Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania

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Paul Douglas Newman


Patrick Spero’s Frontier Country is a remarkable reconceptualization of Pennsylvania’s political development from an initially successful Proprietary colony in 1684, to a failed state in the wake of the Seven Years War, to a reinvigorated Revolutionary state in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Spero seeks to upend the field of “Frontier,” “Backcountry,” and “Borderlands” history popular since the days of Frederick Jackson Turner by accepting the eighteenth-century American and British definition of the word “frontier,” and applying that meaning to the actions of the Empire, the Proprietors, the Assembly, and frontier settlers to reveal the transformative power of “frontier political culture,” which culminated in the American Revolution.

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