Article | November 23, 2021
Read more about `Review—Made in Britain: Nation and Emigration in Nineteenth-Century America`
In a 2006 interview, Sven Beckert lamented that in his field, nineteenth century United States history, “we still have a real dearth of studies that explore core themes in US history from a transnational perspective.” Fourteen years later, Stephen Tuffnell’s Made in Britain is among the latest in the growing body of scholarship dedicated to filling this lacuna. Contrary to popular opinion, Tuffnell posits that the US should be seen not only as a nation of immigration, but also of emigration. Indeed, American emigrants to Britain occupied a vital place in the US imagination during the nineteenth century; in constructing versions of themselves in relation to their former colonial rulers, they produced a novel vision of America and its position in the world. For Tuffnell, denationalized Americans exerted a key role in this period because they confused traditional boundaries of belonging. Living in England, but still maintaining bonds to their homeland, these figures engendered transnational networks of power and knowledge. Whether establishing new businesses in London, shipping goods from Liverpool, or frequenting diplomatic circles, these travelers provided inroads for their country of birth to reach a global stage.