Dr Marc-William Palen
Office: Amory 308A
Office Hours: (Spring Term 2018) Mondays 5:30-6:30pm; Weds. 11:30-12:30
I am a historian at the University of Exeter. 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 have previously taught history at Tufts University in Boston 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 held a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship 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 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 the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Conversation, the Australian, History Today, Newsweek, Time, and the Globalist, 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.
"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).
"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).
“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).
"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 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.
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
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 Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow 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 Australian, the Globalist Magazine, History News Network, History & Policy, Foreign Policy in Focus, Common Dreams, Not Even Past, the ABC, Canberra Times, and the National Times, 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
My academia.edu profile containing links to my publications is available at: http://exeter.academia.edu/MarcWilliamPalen