Jessica Choppin Roney
“Revolutionary Settlement: The Colonies of the American”
Jessica Choppin Roney, Associate Professor of History at Temple University, studies early American political culture with a focus on British North America and will use her fellowship to work on her current book project, Revolutionary Settlement: The Colonies of the American. The book follows the linked diasporas of the 1780s, the Loyalist refugees of revolution moving north and west to re-settle Canada, and the newly-minted American beneficiaries of revolution moving west to re-settle the trans-Appalachian West. These two movements are not usually studied together, but both demographic surges, occurring in the two decades after the Treaty of Paris, emerged and were made possible because of the war and the peace that followed. In turn, the colonies founded out of the post-revolutionary diasporas—including some that did not endure like Franklin, Muskingem, or Cumberland, and those that did, like Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Upper Canada, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio—operated in ongoing discursive tension with their respective empires, shaped by and shaping both local and imperial constitutional settlements. Revolutionary Settlement examines in tandem the colonies born or transformed by the American Revolution as part of the same historical moment, responding to similar circumstances, and struggling in these post-revolutionary decades with many of the same fundamental questions.