The framers of the Constitution and the generations that followed built a powerful and intrusive national administrative state in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The romantic myth of an individualized, pioneering expansion across an open West obscures nationally coordinated administrative and regulatory activity in Indian affairs, land policy, trade policy, infrastructure development, and a host of other issue areas related to expansion.
Stephen J. Rockwell offers a careful look at the administration of Indian affairs and its relation to other national policies managing and shaping national expansion westward. Throughout the nineteenth century, Indian affairs were at the center of concerns about national politics, the national economy, and national social issues. Rockwell describes how a vibrant and complicated national administrative state operated from the earliest days of the republic, long before the Progressive era and the New Deal.
Introduction; 1. The myth of open wilderness and the outlines of big government; 2. Managed expansion in the early republic; 3. Tippecanoe and treaties, too: executive leadership, organization, and effectiveness in the years of the factory system; 4. The key to success and the illusion of failure; 5. Big government Jacksonians; 6. Tragically effective: the administration of Indian removal; 7. Public administration, politics, and Indian removal: perpetuating the illusion of failure; 8. Clearing the Indian barrier: Indian affairs at the center of national expansion; 9. Containment and the weakening of Indian resistance: the effectiveness of reservation administration; 10. What's an administrator to do? Reservations and politics; 11. Conclusion: the myth of limited government.
"In this highly effective and masterfully researched volume, Rockwell examines the relationship between US federal administrations of Indian affairs and general US policy making. Highly recommended." -Choice