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Denver Alexander Brunsman
George Washington University (Washington, DC 20052-0001)
British Naval Impressment in the Revolutionary Atlantic

Citizens and Subjects explores the impact of British naval impressment, or forced service, during the era of Atlantic Revolutions (1760s-1830s). In addition to capturing British subjects, the Royal Navy seized about 10,000 American sailor-citizens in the years before the War of 1812. More than any other practice or institution, impressment exposed the shifting relationship between the individual and the state in the revolutionary era. Whereas subjects owed lifetime allegiance to monarchs, citizens enjoyed more consensual relations with states. Despite the topic's significance, the last monograph centered on the relationship between impressment and American state formation was published in 1925. My interdisciplinary approach will appeal to scholars with broad interests. Impressment was the subject of intense social, legal, political, economic, and cultural analysis in its day, and my study incorporates each of these perspectives.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British History; International Relations; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2014 – 8/31/2014