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At the Edge of Empire

The Backcountry in British North America

Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall

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During the course of the seventeenth century, Europeans and Native Americans came together on the western edge of England's North American empire for a variety of purposes, from trading goods and information to making alliances and war. This blurred and constantly shifting frontier region, known as the backcountry, existed just beyond England's imperial reach on the North American mainland. It became an area of opportunity, intrigue, and conflict for the diverse peoples who lived there.

In At the Edge of Empire, Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall describe the nature of the complex…

During the course of the seventeenth century, Europeans and Native Americans came together on the western edge of England's North American empire for a variety of purposes, from trading goods and information to making alliances and war. This blurred and constantly shifting frontier region, known as the backcountry, existed just beyond England's imperial reach on the North American mainland. It became an area of opportunity, intrigue, and conflict for the diverse peoples who lived there.

In At the Edge of Empire, Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall describe the nature of the complex interactions among these interests, examining colorful and sometimes gripping instances of familiarity and uneasiness, acceptance and animosity, and cooperation and conflict, from individual encounters to such vast undertakings as the Seven Years' War. Over time, the European settlers who established farms and trading posts in the backcountry displaced the region's Native inhabitants. Warfare and disease each took a horrifying toll across Indian country, making it easier for immigrants to establish themselves on lands once peopled only by Native Americans. Eventually, these pioneers established economically, culturally, and politically self-sufficient communities that increasingly resented London's claims of sovereignty. As Hinderaker and Mancall show, these resentments helped to shape the ideals that guided the colonists during the American Revolution.

The first book in a new Johns Hopkins series, Regional Perspectives on Early America, At the Edge of Empire explores one of British America's most intriguing regions, both widening and deepening our understanding of North America's colonial experience.

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At the Edge of Empire

Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall

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Reviews

Mr. Hinderaker and Mr. Mancall successfully challenge the negative reputation that has clung to the backcountry. They demonstrate that it was an economically vital part of colonial American society... Thanks to the authors' impressive scholarship we now understand how a place once despised as a 'backcountry' quickly became the dynamic frontier of economic and social development in the United States.

A fine synthesis of a vastly complex subject, and students assigned this volume will benefit from the authors' successful integration of the backcountry into the broader history of English imperialism in America... Extremely informative and useful.

An acutely written, meticulously researched, scholarly history which closely examines the manifold causes of conflict between Native Americans and Europeans, as well as the ordinary situations of daily life which were to significantly contribute to the American Revolution.

Eric Hinderaker and Peter Mancall have written a concise, synthetic narrative of the backcountry from Georgia to Maine. In the process, they successfully argue for its centrality in colonial American history.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
224
ISBN
9780801871375
Illustration Description
17 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue. Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Mission to the West
1. Mainland Encounters
2. Conflicts and Captives
3. New Horizons
4. Clash of Empires
5. Backcountry Revolution
6. Daniel Boone's America
Ep

Acknowledgments
Prologue. Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Mission to the West
1. Mainland Encounters
2. Conflicts and Captives
3. New Horizons
4. Clash of Empires
5. Backcountry Revolution
6. Daniel Boone's America
Epilogue. At the Edge of Empire
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

Author Bios
Eric Hinderaker
Featured Contributor

Eric Hinderaker

Eric Hinderaker is an associate professor of history at the University of Utah and author of Elusive Empires: Constructing Colonialism in the Ohio Valley, 1673-1800.
Featured Contributor

Peter C. Mancall

Peter C. Mancall is a professor of history at the University of Southern California and author of Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America and Valley of Opportunity: Economic Culture along the Upper Susquehanna, 1700-1800.