CANCELED - Colonial Americas Workshop - “What the West Could Fund: Native Title, Imperial Statecraft, and the American Revolution in Land Policy, 1760s-1780s”

Colonial Americas Workshop
Event date: 
April 2, 2020 -
12:00pm to 1:20pm
Michael Blaakman
Princeton University
Seminar Series: 
Colonial Americas Workshop
Co-Sponsored by: 
Program in American Studies



“What the West Could Fund: Native Title, Imperial Statecraft, and the American Revolution in Land Policy, 1760s-1780s”

Michael Blaakman, Princeton University

A pre-circulated paper will be available approximately one-week prior to the workshop. For a copy of the paper and to attend the workshop, email Blake Grindon at A light lunch will be provided.

Michael Blaakman is a historian of revolutionary and early national America. His scholarship focuses on politics, empires, and North American borderlands, and his interests extend to include gender history, the history of capitalism, and microhistory.

Blaakman’s first book project, Speculation Nation: Land Mania in the Revolutionary American Republic, investigates the political and financial culture of a frenzied land rush that swept the new republic in its first quarter-century. Exploring the relationships between revolutionary politics, finance, settler colonialism, and evolving notions of property, this study argues that Americans of the founding era cast the seizure and sale of Native American land as a basis of revolutionary statebuilding. Speculation Nation reveals how that connection fueled a land market so unprecedented in intensity and scale that contemporaries and historians alike have dubbed it a “mania,” rooting the new republic’s “empire of liberty” in speculative capitalism. The project received the 2017 Manuscript Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Blaakman completed his undergraduate studies at the College of William & Mary, and earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 2016. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia and an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) before joining the Princeton faculty in 2018.

Blake Grindon
North America
United States
15th & 16th Centuries
17th & 18th Centuries