Dr Stephen Tuffnell

​Research interests:

  • American Imperialism
  • Globalisation
  • Gold Rushes

I am currently preparing my first book for publication. The American Invaders: Nation and Empire in Britain’s American Community, 1790-1914 examines the centrality of the American diaspora in Britain to the transformation of the nineteenth-century United States. The volume focuses on the creation of the American “colony” in Liverpool and London through American Chambers of Commerce, social clubs such as the American Society in London, and through national celebrations organised by individual American expatriates including George Peabody, Henry James, and Henry Wellcome. The members of these communities were also the conduit for goods, capital, and culture across the Atlantic and acted as self-appointed diplomats at times of Anglo-American crisis. Viewing the United States from the vantage point of the American community in Britain allows historians to interrogate the transnational dimensions of key episodes in American nation-building such as the Civil War, the subject of an article I recently wrote for Diplomatic History (see publications)

My current project is a history of the American diaspora in the British Empire since 1865. It focuses on American communities in Southern Africa, British East Africa, Sudan, Australia, and Burma (to name a few) and examines the collaborative inter-imperial relationship between the British and American empires – and the way in which this remade the globe. In this project, the American communities overseas are the conduits technical expertise in the mining and railway industries; act as portals for the spread of American goods across the world; and collaborated in the consolidation and extension of British imperial rule. Early work on this topic has been published in the Journal of Global History and Britain and the World (please see my list publications for full details). The themes of both these projects were recently explored in an international workshop I hosted at Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute (details of which can be found in the links below).

With Benjamin Mountford (Federation University, Australia) I am co-editing a major new work on the global history of gold rushes in the nineteenth century. Gold Rush: A Global History brings together historians of the United States, Africa, Australasia, and the Pacific World to re-examine the global dimensions of nineteenth century gold rushes. The volume aims to highlight the way in which globalisation rested on a series of explosive, short-term gold booms that propelled great transfers of technology, capital, and migrants around the world.


Current DPhil Students

  • Chistoph Nitschke

I would be willing to hear from potential DPhil students regarding Global history of the United States; US foreign relations; transatlantic history; gold rushes;

I currently teach:


Approaches to History General History 16. From Colonies to Nation: the History of the United States, 1776- 1877
  General History 17. The History of the United States since 1863
  Special Subject 16. Slavery and the Crisis of the Union, 1854-1865
  Disciplines of History


  • Made in Britain Nation and Emigration in Nineteenth-Century America

  • Crossing the Rift: American Steel and Colonial Labor in Britain's East Africa Protectorate

  • ‘The international Siamese twins’:the iconography of Anglo-American inter-imperialism

  • A Global History of Gold Rushes

  • Seeking a Global History of Gold

  • More