Dr Marc-William Palen
Office: Amory 308A
I specialise in the intersection of British and American imperialism within the broader history of globalisation since c. 1800. I am particularly interested in comparing and contrasting the British and American Empires from the mid nineteenth century and, more broadly, in exploring how political economy, gender, and ideology have shaped global imperial expansion.
I believe that connecting the past with the present is an essential part of a historian's craft. I am the co-director (with David Thackeray and Andrew Dilley) of the History and Policy Global Economics and History Forum in London. My commentary on historical and contemporary global affairs has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, the Conversation, the Australian, History Today, Newsweek, and Time, among others. I am also the editor of the Imperial & Global Forum, the blog of the Centre for Imperial & Global History. You can follow me on Twitter @MWPalen
The "Conspiracy" of Free Trade: The Anglo-American Struggle over Empire and Economic Globalisation, 1846-1896 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). "Books of the Year," Financial Times 2016 Summer Reading List; "Top Ten Books of 2016," Globalist Magazine.
"Free-Trade Ideology and Transatlantic Abolitionism: A Historiography," Journal of the History of Economic Thought 37 (June 2015): 291-304.
"The Imperialism of Economic Nationalism, 1890-1913," Diplomatic History 39 (Jan. 2015): 157-185.
"Adam Smith as Advocate of Empire, c. 1870-1932," Historical Journal 57 (March 2014): 179-198.
“Foreign Relations in the Gilded Age: A British Free-Trade Conspiracy?” Diplomatic History 37: 2 (April 2013): 217-247.
“The Civil War’s Forgotten Transatlantic Tariff Debate and the Confederacy’s Free Trade Diplomacy,” Journal of the Civil War Era 3: 1 (March 2013): 35-61.
“A Canadian Yankee in King Cotton’s Court,” Civil War History 18: 2 (June 2012): 224-261.
“Protection, Federation and Union: The Global Impact of the McKinley Tariff upon the British Empire, 1890-94,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 38: 3 (Sept. 2010): 395-418.
“British Free Trade and the Feminist Vision for Peace, c. 1846-1946,” in Imagining Britain’s Economic Future, c. 1800-1975: Trade, Consumerism, and Global Markets, edited by David Thackeray, Richard Toye, and Andrew Thompson (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018): 115-131.
"Empire by Imitation? US Economic Imperialism in a British World System,” in the Oxford History of the Ends of Empire, ed. by Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
“U.S. Foreign Trade Policy from the Revolution to World War I,” Oxford Reference Encyclopedia in American History (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016): 1-22.
"Election of 1876/Compromise of 1877," in Edward O. Frantz, ed., A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865-1881 (Wiley Blackwell, 2014): 315-330.
“Mathew Carey,” “Henry Charles Carey,” and “Daniel Raymond.” Dictionary of Early American Philosophers, edited by John R. Shook (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2012).
“Trade Wars,” Rear Vision, ABC (22 April 2018).
“Trump Says Trade Wars are Easy to Win. Here’s What History Tells Us About a Possible U.S.-China Conflict,” NBC News (16 April 2018).
“Can You Win a Trade War?” The Briefing Room, BBC Radio 4 (5 April 2018).
“Guerras comerciais: os vencedores ficam for a do ringue,” Exame (print, Portugal) (April 2018): 82-87.
“Protecionismo atual tem semelhanças com disputas que levaram a guerra mundial, diz historiador,” BBC Brasil (13 March 2018).
“What History Has to Say About the ‘Winners’ in Trade Wars,” New York Times (8 March 2018).
“Blue Steel: Tariffs, Trade and Trump,” Real Vision (8 March 2018).
“‘Trade Wars are Good’? 3 Past Conflicts tell a Very Different Story,” Conversation (5 March 2018), featured at, et al., the Washington Post, Salon, Raw Story.
"Protectionism and Empire: An Interview Marc-William Palen," Toynbee Prize Foundation (8 Jan. 2018).
"Decisions More Than A Century Ago Explain Why the US Has Failed Puerto Rico in its Time of Need," Washington Post (3 Oct. 2017).
“Protectionism 100 Years Ago Helped Ignite a World War. Could It Happen Again?” Washington Post (30 June 2017).
