People across the globe are remembering the World War I as 2014 marks the centennial of its start. As the war raged, the United States avoided the conflict for three years and was involved in its own imperial holdings, a history that has been largely overlooked.
How did the United States present itself on the world stage during World War I and what can be learned from the forgotten history of American colonies, protectorates and military occupations in those years?
Emily Rosenberg, professor and chair of the department of history at University of California, Irvine, will explore these questions during the annual Carroll R. Pauley Memorial Lecture, “The Great War and the American Empire.” The lecture is 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Unity Room of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, 15th and S streets, adjacent to the Nebraska Union.
“I seek to illuminate a nearly forgotten history about the relationship between the Great War and America’s imperial holdings, which during this period included colonies, protectorates, and countries controlled through U.S. military occupation,” Rosenberg said. “My talk will also assess why this important chapter in the history of America’s international policy tended to be relatively invisible at the time and has remained even less visible in historical discussions ever since.
“My talk offers historical consideration of how U.S. involvement in the war affected what might at first seem an unrelated topic: policies toward America’s own imperial holdings in the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific.”
The lecture is a homecoming for Rosenberg. She and her husband, Norman Rosenberg, received their bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Nebraska.
The lecture is sponsored by the Carroll R. Pauley Memorial Endowment. Pauley was a lifelong Nebraskan who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and had a passion for history. He died in Lincoln in 1987.