German expansionism, imperial liberalism and the United States, 1776–1945

Research output: Book/ReportBook

6 Scopus citations


This book traces the importance of the United States for German colonialism from the late eighteenth century to 1945, focusing on American westward expansion and racial politics. Jens-Uwe Guettel argues that from the late eighteenth century onward, ideas of colonial expansion played a very important role in liberal, enlightened, and progressive circles in Germany, which, in turn, looked across the Atlantic to the liberal-democratic United States for inspiration and concrete examples. In the early years of the twentieth century, this America-inspired and -influenced imperial liberalism dominated German colonial discourse and practice. Yet following this pre-1914 peak of liberal political influence on the administration and governance of Germany's colonies, the expansionist ideas embraced by Germany's far-right after the country's defeat in the First World War had little or no connection with the German Empire's liberal imperialist tradition. German Expansionism, Imperial Liberalism, and the United States, 1776–1945 therefore shows that, for example, Nazi plans for the settlement of conquered Eastern European territories were not directly linked to pre-1914 transatlantic exchanges concerning race and expansionism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages281
ISBN (Electronic)9781139175920
ISBN (Print)9781107024694
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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