Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Paul Mapp

Committee Member

Guillaume Aubert

Committee Member

Christopher Grasso


ABSTRACT Subjects or Rebels: The Dominion of New England and the Roots of Anglo-American Conflict This paper argues that the process by which the English Crown’s initially modest attempts to tweak New England colonial governance dovetailed into a reactionary denial of all colonial liberties. The imposition of autocratic imperial rule and armed occupation of New England reflects the fundamental bankruptcy of the “imperial constitution,” namely, the incompatibility of the right of colonists to representative assemblies and the imperial authority of the English state. Because on a constitutional level the two were incompatible, a protracted conflict between colonists and metropolitans had a strong likelihood of ending in logical extremes neither party expected or wanted: the abolition of colonial self- government by the English state and a revolutionary attack on the authority of the English state by colonists. as long as colonists and metropolitans failed to reconcile colonial rights with metropolitan sovereignty, they papered over a zero sum game. This paper is preliminary and based upon an initial reading of sources; additional research of contemporary scholarship in particular would improve it. ABSTRACT The Right to Fortifications: American Communities and the Politics of Harbor Defense: 1794-1812 This paper argues that American seaport towns played an outsized and determinative role in the fortification of their harbors in the immediate post- revolutionary period. While historians have examined the individual and collective efforts of military engineers during this period, they have neglected the importance of the labor, financial and political resources of cities in realizing seacoast defense. I found strong connections between urban politics and urban seacoast fortifications at every level from grassroots community organizations to the halls of Congress. to complete this project and properly qualify its conclusions, however, a comprehensive analysis of legislative dynamics and seaport populations would be necessary. This paper might serve as the nucleus of future research on the relationship between American communities and fortifications.



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