Vernay Seminar Image
Black Baller Passing the Battery in 1829, by Gordon Grant. Photo: South Street Seaport Museum.

Seminar Series: A Great & Rising Nation with Michael Verney – 25 March 2023

A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and
Global Empire in the Early US Republic
with Historian and Author Michael A. Verney

Saturday, 25 March 2023
Zoom Lecture at 11:00 AM EST, Q&A to Follow

Watch on YouTube >>Buy the Book >>Guest Donation >>

Seminars are free to attend, although we hope you will support the
Series with a suggested $10 Seminar Guest donation.

Join us on Saturday, 25 March at 11 AM EST for the NMHS Zoom Seminar Series featuring author and historian Michael A. Verney as he presents his book A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic.

Conventional wisdom holds that, until the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States was a feeble player on the world stage, with an international presence rooted in commerce rather than military might. Michael A. Verney’s A Great and Rising Nation flips this notion on its head, arguing that early US naval expeditions, often characterized as merely scientific, were in fact deeply imperialist. Circling the globe from the Mediterranean to South America and the Arctic, these voyages reflected the diverse imperial aspirations of the new republic, including commercial dominance in the Pacific World, a religious empire in the Holy Land, proslavery expansion in South America, and diplomatic prestige in Europe.

A Great and Rising Nation is an essential read to understand US antebellum naval history.  It includes dramatic and lively accounts of the men who encouraged and embarked on these early global expeditions. Michael A. Verney argues persuasively that the US had imperial aspirations much earlier than previously thought. You won’t want to miss this exciting and thought-provoking seminar.

About the Speaker

Michael A. Verney is assistant professor of History at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.  He specializes in the global history of the early US republic with a focus on maritime and naval expansion and global encounters.  He earned his B.A. in 2008 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire in 2016.

He is the author of A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in July.  He has previously published pieces on the first US citizens to voyage to the Indian subcontinent in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  His second book will examine Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry’s mission to Japan in light of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, a forgotten but massive US naval survey of East Asian and Russian waters in the mid-1850s.