Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood by Deborah A. Rosen

By Deborah A. Rosen

The First Seminole conflict of 1816–1818 performed a serious position in shaping how the USA demarcated its spatial and criminal barriers through the early years of the republic. Rooted in notions of yankee exceptionalism, happen future, and racism, the felony framework that emerged from the warfare laid the basis for the Monroe Doctrine, the Dred Scott choice, and U.S. westward enlargement over the process the 19th century, as Deborah Rosen explains in Border Law.

When normal Andrew Jackson’s troops invaded Spanish-ruled Florida within the overdue 1810s, they seized forts, destroyed cities, and captured or killed Spaniards, Britons, Creeks, Seminoles, and African-descended humans. As Rosen exhibits, american citizens vigorously debated those competitive activities and raised urgent questions about the rights of wartime prisoners, using army tribunals, the character of sovereignty, the foundations for working throughout territorial borders, the validity of preemptive moves, and the position of race in selecting felony rights. Proponents of Jackson’s Florida campaigns claimed a spot for the us as a member of the ecu diplomatic group whereas whilst announcing a nearby sphere of impression and new ideas in regards to the program of overseas law.

American justifications for the incursions, which allotted rights alongside racial traces and allowed wide leeway for extraterritorial motion, cast a extra unified nationwide identification and set a precedent for an assertive international policy.

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Extra resources for Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood

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Spanish Relations and the Florida Campaigns╇ •â•‡ 19 that the law of nations required the United States to act against such “banditti,” who recognized no law. S. S. incursions into Florida. In response to Onís’s 1815 letter, Monroe denied that any anti-Â�Spanish insurgents gathered anywhere within reach of American laws and assured Onís that the United States prohibited its citizens from taking part in SpanishÂ�American wars and barred foreigners from recruiting Americans in the United States for that purpose.

Nevertheless, the fort still stood when the War of 1812 ended. Even following the Treaty of Ghent, the British continued to offer shelter to blacks and Indians there. 16 Southern planters became increasingly agitated about the outpost they now called the “Negro Fort,” and Major General Andrew Jackson, commander of the Seventh Military District (Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Territory), agreed that the garrison had to be destroyed. In April 1816, he made his intentions bluntly clear: he wrote to the new West Florida governor, Mauricio de Zúñiga, demanding that the Spanish dislodge the “banditti” from the Prospect Bluff fort.

12 American diplomats disagreed with Spain’s proposed framework for resolving the two nations’ dispute over Florida, and negotiations remained at an impasse. S. military operations changed the situation on the ground in Florida. The new reality made evident by the American use of force would lead Spanish officials to shift their approach in early 1819. S. military pressure trumped whatever territorial claims Spain might have based on history and law. S. government’s factual foundation for its legal claims and expressed concern about issues of justice.

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