Losing the faith: British historians and the last best hope

Newman, S.P. (2008) Losing the faith: British historians and the last best hope. Comparative American Studies, 6(2), pp. 161-178.

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This essay explores the ways in which historians in Britain developed American history, focusing on attitudes towards the founding of the American republic. With reference to such historians as Goldwin Smith, Lord Acton, Winston Churchill, and Denis Brogan, the essay traces how they helped legitimate the United States as a subject of serious study, and the ways in which their work informed the creation of American Studies in Britain. Historians and students in Britain came to respect the ideals on which the American republic had been founded: against the backdrop of international fascism and communism the United States represented freedom and political progress. More recently, however, British ideas about American exceptionalism have faded, as international organizations have developed alternative protectors of democracy and liberty. The erosion of an American ideal once held dear by British historians symbolizes the end of a particular kind of American history in Britain.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newman, Professor Simon
Authors: Newman, S.P.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Comparative American Studies
ISSN (Online):1741-2676

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