Free Land, Free Country

Setting Down Roots of Revolution in America, 1600–1790

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About the Book

From the earliest days of the British colonies in America, land was freely given to those willing to come and settle. Oftentimes, it was the only inducement that brought colonists to the New World. At first, colonists considered free land a privilege, but it soon came to be seen as a right. When that right was later withheld by Great Britain, the colonists rebelled.
Exploring how economic hierarchies led to vast inequality in England, this book details the realization that America would provide opportunities for economic mobility. As colonists learned how to manage the land in the New World, they also learned how to govern themselves. This book emphasizes how the control of free land in America laid the groundwork for revolution. Although covered broadly in other histories, this is the first work dedicated to exploring land ownership as a unique and direct cause of the American Revolution.

About the Author(s)

John Hrastar had a 50-year career in the aerospace industry, most of it with NASA. He now researches and writes on history. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

John Hrastar
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 291
Bibliographic Info: photo, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8885-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Preface  1
Introduction  3
Prologue: From the Conquest to the Colonies  13
Chapter One
Discovery and Claims  23
Chapter Two
Land in English Colonial America: The Settlement  55
Chapter Three
Populating the Land I: Colonial Expansion  86
Chapter Four
Populating the Land II: Immigration and Expansion  121
Chapter Five
War for Empire: Still More Land  155
Chapter Six
End of Expansion: Rebellion and Break  185
Epilogue: Free Land in the Move West  229
Chapter Notes  243
Bibliography  265
Index  279

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The author proposes a clear and convincing thesis about the connection between Native American land in colonial North America and the American Revolution.”—Woody Holton, author, Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution