Wales, the Welsh and the Making of America

Author(s) Vivienne Sanders

Language: English

Genre(s): History

  • July 2021 · 288 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786837905
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786837912
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786837929

About The Book

In 1971, Californian congressman Thomas M. Rees told the US House of Representatives that ‘very little has been written of what the Welsh have contributed in all walks of life in the shaping of American history’. This book is the first systematic attempt to both recount and evaluate the considerable yet undervalued contribution made by Welsh immigrants and their immediate descendants to the development of the United States. Their lives and achievements are set within a narrative outline of American history that emphasises the Welsh influence upon the colonists’ rejection of British rule, and upon the establishment, expansion and industrialisation of the new American nation. This book covers both the famous and the unsung who worked and fought to acquire greater prosperity and freedom for themselves and for their nation.


‘A comprehensive cultural history of the United States of America and Wales, written in a lively accessible style with a cast of heroes of Welsh ancestry such as tough miners’ union boss John Llewelyn Lewis and America’s greatest architect Frank Lloyd Wright ...’
- Lord Elis-Thomas

‘There is no better overview of the Welsh in America. The scope is wide, the scholarship impressive. Welsh racism and anti-Irish prejudice co-existed with Welsh achievement and overestimated achievement. Those new to the subject and established scholars will enjoy and learn from this book.’
-Dr Hywel Davies, author of Transatlantic Brethren

‘From Madoc to the early Quaker migrations – then on through revolution and civil war to industrial and modern times – the good, the bad and the ugly are all represented in this wonderfully readable book. A must for anyone interested in Welsh history and our often overlooked place in the wider Atlantic world.’
-Paul Frame, Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies

‘This is a scholarly, revisionist account of the contribution of Wales and the Welsh to the making of modern America. Based on thorough academic research, and exceptionally well written and readable, it provides a scholarly overview of the key themes of the part played by the Welsh in the colonisation of North America, the role of the philosopher Richard Price, and the relationship of Welsh settlers and their direct descendants in both the American War of Independence and the American Civil War. Long-term patterns of assimilation and the contribution of the Welsh to the industrialisation of North America are also considered here at some length. The volume is supported by a most helpful bibliographical essay on the most useful published sources in the field.’
-Dr J. Graham Jones, Former Head of the Welsh Political Archive, National Library of Wales


List of Figures
Introduction Wales, the Welsh and the Making of America
Chapter 1 - Madoc – explorer and discoverer of North America?
Chapter 2 - The Welsh and the colonisation of North America
Chapter 3 - Richard Price and the American Revolution
Chapter 4 - The Welsh American military contribution to the American War of Independence
Chapter 5 - The Welsh American political contribution to the American Revolution
Chapter 6 - Meriwether Lewis, James Monroe and the American West
Chapter 7 - The Welsh go West
Chapter 8 - Welsh Americans and the American Civil War
Chapter 9 - The Welsh and the industrialisation of America
Chapter 10 - Assimilation and the vanishing Welsh
Chapter 11 - Wales, the Welsh and the making of America – conclusions
Bibliographical essay

About the Author(s)