“The Civil War’s Arguments Rekindled,” Post and Courier (29 June 2017).
“Britain’s Imperial Ghosts Have Taken Control of Brexit,” Conversation (26 June 2017). Featured at Yahoo News.
"How Mark Twain Became a Free Trader," Globalist Magazine (17 Aug. 2016).
"When Protectionism Dominated American Politics," Globalist Magazine (16 Aug. 2016).
"Trump and the Return of Economic Nationalism," Globalist Magazine (30 July 2016).
"Protectionism in the USA," BBC Radio 4 Analysis (30 May 2016).
"The Return of 19th-century Protectionism," Time Magazine and History Today (27 April 2016, print and online).
“History Repeating Itself? Free Trade is Once Again Tearing Apart the Republican Party,” Conversation, Newsweek, and Raw Story (14 April 2016).
"Trump's Protectionism," BBC World, Business Matters (23 March 2016, at 27:00).
"Trump's Anti-Trade Tirades Recall GOP's Protectionist Past," Conversation (16 Feb. 2016).
“US-Cuba Embargo Goes Beyond the Cold War,” History Today (21 Dec. 2014).
“Could Imperial History Help US Foreign Policy Makers?” History & Policy (24 Sept. 2014).
“Is Global History Suitable for Undergraduates?” Imperial & Global Forum (12 May 2014).
“Sleuthing the Origins of ‘Global History,’” New Global History Forum (3 Feb. 2014).
“In Defense of Global History,” Imperial & Global Forum (20 Nov. 2013).
“The Great Civil War Lie,” New York Times (5 June 2013).
“The Protectionist Side of Outsourcing,” History & Policy (May 2013).
“Obama’s Atlantic Pivot,” The Globalist (20 Feb. 2013).
“America’s 51st State,” The Australian (28 Dec. 2012).
“Will Puerto Rico Become the 51st State?” History News Network (10 Dec. 2012).
“Return of the Paranoid Style,” History News Network (15 Oct. 2012).
“Containing China,” The Australian (18 May 2012).
My research focuses on the intersection of globalisation and ideology within the history of Anglo-American imperialism. I am particularly interested in comparing and contrasting the British and American Empires from the mid nineteenth century onward. More broadly, I am interested in projects that explore how ideology and the international political economy have shaped global imperial expansion. My current book manuscript examines how the ideological conflict between free traders and economic nationalists reshaped Anglo-American party politics and imperial expansion in the mid to late nineteenth century. This ideological battle reverberated throughout the globe, I argue, and laid the foundations for today's global political economy. My next book project examines the free trade movement’s global struggle for world peace and, conversely, explores the complex relationship between economic nationalism and empire building in the first half of the twentieth century.
Research Fellow, Harry Ransom Center, Universty of Texas at Austin (2016-17).
Postdoctoral Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University (Fall 2015).
Caroline D. Bain Fellow, Smith College (2015-16)
Albert M. Greenfield Fellow, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (2015-16)
Research Associate in U.S. Foreign Policy at the U.S. Studies Centre, University of Sydney (2012-15)
Samuel Young Scholar, History of Economics Society (2013-14)
W. A. Williams Junior Faculty Research Award, Society for Historians of U.S. Foreign Relations (2013-14)
British Scholar Society; British Association for Victorian Studies; British International History Group; British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH); Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR); Organization of American Historians; American Historical Association; Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; Society for Historians of Australia’s Foreign Relations.
Upcoming/Recent Conferences, Talks, etc.
“The Economic Ideology of American Anti-Imperialism, 1846-1918,” Harmsworth Transimperial Conference, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, May 2016.
“Imagining an American Free-Trade Empire, 1861-1934,” Imagining Markets Network Workshop, ICS, London, April 2016.
"The Feminist Roots of Neoliberalism," History Seminar Series, Columbia University, Sept. 2015.
“The Global Struggle for Free Trade and Peace, 1896-1946,” Hoover Archives Workshop on Political Economy, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, June 2015.
“Copying American Capitalism: The Global Response to American Economic Nationalism,” Varieties of Capitalism Workshop, Centre for Economic and Business History, University of Nottingham, June 2015.
“The Political Economy of Peace, c. 1900,” U.S. Political Economy Workshop, Queen Mary University, April 2015.
