The Contest for the Delaware Valley: Allegiance, Identity, and Empire in the Seventeenth Century by Mark L. Thompson

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Matthew Kruer


Contest for the Delaware Valley was recently named the 2014 winner of the Philip S. Klein prize for the best book on Pennsylvania history. It is well deserved. Making excellent use of Dutch and Swedish archives to study an often-neglected region, Thompson has crafted a compelling framework for understanding the intersection of nationalism and cosmopolitanism in early America. He argues that “cosmopolitan forms of interaction and communication coexisted with, and indeed reinforced, national identities,” and that “empire fostered an interpenetration of the local and the national in the colonial setting” (13).

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