William Anthony Hay

Early Modern and Modern Britain

Department of History
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: 662-325-3604
E-mail: wilhay6248@aol.com

Academic Career
Current Research
Recent Awards and Fellowships
Courses Taught

William Anthony Hay is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Mississippi State. He specializes in British History and International Relations since the eighteenth century. Elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2009, Hay is president and program chair of the Southern Conference on British Studies. The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Earhart Foundation have awarded Hay research grants and he has also held fellowships at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and The William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan.

Hay is currently finishing a biography of Robert Banks Jenkinson, Second Earl of Liverpool and Prime Minister from 1812 to 1827, that highlights political and cultural tensions in late Georgian Britain. His first book The Whig Revival, 1808-1830 (Palgrave: 2005) examines the changes that brought the Whigs to power in 1830 though an alliance with provincial interests that dominated British politics until 1886. In 2009, he published a volume on Walter Bagehot, the 19th century theorist, political writer, and editor of the Economist, as a volume in Pickering and Chatto’s Victorian Political Lives series. Hay’s next project is a study of British policy and strategy during the American Revolution through the experience of key generals commanding in North America through the emerging conflict. The book will place the challenges of decision-making and command within the contest of British military culture and prevailing ideas about warfare that shaped it.

Along with scholarly publication, Hay writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal and other publications including The National Interest and the Literary Review. Before coming to Mississippi State, Hay directed a program on European politics and U.S. foreign policy at Foreign Policy Research Institute (www.fpri.org), where he remains a senior fellow. Hay served as book review editor (2001-6) and then associate editor (2007-9) of the quarterly journal Orbis. He prveiously worked with the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
  • Ph.D. Modern European and International History, 2000; University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia. Concentrations in Early Modern Britain (1450-1760), Modern Britain (1760-present), Imperial Russia (1600-1917), and International and Transnational History (1700-present).
    Dissertation: Henry Brougham and the Whigs in Opposition, 1808-1830.
  • M.A. European History, 1992; University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia. Concentrations in Modern Britain (1760-present) and European Diplomacy (1713-present).
    Thesis: The Mountain's Critique of British Foreign Policy, 1808-1822.
  • B.A. with Honors in History, 1990; University of the South. Sewanee, Tennessee. Majors in History and Philosophy.
    Honors thesis: Home Rule and the Politics of Irish History, 1870-1890.
Academic Career:
  • Director, Institute for the Humanities, Mississippi State University, 2013-.
  • Associate Professor of History, Mississippi State University, 2008-.
  • Assistant Professor of History, Mississippi State University, 2003-2008.
  • Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002-.
  • Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000-2002.
  • Associate Editor for Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, 2007-2009.
  • Book Review Editor for Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, 2001-2009.
  • Research Associate, Presidential Oral History Project, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, 1999-2000.
Current Research:
    My main current project is a biography of Robert Banks Jenkinson, Second Earl of Liverpool and Prime Minster from 1812 to 1827. Liverpool's career provides a starting point to explore several major questions: (1) the nature of executive government, and the Prime Minister's relationship with the king, parliament, and public opinion in a political system where his source of authority originated from the Crown rather than the legislature with which he had to deal; (2) development of a two party system and the extension of British politics beyond metropolitan elites focused on court and parliament to include new provincial interest groups, a process that culminated with the 1832 Reform Act and the constitutional changes that it brought about; (3) the adumbration of British geopolitical strategy toward Europe and overseas during this pivotal era, the challenges of wartime diplomacy, and efforts to create a stable post-Napoleonic settlement in Europe; (4) the transition from 18th century mercantilist policies to a liberal trading system that reflected Britain's industrialization and command of the seas after 1815.

    Other research examines (1) changes in government policy and institutions during the transition from the first British empire following the American War of Independence and their impact on foreign policy; and (2) the emergence of 19th century liberalism and its impact on public culture, the press, and British politics.
  • Books
    • Books

    Walter Bagehot vol. III  Lives of Victorian Political Figures, Part IV (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2009

    Is There Still a West? The Future of the Atlantic Alliance edited with Harvey Sicherman (University of Missouri Press: 2007).

    The Whig Revival, 1808-1830 (London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004).

  • Articles

    "Reverend Calumniators' and Whig Reformers: Religion and Political Conflict in Northeastern England, c1819-1823.  Consortium on Revolutionary Europe: Selected Papers, 2005 (2007).

