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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Past histories have studied the disruptive antiproprietary riots that caused great disorder in colonial New Jersey. This study contextualizes this well-known history alongside other violent events of the Mid-Atlantic region that contributed to eighteenth century antagonisms in East Jersey, such as intercolonial rivalry for authority between administrators of New York and New Jersey and impending war between colonial and Lenape populations. It also looks to earlier periods of East Jersey history to trace the roots of eighteenth century conflicts. Legal confusions resulting from the early proprietary grants, Dutch reconquest, and pre-proprietary settlement created conditions that opponents later challenged. By revealing the tremendously tense and uncertain political, social, and economic circumstances of East Jersey’s early proprietary years, the sense of competition and desperation for stability can be better understood. This master’s thesis argues that early social and legal issues introduced by the early proprietary years persisted beyond the proprietary period and were influential preconditions for later tensions among Euro-American and Native peoples. This study argues that East Jersey’s unique and changing proprietary system created confusion and increasingly divided interests among the people of the Mid-Atlantic. As each of these conflicts remained unresolved within colonial and Native societies for nearly a century, they further frustrated social relations within East Jersey, often leading to violence among local Euro-American and Native groups. I examine this history with expanded temporal analysis, demonstrating that conflicts created by the early proprietary foundations of East Jersey, grew in the late proprietary period and persisted beyond the proprietary years.
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Zurcher, Amelia, "Unsettling East Jersey: Borders of Violence in the Proprietary Era, 1666-1719" (2019). Masters Theses. 868.