Dr. Hugill is a professor of geography at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843.
THE AMERICAN CHALLENGE TO BRITISH HEGEMONY, 1861–1947*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2009 American Geographical Society
Volume 99, Issue 3, pages 403–425, July 2009
How to Cite
HUGILL, P. J. (2009), THE AMERICAN CHALLENGE TO BRITISH HEGEMONY, 1861–1947. Geographical Review, 99: 403–425. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2009.tb00439.x
I thank various members of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University for their critical commentary on the line of reasoning laid out in this article as presented in seminars there. I particularly thank Jeff Engel for his insightful comments on the struggle between Britain and America to control commercial aviation. He is not responsible for any remaining faults in my interpretation.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- economic war;
- hegemonic transition;
ABSTRACT. In The Shaping of America Donald Meinig describes a United States averse to challenging Britain geostrategically but emerging as a powerhouse economy by the late 1890s. But America embarked on a sustained economic struggle with Britain in 1861 by embracing protectionism; America's Civil War ironclads were as much to resist Britain as fight the Confederacy; and in 1866 ussMiantonomoh helped persuade Britain to reconsider, then pay, the Alabama Claims. Britain never retaliated in the economic struggle by moving to protectionism and in the late 1800s began to appease America in geostrategic terms. This struggle intensified in the 1920s and 1930s as America and Britain competed for control of international transportation, international communication, and the global oil supply, but by the mid-1940s American hegemony was clear. This article traces the course of the complex economic and political struggle for hegemony in the light of recent models of transitions in the world economy.