In the beginning, North America was Indian country. But only in the beginning. After the opening act of the great national drama, Native Americans yielded to the westward rush of European settlers. Or so the story usually goes. Yet, for three centuries after Columbus, Native people controlled most of eastern North America and profoundly shaped its destiny. In Facing East from Indian Country, Daniel K. Richter keeps Native people center-stage throughout the story of the origins of the United States. Viewed from Indian country, the sixteenth century was an era in which Native people discovered Europeans and struggled to make sense of a new world. Well into the seventeenth century, the most profound challenges to Indian life came less from the arrival of a relative handful of European colonists than from the biological, economic, and environmental forces the newcomers unleashed. Drawing upon their own traditions, Indian communities reinvented themselves and carved out a place in a world dominated by transatlantic European empires. In 1776, however, when some of Britain's colonists rebelled against that imperial world, they overturned the system that had made Euro-American and Native coexistence possible. Eastern North America only ceased to be an Indian country because the revolutionaries denied the continent's first peoples a place in the nation they were creating. In rediscovering early America as Indian country, Richter employs the historian's craft to challenge cherished assumptions about times and places we thought we knew well, revealing Native American experiences at the core of the nation's birth and identity.
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Discusses the myth of European control over the Native Americans in the sixteenth century, and claims that Native Americans controlled the majority of eastern North America well after Columbus' arrival, having only to adjust to their presence.
Richter examines a wide range of primary documents to survey the responses of the peoples of the Iroquois League--the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras--to the challenges of the European colonialization of North America. He demonstrates that by the early eighteenth century a series of creative adaptations in politics and diplomacy allowed the peoples of the Longhouse to preserve their cultural autonomy in a land now dominated by foreign powers.
America began, we are often told, with the Founding Fathers, the men who waged a revolution and created a unique place called the United States. We may acknowledge the early Jamestown and Puritan colonists and mourn the dispossession of Native Americans, but we rarely grapple with the complexity of the nation's pre-revolutionary past. In this pathbreaking revision, Daniel Richter shows that the United States has a much deeper history than is apparentÑthat far from beginning with a clean slate, it is a nation with multiple pasts that stretch back as far as the Middle Ages, pasts whose legacies continue to shape the present. Exploring a vast range of original sources, Before the Revolution spans more than seven centuries and ranges across North America, Europe, and Africa. Richter recovers the lives of a stunning array of peoplesÑIndians, Spaniards, French, Dutch, Africans, EnglishÑas they struggled with one another and with their own people for control of land and resources. Their struggles occurred in a global context and built upon the remains of what came before. Gradually and unpredictably, distinctive patterns of North American culture took shape on a continent where no one yet imagined there would be nations called the United States, Canada, or Mexico. By seeing these trajectories on their own dynamic terms, rather than merely as a prelude to independence, Richter's epic vision reveals the deepest origins of American history.
The French Revolution has primarily been understood as a national event that also had a lasting impact in Europe and in the Atlantic world. Recently, historiography has increasingly emphasized how France’s overseas colonies also influenced the contours of the French Revolution. This volume examines the effects of both dimensions on the reorganization of spatial formats and spatial orders in France and in other societies. It departs from the assumption that revolutions shatter not only the political and economic old regime order at home but, in an increasingly interdependent world, also result in processes of respatialization. The French Revolution, therefore, is analysed as a key event in a global history that seeks to account for the shifting spatial organization of societies on a transregional scale.
The histories told about American Indian and European encounters on the frontiers of North America are usually about cultural conflict. This book takes a different tack by looking at how much Indians and Europeans had in common. In six chapters, this book compares Indian and European ideas about land, government, recordkeeping, international alliances, gender, and the human body. Focusing on eastern North America in the 18th century, up through the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, each chapter discusses how Indians and Europeans shared some core beliefs and practices. Paradoxically, the more American Indians and Europeans came to know each other, the more they came to see each other as different, so different indeed that they appeared to be each other's opposite. European colonists thought Indians a primitive people, laudable perhaps for their simplicity but not destined to possess and rule over North America. Simultaneously, Indians came to view Europeans as their antithesis, equally despicable for their insatiable greed and love of money. Thus, even though American Indians and Europeans started the 18th century with ideas in common, they ended the century convinced of their intractable differences. The 18th century was a crucial moment in American history, as British colonists and their Anglo-American successors rapidly pushed westward, sometimes making peace and sometimes making war with the powerful Indian nations-the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, Cherokee nation, and other Native peoples-standing between them and the west. But the 18th century also left an important legacy in the world of ideas, as Indians and Europeans abandoned an initial willingness to recognize in each other a common humanity so as to instead develop new ideas rooted in the conviction that, by custom and perhaps even by nature, Native Americans and Europeans were peoples fundamentally at odds.
Historic Contact divides native northeastern America into three subregions where the histories of thirty-four "Indian Countries" are described and mapped in detail, including all National Historic Landmarks. In the North Atlantic Region are the Eastern and Western Abenaki, Pocumtuck-Squakheag, Nipmuck, Pennacook-Pawtucket, Massachusett, Wampanoag, Narragansett, Mohegan-Pequot, Montauk, Lower Connecticut Valley, and Mahican Indian Countries; in the Middle Atlantic Region, the Munsee, Delaware, Nanticoke, Piscataway-Potomac, Powhatan, Nottoway-Meherrin, Upper Potomac-Shenandoah, Virginian Piedmont, Southern Appalachian Highlands, and Lower Susquehanna Indian Countries; and in the Trans-Appalachian Region, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Niagara-Erie, Upper Susquehanna, and Upper Ohio Indian Countries.
"An authoritative, sweeping, and fresh new biography of the nation's first president, Colin G. Calloway's book reveals fully the dimensions and depths of George Washington's relations with the First Americans."--Provided by publisher.
The fully updated third edition of "Farewell, My Nation" considers the complex and often tragic relationships between American Indians, white Americans, and the U.S. government during the nineteenth century, as the government tried to find ways to deal with social and political questions about how to treat America’s indigenous population. Updated to include new scholarship that has appeared since the publication of the second edition as well as additional primary source material Examines the cultural and material impact of Western expansion on the indigenous peoples of the United States, guiding the reader through the significant changes in Indian-U.S. policy over the course of the nineteenth century Outlines the efficacy and outcomes of the three principal policies toward American Indians undertaken in varying degrees by the U.S. government – Separation, Concentration, and Americanization – and interrogates their repercussions Provides detailed descriptions, chronology and analysis of the Plains Wars supported by supplementary maps and illustrations