Settlers, Surveyors, Speculators, and the State: Struggles for Control over Land in Ohio's Virginia Military District, 1776-1810
Principal Investigator: Dr. Hanno Scheerer
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl
The dissertation aimed at answering one paramount research question: Who won and who lost in the struggle for control over land in the Virginia Military District between 1776 and 1810? To answer this question, the dissertation employed an interest-based approach that allowed to categorize “winners” and “losers” on a relative scale, depending on whether the historical actors involved in the struggle managed to attain their well-formulated interests or not. The dissertation shows how the interests put forward by the historical protagonists were framed by time and place-specific power relations and institutional structures. “Control over land” thus encompasses questions of domestic sovereignty, public ownership, and private ownership. In chronological perspective, the dissertation identified three historical phases, during which specific constellations of questions of sovereignty, public ownership, and private ownership shaped the struggles for control over land in Ohio’s Virginia Military District: during a first phase domestic sovereignty and public ownership were contested; the second phase was characterized by struggles over private ownership; and the third phase saw a renegotiation of the private ownership patterns that had been established in the second phase. Each phase saw different historical actors pitted against one another, and each phase produced different winners and losers.
Scheerer, Hanno (2016): Civilization Fund Act (1819) : oder: race & sex und die „Zivilisierung des Indianers“, in: eine Geschichte der Neuzeit : 49 Schlüsseltexte aus vier Jahrhunderten neu gelesen. Hg. Olaf Stieglitz/ Jürgen Martschukat, Berlin: Neofelis, 345-352.
Scheerer, Hanno (2014): Settlers, Surveyors, Speculators, and the State: Struggles for Control over Land in Ohio's Virginia Military District, 1776-1810, Dissertation Universität Trier (Mikrofilm).
Scheerer, Hanno (2014): „For ten years past I have constantly wished to turn my western lands into money“: Speculator Frustration and Settlers’ Bargaining Power in Ohio's Virginia Military District, 1795-1810, in: Ohio Valley History 14:1, 3-27.