February 2017

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy
By Matt Karp '03

This Vast Southern Empire

"Combining immense erudition with an engaging style, Karp sheds light on an important but poorly understood era in American foreign policy." — Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs

When the United States emerged as a world power in the years before the Civil War, the men who presided over the nation’s triumphant territorial and economic expansion were largely southern slaveholders. As presidents, cabinet officers, and diplomats, slaveholding leaders controlled the main levers of foreign policy inside an increasingly powerful American state. This Vast Southern Empire explores the international vision and strategic operations of these southerners at the commanding heights of American politics.