At the 1932 American Historical Association meeting in Toronto, Canada, Herbert E. Bolton gave a prophetic yet largely ignored address titled, "The Epic of Greater America." In his speech, the AHA president pondered why there was no major American history publication that placed the United States' past within the context of the Western Hemisphere. Bolton emphasized his point by exploiting the Eurocentric focus of the profession at the time, noting that "European history cannot be learned from books dealing alone with England, or France, or Germany, or Italy, or Russia." He went on to say that historians should not confine American history to the political boundaries of nation-states or privilege the histories of Mexico, Canada, or the United States due to their prominence in modern North America. Bolton believed that colonial history appeared most conducive to the approach he advocated but challenged nineteenth- and twentieth-century historians to adopt similar perspectives, hoping to inspire them to dig deep into their sources and locate those connections in United States history that fit into a larger hemispheric narrative.
"The Epic of Greater Florida: Florida's Global Past,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 84:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol84/iss1/3