The Yanks Are Coming Over There

Anglo-Saxonism and American Involvement in the First World War

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About the Book

 World War I was a global cataclysm that toppled centuries-old dynasties and launched “the American century.” Yet at the outset few Americans saw any reason to get involved in yet another conflict among the crowned heads of Europe. Despite its declared neutrality, the U.S. government gradually became more sympathetic with the Allies, until President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany to “make the world safe for democracy.”
Key to this shift in policy and public opinion was the belief that the English-speaking peoples were inherently superior and fit for world leadership. Just before the war, British and American elites set aside former disputes and recognized their potential for dominating the international stage. By casting Germans as “barbarians” and spreading stories of atrocities, the Wilson administration persuaded the public—including millions of German Americans—that siding with the Allies was a just cause.

About the Author(s)

Dino E. Buenviaje teaches history at Riverside City College and other campuses in Southern California.

Bibliographic Details

Dino E. Buenviaje
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6893-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3019-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

The Roots of ­Anglo-Saxonism 7  •  Anglo-Saxon Myths 8  •  Bede, The ­Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Making of England 9  •  Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of British Kings and the Arthurian Legend 11  •  Post-Norman England 13

Chapter I. Anglo-Saxonism and American Culture, 1895–1914 15

The Roots of American ­Anglo-Saxonism 15  •  Late-Nineteenth–and Early ­Twentieth-Century ­Anglo-Saxonism 17  •  The ­Anglo-American Community 28  •  The White ­Anglo-Saxon Protestant 30

Chapter II. The ­German-American Connection, 1850–1914 38

Early German Migrations 39  •  The Revolution of 1848 41  •  German-Americans and Politics 44  •  German-Americans and German Unification 46  •  Germans and ­Anglo-Saxonism: Common Origins and Anxieties 53

Chapter III. Anglo-Saxonism in the Foreign Policy

  Establishment 75

The Rise of the United States 77  •  William H. Seward: The Architect of Empire 78  •  Changes in American Society 80  •  Alfred Thayer Mahan and the New Navy 82  •  Mahan’s Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy 87  •  Theodore Roosevelt 90  •  The ­Anglo-American Rapprochement of the 1890s and its Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy 95  •  The Experience of the Philippines and ­Anglo-Saxonism 101  •  The Philippine Commissions 105  •  The Boer War: A Crisis in ­Anglo-Saxonism and the ­Anglo-American Rapprochement 109

Chapter IV. Anglo-Saxonism in the First World War 118

American Neutrality 120  •  William Jennings Bryan vs. Robert Lansing 129  •  The Role of the American Clergy in the First World War 135  •  The British and American Propaganda Machines 137  •  The ­Anglo-American Connection 144  •  Anglo-Saxonism and the First World War 148

Conclusion 171

Chapter Notes 179

Bibliography 194

Index 201