Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Patrick Bottiger

Second Advisor

Eliza Ablovatski

Abstract

Fort Ross was established by the Russian American Company in 1812 about eighty miles north of the San Francisco Bay. There, Russians, Native Alaskans, Native Californians, Spanish civil and military personnel, Franciscan missionaries, and Pacific merchants intersected in the pursuit of commerce. No group could exert power. Instead, Fort Ross offered a space for mutually beneficial diplomatic, economic, and cultural entanglements. Knotted in various interlocking affiliations, a shared regional economy formed around Fort Ross, in which imperial and ethnic loyalties were consistently superseded by commercial dependencies and shared interests. This paper examines Fort Ross’s role in creating these relationships, and the unintended consequences that followed.

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