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Peter Adam Shulman
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH 44106-4901)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012

America, Energy, and the World, 1840-1940

This project explores the transformation of American foreign relations between 1840 and 1940 through the lens of the emergence of fossil-fueled steam power. NEH summer stipend funding is for the final two chapters which examine the displacement of coal with oil as the primary fuel of American industrial power. This project contributes to the humanities by recasting major subjects in American history - the Civil War, the annexation of overseas territory, the militarization of foreign policy - in terms of the nuts and bolts of empire building, tracing the ways that the emergence of fossil-fueled energy sources formed an important component of American foreign policy since the middle of the nineteenth century. At the same time, it emphasizes how technological change is never autonomous, but has long been shaped by both domestic and international politics.