Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hirota Wins Cromwell Dissertation Prize

Via H-Law we have word that the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, acting in conjunction with the American Society for Legal History, has awarded its prize for the best dissertation written in 2012 to Hidetaka Hirota, for “Nativism, Citizenship, and the Deportation of Paupers in Massachusetts, 1837-1883.”  Here is the citation:
In this strikingly original transnational history, Hidaka Hirota debunks the popular myth that the United States once welcomed with open borders the world’s “huddled masses.” Blending political, legal, social, and cultural history, Hirota’s artful narrative analyzes the evolution of Massachusetts’ pauper deportation laws to demonstrate how state governments actively restricted immigration long before the Chinese Exclusion Act and other federal measures.  In the process, he provides illuminating insights into the origins of anti-Irish prejudice, the contours of nativist Know-Nothing politics, and changing conceptions of citizenship during the Civil War Era.  In recreating the migration experience of paupers from Ireland, their expulsion from the United States, and their post-deportation experiences back home, Hirota places the Massachusetts story within a wider system of pauper restriction and forcible removal operating in the Atlantic World.
The members of the Cromwell Prize Subcommittee: Dissertation Prize were
Christian G. Fritz, University of New Mexico (Chair)
Joanna L. Grisinger, Northwestern University
Maeva Marcus, Institute for Constitutional History, New York Historical Society, and George Washington University Law School
Michael Ross, University of Maryland