All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Brian Steele

Advisory Committee Members

Stephen Miller

Amy Watson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


North American westward expansion following the end of the Seven Years’ War is a subject that has been dealt with by many historians from both sides of the Atlantic. The American push west of the Allegheny Mountains facilitated political divisions and divergent visions that would advance the push for independence from the British Empire and contribute to the creation of a new authority and a new kind of empire. This paper focuses on one aspect of this significant area of late-colonial and early republican American history. New western colonial schemes emerged from the ashes of the global war with France and immediately became a focal point for developing debates over the nature of the Empire and the relationship between Great Britain and her North American colonies. Land speculation companies chartered by prominent colonial leaders like Benjamin and William Franklin, Thomas Pownall, and George Mercer, as well as important imperial officials like Sir William Johnson, George Croghan, and Thomas Walpole, set out to secure land grants and settlement rights for the impending wave of Americans eager to exploit the newly acquired imperial territory.