a significant contribution not only to the historiography on Panama but also to that on Colombia and Latin America more generally."--Nancy P. Appelbaum, Binghamton University, State University of New York

"The California Gold Rush and the beginnings of U.S. interest in a Panama Canal are great stories--and here are wonderfully and imaginatively linked by Aims McGuinness's multi-archival research to open fresh, highly important insights into the explosive new characteristics of American imperialism (too many of which sound as familiar in the twenty-first century as they did in the nineteenth), as well as into a growing regional fear of that imperialism, Latin American literature and culture, the hemisphere's slave systems, and the beginnings of Panamanian nationalism."--Walter LaFeber, Andrew Tisch and James Tisch University Professor Emeritus, Cornell University

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