David Rennie is a final-year PhD student at Aberdeen University. His work has appeared in MidAmerica, and a special edition of Midwestern Miscellany on World War I that he guest-edited for the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. He won the British Association of American Studies Postgraduate Essay Award (2016), and has forthcoming essays in The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review and The Hemingway Review.

In The Fields Of Democracy: The Midwest In World War I

World War I generated a new narrative in American national identity. The easterly crusade to save the Old World, or, in President Wilson’s words, to make the world ‘safe for democracy’, reversed the nation’s foundational movement of western exploration and settlement leading away from Europe.[i] As Joseph Urgo describes it, ‘[t]he close of the old frontier’ was followed by ‘the opening of the global imperial frontier’, inaugurating America’s status as a superpower. Continue reading