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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Connected Worlds: Communication Networks in the Colonial Southeast, 1513-1740
by Dubcovsky, Alejandra, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011, 222; 3469258
Abstract (Summary)

"Connected Worlds: Communication Networks in the Colonial Southeast, 1513-1740" is a study of the struggle to acquire and control information in a pre-postal, pre-printing press colonial world. This dissertation focuses on the period between 1513 and 1740 in the American Southeast. It argues that the acquisition and transmission of news was crucial to the creation, development and growth of colonial spaces. Secondly, this study examines the different groups and individuals who traversed and traded in the region, the routes that Spanish, English, French, Indian and African individuals followed and constructed, and the changing interpretations and values assigned to news.

The dissertation addresses a simple, yet often overlooked concern with how people in the colonial world came to know what they knew. The principal questions therefore explore both the practical as well as conceptual aspects of information. How was news acquired and transmitted in the colonial Southeast? What do these networks of communication reveal about the relations within and between the different groups that inhabited this geopolitical region? To answer these questions, the dissertation draws upon a wide range of sources, such as official dispatches, newspaper articles, personal reports, and other governmental records from Spanish, British, and North American archives.

Part I of the dissertation analyzes early definitions and understandings of news in the exploration and settlement of Florida. Part II turns to the practical aspects of information spread, providing an examination of Spanish networks of communication. Part III shifts the focus to the English, detailing how South Carolina used information networks to establish and define its authority in the region. And Part IV examines how changes to the economy, demography, and political structure of the Southeast in the 1730s altered the value and emphasis placed on news.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Peterson, Mark
Commitee: Donegan, Kathleen, Hahn, Steven C., Henkin, David
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American history
Keywords: Colonial America, Communication, Indian-European relations, Southeast
Publication Number: 3469258
ISBN: 978-1-124-84912-6
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