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22 March 2013

'The Birth of the American Empire'

The Swedish Research Council awards Max Edling a major research grant for "The birth of the American empire: An inquiry into the founding of the United States."

A flying flag of the United States of America.
A flying flag of the United States of America.

The Swedish Research Council has awarded Max Edling, Lecturer in Early North American History, a major research grant for a project entitled “The birth of the American empire: An inquiry into the founding of the United States.” This project aims to challenge a common conception that the American republic was created as the first liberal nation. Instead Dr Edling will approach the early United States as a composite state carrying over fundamental political principles and institutions from the first British Empire. 

The central aim of the project is to develop a historically more accurate concept of the early American polity, one that incorporates recent developments in the history of the American colonies, federalism, and subaltern groups in North America. Whereas the textbook version of a liberal nation is characterized by the sovereignty of a unitary people composed of citizens bearing universal rights and obligations, the American empire, in contrast, was characterized by the composite nature of the state, the hierarchical organization of the population, and the institutionalization of inequality. 

Dr Edling will pursue this project partly at King’s and partly at the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

In this story

Max Edling

Professor of Early American History