Date of Award
Dr. Mary Niall Mitchell
Dr. Connie Atkinson
Dr. Gunter Bischof
The period of Reconstruction following the American Civil War, and its legacy, have been the subjects of long debate among historians. Scholars, though, have yet to fully explore important connections between American Reconstruction, the New South that followed, and the period of U.S. imperialism in Central America in the late nineteenth century. The storied career of Major Edward Austin Burke—a Kentucky-born Louisiana Democrat who went on to become a proponent of expansionism and imperialism in Honduras—illuminates the transnational implications of Reconstruction and its aftermath. Through careful examination of personal papers, news accounts, promotional materials, Congressional testimonies and other government records, this thesis finds the roots of Burke’s involvement in Central America in postbellum New Orleans. It demonstrates the importance of participation in Reconstruction and New South politics to the long political career of one of the most prominent U.S. imperialists in Central America in the late nineteenth century.
Conley, Kathryn K., "The Making of an American Imperialist: Major Edward Austin Burke, Reconstruction New Orleans and the Road to Central America" (2012). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1428.