XClose

History

Home
Menu

Mark Power Smith


Mark is a final-year PhD student at UCL, researching the role of the 'Young America' movement in mid-nineteenth century US politics. 'Young America' was a group of writers and politicians associated with a political and literary periodical published in New York City called the Democratic Review, edited by the Irish émigré John O'Sullivan. As well as providing political commentary, O'Sullivan's Review was also a rich source of intellectual culture. Despite widespread stereotypes of antebellum Democrats as 'backward' or anti-intellectual, the publication provided readers with partisan commentary on such disciplines as philosophy, international law, political economy, literary criticism, and natural science. In doing so, it shifted political discourse from discussion over policy to more fundamental disagreements about the Union's relationship with the liberal tradition, particularly natural law theory. However, within the antebellum North, these disagreements hinged on the political theory of democracy, as well as the all-consuming question of slavery.

PhD

Supervisor: Adam Smith and David Sim
Working title: 'The "Young America" movement: American nationalism and the natural law tradition, 1844-1861'
Expected completion date: 2018

Publications

Media appearances/outreach work

Mark blogs alongside a group of other UCL American History PhD students at The Young Americanists.

Teaching 2017-18 (postgraduate teaching assistant)

Mark is teaching on the nineteenth-century module 'Building the American Nation' at both UCL and Queen Mary, University of London, this year.