Historiography

Download American Settler Colonialism: A History by Walter L. Hixson (auth.) PDF

By Walter L. Hixson (auth.)

ISBN-10: 113737425X

ISBN-13: 9781137374257

Over the process 3 centuries, American settlers helped to create the richest, strongest kingdom in human heritage, while they killed and displaced hundreds of thousands. This groundbreaking paintings exhibits that American heritage is outlined via settler colonialism, offering a compelling framework in which to appreciate its upward thrust to international dominance.

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Sample text

English behavior became increasingly aggressive and erratic in a situation in which the Indians, as virtually the sole source of food, held the power,” Karen Kupperman explains. The tense colonial encounter played out in violent clashes, guerrilla warfare, massacres, and mutilations, with Indians often getting the best of it. 30 With their “Jamestown project” on the brink of collapse, the Virginia Company shifted its strategy from erecting a fortified trading post to establishing a sprawling settler colony with a viable economic foundation.

The primary Indian chieftain of the region, Powhatan, presided over some 30 indigenous bands, about 7,500 Indians in total across some 80 miles between the James and Potomac rivers. The indigenes engaged in horticulture, foraging, and fishing. They lived in towns but retained the mobility to move around during the temperate months. Women were the primary growers and gatherers while men hunted, fished, and went to war. Powhatan initially pursued a diplomatic understanding with the European interlopers.

Indians attacked by surprise, carried out excruciating tortures, took scalps and otherwise mutilated the corpses of the dead. Profoundly gendered, Indian violence was a young warrior’s masculine path to glory. Contact with the enemy and taking scalps provided evidence of courage and accomplishment in battle, thereby enhancing the warrior’s status in society. Success on the battlefield was a prerequisite for would-be chieftains. ”8 The killing of some captives and the taking of others characterized the Indian way of war.

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