Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Christine Skwiot - Chair

Second Advisor

Denise Z. Davidson


The late eighteenth century witnessed dramatic changes in the social, economic, and political fabric of the Atlantic World. The Sailors of the HMS Mars fully participated in this transition to modernity. Over the course of their naval careers, the men laboring on the Mars felt the pull of four distinct, but interlocking cultures. Working class, maritime, naval, and British culture all played a part in the sailors’ identity construction. As a result of these myriad influences the sailors could have chosen to join the emerging trans-national maritime working class, but instead the Mars’ seamen fought to gain full British citizenship and acceptance. From 1794 when she first entered commission, to 1798 when she returned victorious from battling the French l’Hercule, provides numerous examples of the sailors’ identity construction process. Moreover, an examination of the seamen’s whole journey also illuminates how the larger processes of the Revolutionary Era functioned.


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