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Appalachia as Contested Borderland of the Early Modern Atlantic, 1528-1715

While political activists have long decried the cultural and economic marginalization of Appalachia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Appalachia has similarly been excluded from the study of colonial expansion, transatlantic conflict, and slavery in the early modern Atlantic world. Drawing on sources in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Latin, and English, this monograph underscores the chaotically international, polyglot nature of early Appalachian history and foregrounds the region as a locus of imperial conflict during the early modern period. It likewise explores the European obsession with Appalachian mineral resources from 1528 to 1715, reframing Appalachian history within the fields of Latin American, early American, and Atlantic history. Ultimately, Appalachia as Contested Borderland of the Early Modern Atlantic provides new perspectives for scholars and students and suggests new directions for research in Native American and Indigenous studies, environmental studies, and Appalachian studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. From Apalache to Appalachia: El Dorado in the Early Latin/American Colonial Imagination

Chapter 1. Appalachian El Dorado: the Spanish Genesis, 1528–1561

Chapter 2. Mines of Copper, which I Think to be Golde: French Florida in the Sixteenth Century, 1562–1565

Chapter 3. The Mountain Range that Comes from Zacatecas…Contains Much Silver: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the Appalachian Backbone of the Spanish Empire, 1565–1584

Chapter 4. The End of Spanish Exclusivism and the First Exploration of the Apalataean Mountains from the Virginia Colony, 1611–1682

Epilogue. Appalachian Mines and the Closing of the Mississippian Shatter Zone, 1690–1715



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