Jeffrey Matthew Groszkowski

Cod, Contracts, and Capital: New England's Motivations for Attacking Louisbourg in 1745.

(Under the direction of Professor Carl E. Swanson) Department of History, June 2007.

The fairly extensive existing literature on Louisbourg has skirted the importance of the amalgamation of New England's merchant and political forces in conceiving, supporting, and engaging in the 1745 expedition against the French colonial seaport. This thesis will show how the War of Austrian Succession, and how Louisbourg in particular, cemented the governor's control and strengthened New England's faltering economy. This was accomplished by providing merchants with government contracts and an infusion of British currency after the siege. New England's reclaiming of Canso, subjugation of Louisbourg, and subsequent destruction of the French fishery allowed the British colonies to retain their supremacy within the international cod fishery. The political and economic incentives show that the siege was not such a radical or daring act on the New Englanders' part. To merchants, fishermen, and politicians it offered the chance for monetary gain, power, and in some cases, both.