Graduate Fall 2022: Christopher Thrasher

Against the American Confederacy: the American Revolution and the Native South

Department of History

In my dissertation, I explore the creative strategies adopted by the Muscogee Confederacy or Muscogee Nation during and after the Revolutionary War. Before the conflict, Muscogees established relationships with British colonies including West Florida, East Florida, and Georgia. The Revolutionary War upset local balances of power and cleansed the roster of bureaucrats and military officers with whom the Muscogees had become familiar. By the war’s “end” in 1783, Spain assumed control of the British Floridas, and a new, land-hungry nation emerged: the United States of America. However, the treaties bringing the inter-Euro-American elements of the conflict to a close did not bring closure to ongoing conflicts between Muscogees and Georgians. The 1780s saw increasingly violent relations between the Muscogees towns and white invaders. With the coming of the new U.S. Constitution in 1787, new strategies for preserving Muscogee sovereignty emerged. Once George Washington began his first term as president in 1789, Muscogees exploited the new federal government, establishing a treaty which repudiated Georgia and recognized Muscogee sovereignty. Simultaneously, Muscogees shaped U.S. contests over federal and state sovereignty.