Swedish Imperialism in the North American Middle Atlantic: 1638-2013 (and counting)

Author(s): Lu Ann De Cunzo

Year: 2013


Swedish imperialism in North America began in 1638.  Although the colony survived only 17 years, I argue that memory events and places keep Swedish colonialism alive in the U.S.  Landscapes and landmarks illuminate the extenuated processes of defining, defending, traversing, and sustanining New Sweden physically, emotionally, and ideologically for 375 years (and counting).

Patricia Seed (1995:2) argued that "colonial rule over the New World was initiated through largely ceremonial practices."  The Swedes possessed by landmarking, and then proceeded to create a distinctive productive landscape both like and unlike those they left behind in Europe and those of the Lenape, Susquehannocks, Dutch, and English around them.

New Sweden receives heightened attention at memory moments every quarter century and will again during 375th anniversary celebrations in 2013.  Landmarks abound, and yet landscape changes rooted in colonial ideologies of resource exploitation now thwart efforts to sustain the colony's authentic landmarks, the fortifications.

Cite this Record

Swedish Imperialism in the North American Middle Atlantic: 1638-2013 (and counting). Lu Ann De Cunzo. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428287)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 456