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Borderland NarrativesNegotiation and Accommodation in North America's Contested Spaces, 1500-1850$
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Andrew K. Frank and A. Glenn Crothers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054957

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054957.001.0001

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The Politics of Coalition Building in the Ohio Valley, 1765–1774

The Politics of Coalition Building in the Ohio Valley, 1765–1774

(p.18) 1 The Politics of Coalition Building in the Ohio Valley, 1765–1774
Borderland Narratives

Rob Harper

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores diplomacy in the Ohio Valley at the end of the colonial era to understand the motives that led colonial and Native leaders to cooperate and form coalitions. Such a study shifts scholars’s understanding of politics in the interwar Ohio Valley. It encourages a focus not on broad categories, such as militant and accommodationist Indians or pro-government and anti-government colonists, but rather on the messy web of political interests and affiliations that such categories often obscure. A diversity of concerns and strategies created the need for coalitions that bridged geographic, political, ideological, ethnic, and racial divisions. Lacking either an effective formal political system or a broad consensus regarding ends and means, Ohio Valley inhabitants could achieve their goals only by cultivating allies with dissimilar interests and priorities. The process of coalition formation therefore centered on the search for allies with overlapping interests, the articulation of those interests in ways that encouraged cooperation, and ongoing attempts to downplay or finesse coalition partners’s differing goals. These activities constituted the core of political life in revolutionary Ohio.

Keywords:   Borderlands, Diplomacy, Ohio Valley, Coalition

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