Abstract

This article argues that boundary contestations between competing colonial powers in seventeenth-century North America need to be understood within a global context. Focusing on Dutch and English colonial and metropolitan writings of the mid-seventeenth century, the article outlines a shift in the way territory was understood by the two competing nations. Colonial powers had originally relied on fixed national traditions to justify their acquisition of colonial territory across the globe; yet, by the mid-seventeenth century colonial powers relied increasingly on an emerging legally codified system to describe territory. By situating Dutch and English colonial and metropolitan writings about intercolonial boundary disputes in North America within the context of both national traditional and emerging international legal systems of territory, the article links seemingly local colonial issues to a global network spanning multiple metropolitan centers and colonial peripheries.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0895
Print ISSN
1543-4273
Pages
pp. 324-347
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-11
Open Access
No
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