“The Ideological Origins of the Twentieth-Century U.S. Peace Movement,” American History Seminar, Institute for Historical Research, London, Feb. 2015.
"British and American Imperialism," U.S. Foreign Relations History Roundtable, University of Southampton, Nov. 2014.
"Blogging and Research," Blogging for Historians Workshop, University of Glasgow, Sept. 2014.
"The Imperialism of Economic Nationalism, 1890-1913," AHRC DTP SWW Imperial & Postcolonial Workshop, University of Southampton, Sept. 2014.
“Angell in America,” BrANCH-HOTCUS Conference, University of Reading, Sept. 2014.
“Adam Smith as Advocate of Empire, c. 1870-1932,” 15th International Conference of the Charles Gide Association for the Study of Economic Thought, Lyons, France, June 2-4, 2014.
"Economic Nationalism and American Imperialism," 15th Bi-Annual Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference on North American Studies, University of Helsinki, May 12-16, 2014.
"Closed Door Imperialism, 1890-1913," British American Nineteenth Century History Conference, Rice University, Texas, April 3-6, 2014.
“Transnational Tariff Controversies in the Early Republic,” American Political Economy from the Age of Jackson to the Civil War Symposium, Bowdoin College, in conjunction with the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Oct. 2013.
"Going on the Academic Job Market: U.S., U.K., and the Rest," Career Development Workshop, Kings College, London, Oct. 2013.
“Globalisation’s Protectionist Past and Free-Trade Future, c. 1870-Present,” Globalisation & Uncertainty Workshop, University of Exeter, Sept. 2013.
“Charles Beard’s Open Door Legacy,” Charles Beard, Economic Interpretation, and History Conference, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford, UK, April 2013.
“Adam Smith as Advocate of Empire,” Britain and the World Conference, Austin, TX, March 2013.
“The Imperialism of Economic Nationalism,” ISS Brady-Johnson Colloquium in Grand Strategy and International History, Yale University, 26 Feb. 2013.
“America's Closed Door Empire,” Inter-University United States Studies Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, July 2012.
“The Gilded Age Tariff in Global Perspective,” Policy History Conference, Richmond, VA, June 2012.
“Where Global History Meets Anglo-American Relations,” U.S. Studies Centre Fellowship Presentation, Sydney, May 2012.
“The Conspiracy of Free Trade: Anglo-American Imperialism and the Ideological Origins of American Globalization,” History on Monday Seminar Series, hosted by the History Department of the University of Sydney, April 2012.
“The Legacy of Bretton Woods and John Maynard Keynes,” U.S. Studies Centre Seminar Series, Sydney, Feb. 2012.
“An Old Controversy Laid to Rest: The Ideological Origins of Henry Charles Carey,” at the Ireland, America, and the Worlds of Mathew Carey Conference, hosted by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Program in Early American Economy and Society, and Trinity College, Dublin, Nov. 2011.
“American Cosmopolitanism as British Conspiracy: The Controversy of Free Trade in Gilded Age America,” Bryn Mawr University, July 2011.
Organizer of “The Civil War’s Diplomacy of Trade and Investment” Panel, and presenter of “The Civil War’s Free Trade Diplomacy,” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, June 2011.
“American Cosmopolitanism as British Conspiracy: The Controversy of Free Trade in Gilded Age America,” Conference in Honor of Professor A. G. Hopkins, Austin, TX, April 2011.
“The Confederacy’s Diplomacy of Free Trade: Reconsidering the Transatlantic Tariff Debate, 1861-1865,” Civil War—Global Conflict, Charleston, SC, March 2011.
“The Cleveland ‘Conspiracy’: Mugwumpery, Free Trade Ideology, and Foreign Policy in Gilded Age America,” the Marc Friedlaender Fellowship Presentation at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Feb. 2011.
“The Forgotten Transatlantic Tariff Debate: Great Britain and the Confederacy’s Diplomacy of Free Trade,” Porter Fortune Symposium on History, Oxford, MS, Oct. 2010.
Moderator, “Travelling Politics in the Cold War II” Panel at the Cold War Cultures Conference, University of Texas at Austin, Oct. 2010.
“The 1890 McKinley Tariff and the Demand for Canadian-American Unity,” presented at the Western Conference on British Studies, Austin, TX, Sept. 2010.
