This dissertation is an exploration of the profound influence of violent conflict on the development of identities across imperial, national, racial, and cultural boundaries. The study uses the 1775 rebel invasion of Quebec during the American War for Independence as a window into such processes. An examination of the Quebec Campaign reveals the deep ties between the American War for Independence (1775-1783), the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), and the War of 1812 (1812-1815). During this broader era, American, British, French, Canadian, and indigenous identities coalesced into something resembling those observed in later periods.
Situating Quebec at the center of this narrative offers new insight into such processes. The British conquest of the province in the Seven Years’ War had important consequences not only for those within its borders but those without as well. Out of that event were born historical forces that – after being stretched and reformed by the course of the War for Independence – found their ultimate expression in the War of 1812 over five decades later.
Those forces related to identity formation were perhaps most impactful, driving the peoples of Quebec and the continent surrounding it to segregate themselves along the lines of race and culture. This division formed the foundation of the nations that emerged from this era in North America’s history. It also had ramifications for those living across the Atlantic, where evolving notions of empire and nationhood in Britain and France struggled to keep pace with changes on the ground in the western hemisphere. As a result, peoples across two continents experienced dramatic changes in how they defined themselves and others. Torn apart by decades of war, those peoples built the nations of North America on the ashes of a common past. Divided, they stood and faced the future.
|Commitee:||Silverman, David, Schultheiss, Katrin, Jackson, Trevor, Rao, Gautham|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Military history, Canadian history, American history|
|Keywords:||Culture, Empire, Indigenous, Quebec, Race, Revolution|
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