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  • Print publication year: 1996
  • Online publication date: March 2008

8 - The expansion of European colonization to the Mississippi Valley, 1780–1880

For Eastern Indians and the United States both, the century from 1780 to 1880 was a period of experimentation, learning, adjusting, and ultimately, struggling for dominance over the land and its resources. By engaging in treaty relations with Native nations, Europeans recognized the actuality of sovereignty even as they frequently rejected its legality. The Revolutionary War was significant in the histories of the eastern Indians, but for most the immediate effects were less noticeable than was the long-range impact. In arguing that the British grant was illegal and the claims of Congress and the states were spurious, Alexander McGillivray was instrumental in forging a Creek policy of reaction and resistance. The US government's plan of civilization offered one model for survival. The removal law of 1830 authorized the president to arrange by treaty the exchange of western lands for the holdings of all the Native nations east of the Mississippi.
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The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055550
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