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Title: Property, identity and place in seventeenth-century New England
Author: Southard, Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents a study of the construction and defence of English settler-colonies in New England during the seventeenth century, focusing upon the relationship between ordinary people and their environment. This work initially examines the preexploration reports and the first few decades of settlement and how commodification and naming practices helped in translating the landscape into a familiar, useful and, most importantly, English place. This continues in Chapter Two with a study of the distribution and construction of towns, boundaries and familiar patterns of agricultural usage. This patterning reveals how early settlers perceived their world, and how they secured traditional English customs and patterns onto this uncultivated landscape. The final two chapters will examine challenges to this system, from within New England and across the Atlantic. Chapter Three focuses on the challenge of native land rights, which threatened to undermine the initial basis of conquest and discovery as claims to the land. However, this was overcome due the flexibility of narratives of ownership and possession and the addition of native land rights to English property regimes. Chapter Four examines the network of authority and ownership which crossed the Atlantic and throughout New England, and what happened when these systems and ideas were challenged by the creation of a new government under the Dominion of New England. This final chapter reveals how all of these concepts and themes about property wove together to re-create the relationship between English settlers and their land, albeit through new concepts and methods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available