College of Arts and Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)
Troy L. Kickler
Colonial America, Southern Colonies, Powhatan Wars, Bacon's Rebellion, Queen Anne's War, Tuscarora War, Yamasee War, War of Jenkins's Ear, French and Indian War, Cherokee War
Hall, Garrett DeWayne, "Rangers and Rebels: The Americanization of War in the Colonial South" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4489.
Some historians have used the phrase Americanization of war to describe the process in which Anglo-American settlers adopted or appropriated the military tactics of American Indians. However, both proponents and opponents of the idea of the Americanization of war have focused on the northern colonies. This is likely because the Americanization of war in the colonial period has been closely associated with American rangers, most notably those commanded by Benjamin Church, John Gorham, and Robert Rogers. While these men and the soldiers they commanded are all demonstrative of the Americanization of war, Church, Gorham, and Rogers all conducted operations in New England, New York, and Canada. These studies do not address the unique process of the Americanization of war in the southern colonies. A study of the colonial wars in the South reveals that a process of Americanization of war did take place, although it varied somewhat from that in the North. Unlike their northern counterparts, the settlement patterns of the colonial South produced a ranger that was more inspired by English practices than American Indian tactics. Still, over the course of several colonial wars in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the southern ranger became exemplary of the Americanization of war, yet distinct from his northern counterpart. The Americanization of war in the South happened though a complex process that involved trade, hunting, military alliances, slavery, and frontier life. By the mid-eighteenth century, southern rangers reflected the Americanized society that was developing in the colonial South. Ultimately, understanding the distinct process of the Americanization of war in the colonial South is important to understanding southern culture and its exceptional place in American identity.
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