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Grant number: FA-55319-10

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FA-55319-10

Lucy E. Salyer
University of New Hampshire, Durham (Durham, NH 03824-2620)

Crossing Borders: The Fenians and the Crisis over Citizenship

"Crossing Borders" tells the story of the Irish American Fenians, who launched attacks on Canada and traveled to Ireland in the 1860s to foment rebellion -- all in the unsuccessful effort to win Ireland's independence from British rule. The Fenians were arrested and, despite their status as naturalized American citizens, tried for treason as British subjects. The British treatment of the Fenians provoked an uproar in America, and prompted a major change in the history of citizenship law. For the first time, the United States and England explicitly recognized the right of expatriation, that is, the individual's right to give up his citizenship and pledge allegiance to a new sovereign. Expatriation was revolutionary in emphasizing the power of individuals to choose their political homes. Yet, the new laws were also tied to "state-building" campaigns in the United States and Western Europe, as emerging nation states formed new "rules of exit" for their own strategic reasons.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$46,200 (approved)
$46,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2010 – 6/30/2011