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Grant number: FT-229166-15

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Jeffrey Glover
Loyola University, Chicago (Chicago, IL 60611-2147)

Righteous Violence: Justifying War in Colonial North America, 1608-1713

Summer research and writing on American Literature and Native American Studies.

My project is an inquiry into the history of just war, or the idea that some wars are morally or legally defensible. I focus on European attempts to justify warfare in colonial North America. Many scholars have portrayed the colonies as a war zone, pointing to violence against Native Americans and wars among European rivals. To this point, however, scholars have paid little attention to the legal rationales for such actions. My project describes how colonists justified their wars. The Spanish, French, and English routinely accused each other of war crimes in the New World. In response, settlers sent home letters, legal briefs, and treatises that justified the killing of other Europeans or Native people. Controversies over just war involved many kinds of theological and legal traditions, including canon laws, papal edicts, Roman codes, and Native American customs. I argue that this cross-cultural discourse about killing played an important role in the birth of international law.

Project fields:
American Literature; Native American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015