Dr Marc-William Palen

Research interests

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 collaborations

Recent Associations

Research Fellow, Harry Ransom Center, Universty of Texas at Austin (2016-17).

Postdoctoral FellowRothermere 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 AwardSociety for Historians of U.S. Foreign Relations (2013-14)


Academic Memberships

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.