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From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism

The burgeoning of American and British humanitarianism in the late eighteenth century is often understood as an outgrowth of the development of capitalism. Amanda Moniz roots it in politics. From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism explores the shift from an imperial to a universal approach in humanitarianism as compatriots adjusted to being foreigners after the American Revolution. Following leading philanthropists – most of all doctors – from America, the British Isles, and the Caribbean, the book tells the story of the generation who made caring for strangers routine.

Date & Time

Monday
Nov. 7, 2016
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

The burgeoning of American and British humanitarianism in the late eighteenth century has often been understood as an outgrowth of the rise of capitalism. Amanda Moniz, by contrast, roots it in political developments. From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism explores the shift from an imperial to a universal approach in humanitarianism as compatriots adjusted to being foreigners after the American Revolution. Following leading philanthropists – most of all doctors – from America, the British Isles, and the Caribbean, the book tells the story of the generation who made caring for strangers routine.

Amanda Moniz is Associate Director of the National History Center of the American Historical Association and Program Coordinator at the American Historical Association.  After receiving her PhD at the University of Michigan in 2008, she held a Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University.  She has written for scholarly and popular audiences about the history of philanthropy and the history of food and has pursued various public history projects on those topics. From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism (OUP, 2016) is her first book.  

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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