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Title: 'The living and the dying' : the rise of the United States and Anglo-French perceptions of power, 1898-1899
Author: Rhode, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6501 135X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines Anglo-French perceptions of power within the context of the rise of the United States of America. It uses several overlapping events falling within a moment at the end of the nineteenth century (1898-1899) - the Spanish-American War, the Dreyfus Affair and the Fashoda crisis - to explore various British and French actors' perceptions of national power, decline, and international competition. It draws heavily on diplomatic material, but its methodology is primarily cultural. It examines ways in which various cultural assumptions affected perceptions of power and global events. It takes a particular interest in the relationship between ideas about gender and dimensions of national power. It focuses on contemporary preoccupations and assumptions, whether spoken or unspoken, and argues that they could prove determinative. External realities were refracted into perceptions that in turn drove prescriptions and policy. The thesis juxtaposes perspectives from multiple states, thereby contextualizing or comparing British, French and occasionally American preoccupations with those of their transatlantic contemporaries. It draws upon archival sources which previously have been under-examined or approached from different perspectives and research priorities. Its exploration of the cultural dimensions of thought about national power and success is grounded in an awareness of the analysis and actions of certain diplomats and politicians involved in the more practical business of international affairs. Conversely, diplomatic and other records are situated within their cultural milieu, to better understand the context in which views about the international order were shaped. The thesis necessarily makes excursions into the history of emotions, since its actors' political analyses at times appear entangled and aligned with their emotional responses. The thesis therefore serves as an example of an international history that integrates diplomatic with cultural and emotional elements and demonstrates their mutual illumination.
Supervisor: Harris, Ruth ; Clavin, Patricia Sponsor: Calleva Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; British Empire ; Emotional history ; United States ; Spanish-American War ; Fashoda crisis ; Cultural history ; International history ; Dreyfus Affair ; Diplomatic history ; Transatlantic relations ; France