(Dis)Placing the American Revolution: The British Province of Quebec in the Greater Colonial Struggle, 1759-1783
Reynoso, Jacqueline Cecilia
“(Dis)Placing the American Revolution: The British Province of Quebec in the Greater Colonial Struggle, 1759-1783” is a transregional history of the American Revolution. It examines the efforts of colonial subjects, revolutionary agents, and British imperial administrators in North America to negotiate a place for Quebec within the Revolutionary struggles of the period. Drawing from material from both Canadian and American archives, this study investigates the attempts of historical actors located in and outside of Quebec, who took seriously the possibility that the province would join the United Colonies. In doing so, they helped negotiate the meaning of independence along the political and territorial boundaries of that very colony. This study argues that this process of geopolitical imagining only ceased when the American Revolutionary War ended in 1783. By reintegrating Quebec into the study of Revolutionary America, “(Dis)Placing the American Revolution” doubles as a spatial history of the revolution more broadly. It dislodges the colonial struggle from the constricting boundaries of the thirteen colonies that have so regularly framed studies of the period. It, thereby, provides analytical space from which to formulate questions and understandings of the revolution that reflect the geographic realities of the time. The very language with which congressional delegates articulated independence allowed for Quebec’s potential entry into the union. Although that never came to pass, recognizing the fluidity of the revolution’s geographic dimensions—as they were negotiated—is necessary to better understand the multifaceted motivations that undergirded the revolutionary action of the period. In this way, while this study is seemingly limited to Quebec, its historiographical significance is broader, reframing scholarly understandings of the revolution in Britain’s twenty-six American colonies.
Norton, Mary Beth
Travers, Thomas Robert; Bassi Arevalo, Ernesto E.
PHD of History
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis