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By Maureen Konkle

Within the early years of the republic, the USA executive negotiated with Indian international locations since it couldn't manage to pay for protracted wars politically, militarily, or economically. Maureen Konkle argues that via looking on treaties, which leisure at the equivalent status of all signatories, Europeans in North the United States institutionalized a paradox: the very records in which they sought to dispossess local peoples actually conceded local autonomy.

As the us used coerced treaties to take away local peoples from their lands, a gaggle of Cherokee, Pequot, Ojibwe, Tuscarora, and Seneca writers spoke out. With background, polemic, and private narrative those writers countered frequent misrepresentations approximately local peoples' supposedly primitive nature, their inherent lack of ability to shape governments, and their coming near near disappearance. in addition, they contended that arguments approximately racial distinction only justified oppression and dispossession; deriding those arguments as willful makes an attempt to steer clear of the genuine meanings and implications of the treaties, the writers insisted on acceptance of local peoples' political autonomy and human equality. Konkle demonstrates that those struggles over the which means of U.S.-Native treaties within the early 19th century ended in the emergence of the 1st titanic physique of local writing in English and, as she indicates, the consequences of the fight over the political prestige of local peoples stay embedded in modern scholarship.

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Additional resources for Writing Indian Nations: Native Intellectuals and the Politics of Historiography, 1827-1863

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He continues in the same vein: ‘‘We may ask, further: did the Cherokees come to the seat of American government to solicit peace; or, did the American commissioners go to them to obtain it? The treaty was made at Hopewell, not at New York. The word ‘give’ then, has no real importance attached to it’’ (551). It must be singular in the history of European colonialism for the colonizing authority to loudly proclaim its weakness before the colonized. In a striking departure from his narrative of conquest in Johnson, Marshall in Worcester seems to be going out of his way to argue that the citizens of the new United States, careful adherents of republican ideals, could not possibly have had a hand in coercion or violence.

That is, Native peoples recognized the value of multiculturalism. In the second, Walker writes, Native writers who mimicked the discourse of whites rejected their own heritage and ‘‘as often as not began a process of national disestablishment [that is, they rejected their cultures] that resulted, in the lives of the Indian authors themselves, in an almost complete loss of psychic balance’’ (16). A successful Indian writer therefore manages both to claim citizenship in the United States and to retain some elements of his or her culture, at least enough to achieve 32 introduction psychological balance, although how this is measured remains unclear.

At the virtually impassible stone wall of the choice between civilization or extinction for the Indians’’ (8). ) society. It is also true that Native peoples were overwhelmingly represented as doomed to extinction. The problem is in simplistically linking these two historical facts in a binary opposition and assuming that a choice can be made by whites to think one or the other and by Native peoples to do one or the other when these representations are of a piece. Both the hypothetical civilization of Indians and the hypothetical extinction of Indians are part of the same discursive field.

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