ABSTRACT Contrary to popular perception, local residents in the western frontiers of Canada and the United States in the late 19th century frequently possessed a large degree of agency and leverage vis-à-vis their respective national cores. Far from being the obedient periphery, frontier communities and their political leaders were able to use their profession of loyalty to the national identity to win concessions and secure autonomy from national governments and, when needed, beneficial intervention from them to support the interests of local residents.

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