Hugh Roberts

University of Kent

Project Title: Conflict, Collusion and Identity in the Mississippi Valley during the War of 1812

The War of 1812 has been interpreted by historians as a war that unified the new nation, beginning a period of westward expansion that would see California admitted into the Union 35 years later. Yet the early 19th century also saw a widening regional divide, as the Deep South expanded the cotton frontier into the Mississippi Valley and shaped the region that became the Confederacy. My project explores explore how the War of 1812 figured in this process of national and regional identification in the Mississippi Valley. The study recognises the significance of the western frontier of the Deep South, both regionally and nationally, and will investigate the nature, the significance and the consequences of the war in this Mississippi Valley region. By examining experiences of the war in the Mississippi Valley and the attitude of soldiers and civilians towards their region’s economic and territorial expansion, this study will question whether the Southern identity emerging from the War of 1812 can be reconciled with a wider American national identity in this era.

Supervised by Dr Ben Marsh.

About me

Originally from Merseyside, I received my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Glasgow in 2014. Despite barely studying any American history in my four years there, I decided to change direction slightly and undertook a Masters in American Studies (also at Glasgow) the following year. Whilst my current research is far more historical than anything else, I retain an appreciation for American Studies and am interested in ways to relate my work to current affairs in the United States.