An Empire of Subjects: Unities and Disunities in the British Empire, c. 1760-1790.


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation explores the ways in which the term “British subject” was applied and negotiated in the continuously expanding empire. Systematically used by colonial administrators and judges to secure allegiance and loyalty from those they claimed as subjects, subject status was also wielded by individuals throughout the British Empire to lay claim to protection and certain privileges from the British monarch. This project focuses on the period after the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) in which questions about the status, duties, and rights of the multi-religious, multinational, and multiracial “new subjects” added to the empire became increasingly important as Britain sought to consolidate imperial control.