Late nineteenth-century America was a time of industrialization and urbanization. Immigration was increasing and traditional hierarchies were being challenged. Combining empirical and theoretical material, Hannah explores the modernization of the American federal government during this period. Discussions of gender, race and colonial knowledge engage with Foucault's ideas on "governmentality." Through an analysis of the work of Francis A. Walker, a prominent political economist and educator of the time, the author demonstrates that the modernization of the American national state was a thoroughly spatial and explicitly geographical project.