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British Forts and Their CommunitiesArchaeological and Historical Perspectives$
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Christopher R. DeCorse and Zachary J. M. Beier

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056753

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056753.001.0001

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Forts, Communities, and Their Entanglements

Forts, Communities, and Their Entanglements

(p.1) Introduction Forts, Communities, and Their Entanglements
British Forts and Their Communities

Zachary J. M. Beier

Christopher R. DeCorse

University Press of Florida

This chapter introduces the diverse communities associated with English and British forts during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, and the varied economic, political, social and cultural entanglements that they entailed. It outlines common features characterizing these sites in the British colonial world and beyond as well as the history of practice in archaeology. We argue that these far-flung outposts of empire and their associated communities were characterized by shifting networks of people, commodities, and ideas that connected these sites to multiple scales of historical experience. Fort communities are envisioned as principal areas of entanglement in the early modern world where their creation integrated diverse sets of people and cultural knowledge with complex relationships between humans and things that shaped and were shaped by social life. Applying this perspective to forts requires critical approaches to archives, artifacts, and settlement patterns, moving beyond a strict focus on their military features.

Keywords:   Military, Fort, Early modern world

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