Militarism in a Global Age: Naval Ambitions in Germany and the United States before World War I

TitleMilitarism in a Global Age: Naval Ambitions in Germany and the United States before World War I
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBönker, Dirk
Number of Pages421
PublisherCornell University Press
CityIthaca, NY

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the intellectual and political elites of United States and Germany, the two most rapidly developing industrial economies, staked claims to dominance. This volume explores how ambitious naval officers advanced navalism, a particular brand of modern militarism that stressed the paramount importance of sea power as a historical determinant. Aspiring to make their own countries into self-reliant world powers in an age of global empire and commerce, officers viewed the causes of the industrial nation, global influence, elite rule, and naval power as inseparable. Characterized by both transnational exchanges and national competition, the new maritime militarism saw its makers cast themselves as members of a professional elite that served the nation with its expert knowledge of maritime and global affairs. Emphasizing the contrasts between the projects, the book combines comparative history with transnational and global history to challenge traditional, exceptionalist assumptions about militarism and national identity in Germany and the United States in its exploration of empire and geopolitics, warfare and military-operational imaginations, state formation and national governance, and expertise and professionalism. 

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