How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier
Stuart BannerISBN: 0674018710;
Between the early seventeenth century and the early twentieth, nearly all the land in the United States was transferred from American Indians to whites. This dramatic transformation has been understood in two very different ways--as a series of consensual transactions, but also as a process of violent conquest. Both views cannot be correct. How did Indians actually lose their land? Stuart Banner provides the first comprehensive answer. He argues that neither simple coercion nor simple consent reflects the complicated legal history of land transfers. Instead, time, place, and the balance of power between Indians and settlers decided the outcome of land struggles. As whites' power grew, they were able to establish the legal institutions and the rules by which land transactions would be made and enforced. This story of America's colonization remains a story of power, but a more complex kind of power than historians have acknowledged. It is a story in which military...
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