In the early nineteenth century, the United States turned its idealistic gaze southward,imagining a legacy of revolution and republicanism it hoped would dominatethe American hemisphere. From pulsing port cities to Midwestern farmsand southern plantations, an adolescent nation hailed Latin America's independencemovements as glorious tropical reprises of 1776. Even as Latin Americans were graduallyending slavery, U.S. observers remained energized by the belief that their foundingideals were triumphing over European tyranny among their "sister republics."But as slavery became a violently divisive issue at home, goodwill towardantislavery revolutionaries waned. By the nation's fiftieth anniversary, republican efforts abroadhad become a scaffold upon which many in the United States erected an ideology ofwhite U.S. exceptionalism that would haunt the geopolitical landscape for generations.Marshaling groundbreaking research in four languages, Caitlin Fitz defines this hugelysignificant, previously unacknowledged turning point in U.S. history.