    "What is Democracy? Liberal Institutions and Stability in Changing Societies,"  Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 50.1(2006):133-151.

    "Henry Brougham and the 1818 Westmorland Election: A Study in Provincial Opinion and Constituency Politics," Albion 36.1(2004):28-51.

    "The Geopolitics of Europe," Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 48.2(2003):295-310.

    "A Problem Postponed: Britain and the Future of Austria-Hungary, 1814-1918," Diplomacy & Statecraft 13.3(September 2002):57-80.

    "If there is a Mob, there is also a People=: Middle Class Politics and the Whig Revival, 1810-1830," Consortium on Revolutionary Europe: Selected Papers, 2000 (2000):396-402.

    "Reason, Truth, and Community in Samuel Johnson's Later Work," Consortium on Revolutionary Europe: Selected Papers, 1997 (1997): 53-60.

  • Review Essays

    "Remember Prussia?  The National Interest 91(September/October 2007):87-92.

    "New Old World Order,  The National Interest 85(September/October 2006):110-114.

    "Another National Party No More?  The National Interest 82(Winter2006/2006)183-143.

    "The Long Shadow: Europe, the United States, and the Great War,  Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 49.2(Spring 2005):367-380.

    "Reading the Past Into American Foreign Policy,  Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 46.1(2004):369-80.

    "Empires, Benevolent and Otherwise,  Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 46.1(2002):186-98.

    Hay regularly writes book reviews for newspapers and magazine that include the Wall Street Journal and the London-based Literary Review. Other reviews on British and European history have appeared in scholarly journals include Albion, the Canadian Journal of History, the Journal of British Studies, Current History, the Journal of Military History and The Historian.

  • Selected Papers Presented
    "Reverend Calumniators and Whig Reformers: Religion and Political Conflict in Northeastern England c.1819-1823," Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850. Lakeland, Florida. 2005.

    "Religion and the Politics of Late Hanoverian Reform: The Durham Clergy Case of 1821," Southern Conference on British Studies. Memphis, Tennessee. 2004.

    "The Offshore Islanders: British Debates on the Congress of Vienna and Europe=s Post-Napoleonic Settlement," American Historical Association. Washington, D.C., 2004.

    "Globalization and the Future of Security: An American Perspective," Senior Executive Seminar. George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 2002.

    "County Politics and Ideology: Wordsworth, DeQuincey, and Westmorland Loyalism," Southern Conference on British Studies. New Orleans , Louisiana, 2001.

    "Henry Brougham's "Participatory Ethos" and the Politics of Whig Opposition," North American Conference on British Studies. Cambridge , Massachusetts, 1999.

    "Problems of Perspective: Britain, Austria, and the Balkans, 1914-1918," Northeast Conference on British Studies. Middletown, Connecticut, 1996.

    "Britain and the Destruction of Austria-Hungary," Carolinas Symposium on British Studies. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 1996.

    "Irreconcilable Differences: Balkan Railways and the Austro-Russian Entente," Graduate Symposium on Russian and East European Studies. Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995.

  • Recent Awards and Fellowships
    Earhart Foundation Travel Grant to support archival research in Britain. Summer 2007.

    Jackson Brothers Visiting Research Fellowship. Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. Yale University. Awarded 2006 for Spring 2007.

    Humanities and Arts Research Program Grant. Institute for Humanities. Mississippi State University. 2005.

    American Swiss Foundation Young Leader 2005.

    Jacob Price Visiting Research Fellowship. William L. Clements Library. University of Michigan. 2005

    Participant Grant-in-Aid for Conference on British Political Thought in History, Literature and Theory 1600-1815. Folger Institiute. Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington D.C. March 2005,

    Smith Richardson Foundation grant through the Foreign Policy Research Institute to support a conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvanian on US-European relations in February 2004 that led to publication of an edited volume entitled Is There Still A West? The Future of the Atlantic Alliance.

  • Courses Taught:
    History of England
    Tudor-Stuart Britain, 1485-1714*
    Modern Britain, 1688-1950*
    Modern Western World
    Early Western World
    Evolution of the International System, 1760-1989*
    Graduate Colloquium on Modern Britain, 1760-1940

    * courses split between upper level undergraduate and graduate students