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Professor Max Edling

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Professor of Early American History

Research subject areas

  • History

Contact details

Biography

Max Edling is an expert on the American founding and the early United States. A native of Sweden he did his undergraduate studies at Lund University before earning an MPhil degree from the University of Dublin, a PhD degree in history from Cambridge University and a PhD degree in political science from Stockholm University. He was awarded the Docent degree by Uppsala University in 2012. Before joining King’s in 2012 Edling taught at Uppsala University and Loughborough University. Edling has held visiting appointments at Cornell University, the Stanford Humanities Center and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. He is the author of three books: A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State (2003); A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State 1783-1867 (2014); and Perfecting the Union: National and State Authority in the US Constitution (2021).

Research interests

  • American founding
  • United States early republic
  • Early American state formation
  • Early American public finance

Dr Edling’s research has focused on the American founding and the creation of the American state. His first book investigated the debate over the ratification of the US Constitution. His second studied the development of the fiscal system and public finances in the United States from the American Revolution to the aftermath of the Civil War, with a focus on the funding of war and territorial expansion. Dr Edling has just concluded a short book on the origins of the US Constitution. He is now working on a larger complementary study that challenges the idea of the United States as the first liberal nation through an investigating of the composite or imperial structure of the early American polity. Dr Edling is willing to supervise broadly in the intellectual, institutional and legal history of the American Revolution and founding. Projects dealing with political ideology, governmental institutions and policies, and the legal history of slavery, Native Americans, free people of colour, women, and servants in late colonial British North America and the early American republic are particularly welcome.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Teaching

Dr. Edling teaches North American history up to 1865 with a special focus on the American Revolution and the early republic.

Expertise and public engagement

Edling is on the editorial board of the Journal of Early American History and American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions and Culture. Edling has written popular essays and reviews in American history in Swedish and occasionally in English, something he would like to do more in the future. His essay on the inauguration of George Washington can be read at http://theconversation.com/how-george-washington-made-america-great-again-71194

Selected publications 

  • A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State 1783-1867 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014)
  • Perfecting the Union: National and State Authority in the US Constitution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021)
  • with Peter Kastor, ed., Washington’s Government: Charting the Origins of the Federal Administration (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021),