Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

It is always a pleasure to thank those who have helped in the long task of writing a book. I have fortunately been funded by a multiyear Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. This has enabled me to employ a series of research assistants, attend conferences and do research in the United States and Great Britain as well as Australia, and acquire copies of a variety of materials from other libraries around the world. Tina Donaghy, Nadine...

Abbreviations

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p. xi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

God, gold, and glory. This is the trio of “G’s” that many a history student has memorized to understand the motives for European imperialism. The same student would also learn that the 1890s witnessed an upsurge in American overseas “expansion,” marking the emergence of the United States as a world power. Not literally for gold did they go overseas, but Americans traded abroad, looking for markets and resources. They also sent missionaries on behalf...

PART I: Networks of Empire

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CHAPTER 1 Webs of Communication

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pp. 13-27

When William T. Stead, the British editor of the Review of Reviews, went to a watery grave with the Titanic on April 15, 1912, supporters of moral reform wept openly. It was said to be typical of his “generosity, courage, and humanity that Stead was last seen leading women and children to the safety of the stricken liner’s lifeboats.”1 Stead was a friend of “America,” a country...

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CHAPTER 2 Missionary Lives, Transnational Networks: The Misses Margaret and Mary Leitch

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pp. 28-46

The “Misses Leitch,” as they preferred to be known, had ordinary beginnings but extraordinary lives. Mary and Margaret Leitch were born in Caledonia County, Vermont, in 1849 and 1857, respectively. Of Scottish lineage, these children of a prosperous farmer grew up at Ryegate within sight of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Evangelical religion was their province from an early age, and they were steeped in the Presbyterian Reformed...

PART II: Origins of American Empire

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CHAPTER 3 The Missionary Impulse

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pp. 49-73

The year 1886 was a turbulent one in the United States, most notably for labor agitation, industrial violence, and riots. Streetcar drivers in New York engaged in a long-running dispute with management from February to September, while in the Southwest, the Knights of Labor’s strike against the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroads broke out in the spring, with repercussions far and wide. Across Texas, Missouri, and Illinois, striking railroad...

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CHAPTER 4 The Matrix of Moral Reform

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pp. 74-97

The United States was “a nation of joiners,” remarked historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. in 1944. That epigram echoed the famous observations of French traveler Alexis de Tocqueville on the role of voluntary societies in a republic.1 Tocqueville would not have found the 1880s disappointing in this respect. Nowhere was the phenomenon of joining more obvious than for the evangelical reform infrastructure developing in that decade. A host of...

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CHAPTER 5 Blood, Souls, and Power: American Humanitarianism Abroad in the 1890s

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pp. 98-120

Flood, fire, famine, disease, and the blood of collective violence stalk much of human history. Generation after generation buried its dead and could afford precious little time or money for the sick, injured, and displaced. At some juncture in the nineteenth century, the practical indifference of those observing disaster from a distance began to decline in the Euro-American world...

PART III: The Challenge of American Colonialism

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CHAPTER 6 Reforming Colonialism

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pp. 123-145

When war broke out between the United States and Spain in April 1898 over the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor, the leading missionary and moral reform organizations immediately responded with patriotic enthusiasm. While they saw “new dangers in the tropics” in the American course of action and had ambivalent feelings about war, evangelical reformers sensed...

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CHAPTER 7 Opium and the Fashioning of the American Moral Empire

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pp. 146-165

In June 1903, William Dix of Philadelphia wrote Secretary of War Elihu Root an indignant letter. An item on American policy in the Philippines published in the Philadelphia Ledger enraged him: “If I were a pesky anti-imperialist I would say—thus do the superior swiftly fall to the level of the inferior.” Dix hoped that a righteous people such as the Americans would be spared “the obloquy...

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CHAPTER 8 Ida Wells and Others: Radical Protest and the Networks of American Expansion

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pp. 166-188

The lynching violence of the 1890s was a dark passage in the history of American race relations. Despite the fierce terror of the Ku Klux Klan, the 1870s was not the peak of racial mayhem against the newly freed African American people. That came in the decade of American cultural expansion abroad of the 1890s, when lynching reached historic heights. Was there a connection...

PART IV: The Era of World War I and the Wilsonian New World Order

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CHAPTER 9 States of Faith: Missions and Morality in Government

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pp. 191-208

On April 27, 1911, William Howard Taft addressed a Methodist Social Union dinner in New York, full of praise for missionaries. Recalling his time in the Philippines, the portly American president waxed eloquent: “I found Methodist brethren and missionaries at my back ready to furnish all the assistance I needed.”1 He became “so fond of one of the Methodist brethren, the Rev...

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CHAPTER 10 To Make a Dry World: The New World Order of Prohibition

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pp. 209-226

The early 1920s was an era of great hope but also one of equally great potential for disillusionment. World War I upset dreams of peaceful evolution and cooperation and, with the controversial peace settlement and rejection of the League of Nations, many American internationalists despaired. 1 Protestant evangelical values also faced new challenges within the United States. Religious fundamentalism...

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CONCLUSION: The Judgments of Heaven: Change and Continuity in Moral Reform

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pp. 227-246

Prohibition’s demise was a critical blow to the Christian moral reform enterprise that had flourished for more than thirty years because the dry crusade had become the flagship of evangelical reform. Even the WCTU had, despite its continuing commitment to progressive causes such as peace and social justice, put a good deal of its eggs in the one (dry) basket in the 1920s. Reforming...

Notes

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pp. 247-308

Index

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pp. 309-322