German-American Entrepreneurs as Agents of Globalization, 1850-1930

Panel at the 128th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association

If you are planning on attending the 128th annual meeting of the American Historical Association (Washington DC January 2-5, 2014), join us for a panel sponsored by the Immigrant Entrepreneurship project on German-American Entrepreneurs as Agents of Globalization, 1850-1930 on Friday, January 3 at 10:30 am (Senate Room, Omni Shoreham).

Over the past decades social scientists and historians have examined a set of processes that we have come to summarize as globalization. They have, for instance, emphasized the importance of advances in transportation and telecommunication infrastructures allowing for greater global integration in the 19th and 20th centuries. Only recently, however, have scholars begun to scrutinize the roles of individuals or social groups in promoting globalization. The case of immigrant entrepreneurs lends itself to such a purpose. The questions and reflections raised by this panel have grown out of the findings of a collaborative, multidisciplinary research project on the experience of entrepreneurs of German origin or descent in the United States. The panel will examine to what extent German American entrepreneurs in the U.S. can be perceived as agents of globalization from the mid-19th century on and throughout the age of the so-called first global economy, an era shaped by both an ongoing German mass migration to the U.S. and the rise of multinational corporations.

Participants:

  • Chair: Hartmut Berghoff (German Historical Institute, Washington DC)
  • Lars Maischak (Fresno State University) H. H. Meier and the rise of the North German Lloyd, 1856 to 1914
  • Joris Mercelis (University of Ghent) German-American entrepreneurs and the globalization of chemical knowledge, ca. 1860-1930
  • Stefan Manz (Aston University) German-American Entrepreneurship around 1900 in a Global Context
  • Discussant: Colleen Dunlavy (University of Wisconsin-Madison)