Embargo for America: Andrew W. Cohen on Smuggling and the Rise of a Superpower

December 12, 2016

Host: Lindsay Beyerstein

From the early isolationist policies of George Washington to Thomas Jefferson’s universal embargo on foreign trade, 19th century America had no plans to become an imperial power. How then does a nation with no navy and a commitment to not having a standing army become a global superpower?

Andrew W. Cohen is an author and U.S. history professor at Syracuse University. His new book is Contraband: Smuggling and the Birth of the American Century. Cohen argues that looking at early 19th century American trade policies, and the effort to police smuggling goods and contraband, gives us some telling insight about the transformation of America into what it is today.

Survey

Point of Inquiry is looking at a few different options for further supporting the podcast. So of course, we want input from you, our most excellent listeners! Take survey ›