“The Global Impact of the McKinley Tariff upon the British Empire, 1890-1894,” presented at the 22nd annual British International History Group Conference, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, UK, Sept. 2010.
Organizer of “Economic Diplomacy in the Age of New Imperialism: Rethinking Late Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Relations” Panel, and presenter of “Imperialism, Federation, and Unity: The Global Impact of the 1890 McKinley Tariff upon the British Empire,” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Madison, WI, Summer 2010.
“100 Years before NAFTA: The 1890 McKinley Tariff and the Demand for Canadian-American Unity,” presented at the Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference on North American Studies, Helsinki, Finland, Summer 2010.
“Imperialism and Protectionism: The Global Impact of the McKinley Tariff upon the Empire,” presented at the British Scholar Conference, Austin, Texas, Spring 2010.
Possible research topics and themes include:
- British Imperialism
- American Imperialism
- Empires and Globalisation
- British World/Greater Britain
- U.S. Foreign Relations
- Anglo-American Relations
- Comparative Empires
- Ideology and Imperial Expansion
- Imperialism and Political Economy
- Theories of Imperialism
- History of Ideas
- Peace Studies
- Women and Foreign Policy
External impact and engagement
*Co-Director (with David Thackeray and Andrew Dilley), History & Policy Global Economics and History Forum, (2016-). The forum brings together academics, business groups, policy makers and the public interested in how understandings of historical trade relations can inform current policy debates through policy workshops and public seminars, in collaboration with History & Policy (King's College, London, and Cambridge University) and the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter.
"The Trade War that America Started - And Canada Won," Ozy (9 Dec. 2016).
"The 'Conspiracy' of Free Trade," New Books Network (30 Aug. 2016).
“Protectionism in the USA,” BBC Radio 4 Analysis (30 May 2016).
“The ‘Conspiracy’ of Free Trade: Interview with Marc-William Palen,” Daily History (24 April 2016).
“Trump’s Protectionism,” BBC World, Business Matters (23 March 2016, at 27:00 in).
“A ‘Conspiracy’ of Free Trade,” Matt Lewis Show (15 March 2016).
- HIH1402 - Britain, America, and the Global Order, 1846-1946
- HIH1420 - Understanding the Modern World
- HIH2001 - Doing History: Perspectives on Sources
- HIH2179A - The American Empire
- HIH3182 - Critics of Empire: Sources
- HIH3183 - Critics of Empire: Context
- HIH3631 - Empires
- HISM003 - Critical Approaches to Imperial and Global History
- HISM400 - Dissertation in History
- HISM482 - Empire and Globalisation
I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Previous to taking up my lectureship in Imperial History at the University of Exeter, I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where I completed a BA in the Classics (2003), an MA in History (2009), and a PhD in History (2011) under the supervision of H. W. Brands and A. G. Hopkins. I have previously taught history at Tufts University and have been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre, University of Sydney, where I was then a Research Associate in U.S. Foreign Policy (2012-15). I have also been a research fellow at the Harry Ransom Center (2017), Smith College (2015), the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (2015), Stanford's Hoover Institution Library and Archives (2015), a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford's Rothermere American Institute (2015) and at Yale's International Security Studies, and have been awarded the 2013-14 W. A. Williams Junior Faculty Research Award by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Samuels Young Scholars Award by the History of Economics Society. I have previously been a Departmental Fellow, University of Texas at Austin (2011); Marc Friedlander Fellow, Massachusetts Historical Society (2010-11); Research Fellow, New York Public Library (2010-11); Liberal Arts Graduate Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin (2010); Canadian Embassy Doctoral Fellow (2010-11); and a Churchill Scholar of British Studies, University of Texas at Austin (2009-11). My commentary on historical and contemporary global affairs has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, the Australian, the Globalist Magazine, History News Network, History & Policy, Foreign Policy in Focus, the ABC, and the Canberra Times, among others. I am also the editor of the Imperial & Global Forum, the blog of the Centre for Imperial & Global History, and co-director of the Global Economics and History Forum (History & Policy, London). You can follow me on Twitter @MWPalen
My academia.edu profile containing links to my publications is available at: http://exeter.academia.edu/MarcWilliamPalen