An Empire of Regions offers a new perspective on the history of colonial British America. In clear and beautiful prose, Nellis moves from a general history of European exploration in America to a more focused narrative on the distinct identities of the thirteen British mainland colonies.By comparing the experiences of the colonies in America with related developments in Europe, Nellis demonstrates how the colonies grew to function as separate, self-governing entities associated with larger regional identities such as New England, the Chesapeake and Southern Colonies, and the Backcountry and Middle Colonies. Only when the British Empire shifted its policies after the Seven Years' War did the colonies come together in a collective defence of their individual political and economic integrity, thus beginning a process of cultural, social, and jurisdictional integration among the colonies.Extensive maps illustrate colony boundaries, settlement growth, Native American populations, and the impact of the Proclamation Line.
Eric Nellis is Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. He is author of The Eighteenth-Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor (CSM/University Press of Virginia) and The Long Road to Change: America's Revolution, 1750-1820 (University of Toronto Press Higher Education, 2007).