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Title:"Twisting the lion's tail": The persistence of anglophobia in American politics, 1921-1948
Author(s):Moser, John Evan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Widenor, William C.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:In 1918 anglophobia, which for most of the 19th century had been a standard feature of the cultural life of the United States, made a stunning reappearance in American political discourse. Anti-British invective, whether directed against the empire, the monarchy, the aristocracy, or even against Americans suspected of harboring pro-English sympathies, would remain an important determinant of U.S. foreign policy well into the 1940s. It is the purpose of this dissertation to examine the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
Traditionally, American anglophobia in the 20th century, when it has been explored at all, has been attributed to one of two motives--either to the so-called "isolationism" of the interwar period, which regarded all foreign countries with contempt, or to the influence of recent immigrant groups, particularly the Germans and Irish, who brought with them a particular hostility toward all things British. While conceding that both of these tendencies played some role in perpetuating an anti-British climate in U.S. politics, the dissertation argues that anglophobia ran far deeper among old stock Americans, whether "isolationist" or "internationalist" in viewpoint, than has been previously assumed. Attacks on Great Britain could be heard from politicians from either party, and from any area of the country, even those without sizable immigrant populations or constituencies inclined toward a noninterventionist foreign policy. Far more important was the persistence of the American national mythology, which continued to cast the British monarchy and empire as antithetical to the ideals of liberty and equality. As the dissertation shows, not even the threat of the Axis powers in World War II was sufficient to overcome American distrust of "perfidious Albion"; indeed, it would take the global challenge of Stalin's Soviet Union to persuade most Americans that a long-term association with Great Britain was necessary or even desirable.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Moser, John Evan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624442
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624442

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