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Citizens of convenience : the imperial origins of American nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian border / Lawrence B.A. Hatter.

Author/creator Hatter, Lawrence B. A. author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2017.
Descriptionpages cm.
Series Early American histories
Early American histories. ^A1144393
Contents "You damn Yankee what brought you here?" -- "It shall at all times be free to His Majesty's subjects" -- "To guard the national interest against the machinations of its enemies" -- "The equivocal attributes of American citizen and British subject" -- "We ought to have the trade within our awen country" -- "When the American stripes alone protect the Western Hemisphere" -- "British subjects are always black sheep" -- Epilogue: "The gallant champions of British influence".
Scope and content "Like merchant ships flying flags of convenience to navigate foreign waters, traders in the northern borderlands of the early American republic exploited loopholes in the Jay Treaty that allowed them to avoid border regulations by constantly shifting between British and American nationality. In Citizens of Convenience, Lawrence Hatter shows how this practice undermined the United States' claim to nationhood and threatened the transcontinental imperial aspirations of U.S. policymakers. The U.S.-Canadian border was a critical site of United States nation- and empire-building during the first forty years of the republic. Hatter explains how the difficulty of distinguishing U.S. citizens from British subjects on the border posed a significant challenge to the United States' founding claim that it formed a separate and unique nation. To establish authority over both its own nationals and an array of non-nationals within its borders, U.S. customs and territorial officials had to tailor policies to local needs while delineating and validating membership in the national community. This type of diplomacy--balancing the local with the transnational--helped to define the American people as a distinct nation within the Revolutionary Atlantic world and stake out the United States' imperial domain in North America"--Publisher description.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Awards note"Winner of the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an outstanding work of scholarship in eighteenth-century studies."
LCCN 2016034821
ISBN9780813939544 (cloth : alkaline paper)
ISBN0813939542 (cloth : alkaline paper)

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