Crossroads of Empire: The Middle Colonies in British North America

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Overview

This work examines the Middle Colonies-New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania-as a region at the center of imperial contests among competing European powers and Native American nations and at the fulcrum of an emerging British-Atlantic world of culture and trade.

Ned C. Landsman traces the history of the Middle Colonies to address questions essential to understanding their role in the colonial era. He probes the concept of regionality and argues that while each territory possessed varying social, religious, and political cultures, the collective lands of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania came to function as a region because of their particular history and their distinct place in the imperial and Atlantic worlds. Landsman demonstrates that the societal cohesiveness of the three colonies originated in the commercial and military rivalries among Native nations and developed further with the competing involvement of the European powers, eventually emerging as the focal point in the contest for dominion over North America. In relating this progression, Landsman discusses various factors in the region's development, including the Enlightenment, evangelical religion, factional politics, religious and ethnic diversity, and distinct systems of Protestant pluralism. Ultimately, he argues, it was within the Middle Colonies that the question was first posed, What is the American?

An insightful and valuable classroom synthesis of the scholarship of the Middle Colonies, Crossroads of Empire makes clear the vital role of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in establishing an American identity.

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Editorial Reviews

PhiloBiblos

Solid, well-sourced, and very readable. Recommended.

Choice

Researchers on the middle colonies may find it a starting point and essential reference on most topics.

Journal of American History
Informative, nicely written synthesis.

— Judith A. Ridner

Historian
Landsman and the press are to be commended for promoting, albeit in traditional print format, the importance of the middle colonies for the development of American society to an English-speaking, twenty-first-century audience that is increasingly unaware of historical perspectives before the founding of the Republic.

— Marianne S. Wokeck

Journal of American History - Judith A. Ridner

Informative, nicely written synthesis.

Historian - Marianne S. Wokeck

Landsman and the press are to be commended for promoting, albeit in traditional print format, the importance of the middle colonies for the development of American society to an English-speaking, twenty-first-century audience that is increasingly unaware of historical perspectives before the founding of the Republic.

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography - Liam Riordan

Students new to the field and senior scholars alike can benefit from, and should enjoy, this excellent short volume.

Choice

Researchers on the middle colonies may find it a starting point and essential reference on most topics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801897689
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2010
  • Series: Regional Perspectives on Early America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 828,780
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ned C. Landsman is a professor of history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the author of From Colonials to Provincials and Scotland and Its First American Colony, 1683–1765.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue Region and History 1

1 The Origins of the Middle Colonies 8

2 The Duke's Dominions 32

3 Penn's Proprietary 55

4 The Commercial Crossroads of the British Atlantic 76

5 The Crossroads of Cultures: Diversity, Toleration, and Pluralism 111

6 The Crossroads of Philosophy and Faith 144

7 Politics at the Crossroads: Liberty and Faction, Empire and War 182

Epilogue: Empire and Revolution 208

Notes 215

Essay on Sources 223

Index 233

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