Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
This is a study of public opinion, political organizing and military experiences in the coastal cities of Early America. I argue that, collectively, seaport towns constituted a "maritime frontier"—a frontier being defined as a zone of a polity exposed to outside attack. Historians usually think of frontiers as rough, impoverished and politically peripheral—this frontier was urbane, prosperous and influential—yet it was still a zone of profound danger. Menaced, raided and bombarded by foreign pirates, raiders and navies, coastal frontier people demanded protection from colonial governments. My dissertation excavates the forgotten but significant military experiences of urban, coastal people, the frontier consciousness these experiences instilled and the political campaigns they undertook to gain fortifications, which they believed would secure them against such dangers in the future—and sometimes rose to the level of armed revolt. Together, this complex of experience, identity and demand constituted a frontier—a maritime, urban frontier.
© The Author
Slattery, Samuel Aldred, "The Maritime Frontier: Fear And Forts In Early Modern Anglo-American Seaport Towns" (2022). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1686662867.
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