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Frontier Country


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Table of Contents

Introduction. Early American Frontiers
Chapter 1. The Hidden Flaw
Chapter 2. Growth Arrives
Chapter 3. The First Frontier Crisis
Chapter 4. Pennsylvania's Apogee
Chapter 5. Becoming a Frontier Country
Chapter 6. Frontier Politics
Chapter 7. The Permanent Frontier
Chapter 8. The British Empire's Frontier Crisis
Chapter 9. Independent Frontiers
Chapter 10. Creating a Frontier Government
Conclusion. Frontiers in a New Nation

Coda. A Note on Frontiers

About the Author

Patrick Spero is the Librarian and Director of the American Philosophical Society Library. He is coeditor of The American Revolution Reborn, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.


"Frontier Country is well-conceived and well-executed, with an original interpretive design that shows how ideas about 'frontier' and 'frontier society' shaped relations within Pennsylvania between colonists and Native Americans and between eastern elites and western settlers."-Timothy Shannon, Gettysburg College

"This important new work takes what some have called 'the f-word' of American history (frontier) and returns it to polite conversation. Starting with the common-sense idea that we should try to understand what colonists meant when they called themselves 'frontier people,' Patrick Spero suggests how Pennsylvania, 'the Keystone State,' can indeed be a keystone for understanding not only early America but the 'frontier country' that followed after 1776."-James H. Merrell, author of Into the American Woods

"Patrick Spero's resuscitation of the concept of the frontier adds considerable analytical power and striking new dimensions to familiar stories of Pennsylvania's founding and early development."-Eric Hinderaker, University of Utah

"Historians have puzzled at the paradox of Pennsylvania's frontier, wondering how a seemingly harmonious region devolved into a space of terror by the time of the America Revolution. In this deeply researched and engagingly written new work, Patrick Spero shows that the problem of frontier governance vexed the colony from the start. The result is a marvelous book that deepens our understanding not just of Pennsylvania's history but the of broader history of imperial politics in eighteenth-century British North America."-John Smolenski, University of California Davis

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