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|Title:||The Geography of the British Northern Interior Frontier of Defence During the Haldimand Revolutionary War Administration of Quebec, 1778-1782|
|Authors:||Whitfield, Vernette Faye|
|Advisor:||Burghardt, A. F.|
|Abstract:||<p>This study examines the geography of the British Interior Frontier of Defence, between the colony of Quebec and the rebel colonies of America, during the Revolutionary War administration of Sir Frederick Haldimand (1778-1782). The study has three aims: firstly, to map the location of the frontier, secondly, to identify its essential characteristics and thirdly, to describe its defence administration. A reconstruction approach has been taken in order to uncover the geographical elements of the frontier as perceived by eighteenth-century administrators. To a large extent the identification of the interior frontier of defence was made from primary source material, chiefly the Haldimand Papers and historic maps. One research problem was the matching of primary source locations with modern maps and field identification. The defence frontier, unlike the pre-conquest frontier of Eccles, was a frontier of the colony of Quebec, which exhibited several characteristics. Firstly, it was a zone of tension as with marchland, being organized on a semi-permanent military basis. Secondly, it was sparsely settled thus limiting the amount of provisions that could be generated for defensive activities. Thirdly, its military government was imposed from outside, giving rise not only to distance decay and the diminishment of central power, but also to reactions from frontier settlers who wished to govern themselves. Fourthly, the degree of administrative control necessary to administer frontier defence precluded the operation of lawlessness and anarchy, postulated by Turner for his frontier. Fifthly, the frontier exhibited both integrating and separating characteristics, depending of the volatile political allegiances within it. Sixthly, the frontier did no exhibit a well-defined line of confrontation, although there was a general accordance with colonial frontier forts and settlements, with arteries of travel, and with the Upper Post administrative centers. The British imperial administration of the frontier was based on two major policy directives: the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774. However, due to the exigencies of war, the Quebec Act was never fully instituted along the Upper Post administrative chain and defence frontier. The defence frontier was governed by the Upper Posts of Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac, with Quebec and Montreal as the command headquarters for the colony as a whole. It was administered chiefly through the Military and Indian Departments, which instituted policy for frontier defence. Defence activities, chiefly campaigns, raids, and scouts, were concentrated on the Mohawk Valley, the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers, Fort Pitt and the Allegheny River, the Ohio and its tributaries and the Illinois. Due to the problem provisioning military activities during the War of Revolution the geography of the interior frontier of defence was largely delimited by provisioning sites such as forts, settlements, forge and mill sites and agricultural areas.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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