Demanding the Cherokee Nation: Indian Autonomy and American Culture, 1830-1900 - Indians of the Southeast (Paperback)Andrew Denson (author)
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Demanding the Cherokee Nation examines nineteenth-century Cherokee political rhetoric in reassessing an enigma in American Indian history: the contradiction between the sovereignty of Indian nations and the political weakness of Indian communities. Drawing from a rich collection of petitions, appeals, newspaper editorials, and other public records, Andrew Denson describes the ways in which Cherokees represented their people and their nation to non-Indians after their forced removal to Indian Territory in the 1830s. He argues that Cherokee writings on nationhood document a decades-long effort by tribal leaders to find a new model for American Indian relations in which Indian nations could coexist with a modernizing United States.
Most non-Natives in the nineteenth century assumed that American development and progress necessitated the end of tribal autonomy, and that at best the Indian nation was a transitional state for Native people on the path to assimilation. As Denson shows, however, Cherokee leaders articulated a variety of ways in which the Indian nation, as they defined it, belonged in the modern world. Tribal leaders responded to developments in the United States and adapted their defense of Indian autonomy to the great changes transforming American life in the middle and late nineteenth century, notably also providing cogent new justification for Indian nationhood within the context of emergent American industrialization.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Denson's study is fresh in its attention to detail and nuance. . . . [The] work is an excellent contribution to scholarship and should be essential for anyone interested in the history of the Cherokees and U.S. Indian affairs."-Steven C. Hahn, American Historical Review -- Steven C. Hahn * American Historical Review *
"Denson's study is a powerful reminder that there were realistic and plausible alternatives to the destructive policies of the federal government. As Cherokee politicians recognized, it was entirely possible to construct a federal-tribal relationship in the nineteenth century that preserved Indian sovereignty. It is laudable that Denson has finally given their views serious scholarly attention."-Claudio Saunt, Journal of Southern History -- Claudio Saunt * Journal of Southern History *
"Andrew Denson does what few historians do in Demanding the Cherokee Nation: He takes Indians at their word, adding much to the short historiography of native intellectual history."-Richard Mize, The Chronicles of Oklahoma -- Richard Mize * The Chronicles of Oklahoma *
"Well written and rooted in appropriate scholarship, Denson's intellectual history of Cherokee political thinking makes an important contribution to the study of Cherokee experience and federal Indian policy."-Walter H. Conser Jr., Journal of American History -- Walter H. Conser Jr. * Journal of American History *
"A well-written and important work that examines nineteenth-century U.S. Indian policy from the Cherokees' perspective. . . . Every college library should own this book, and students of nineteenth-century U.S. history and Native American studies should give it a high priority on their reading lists."-Wendy St. Jean, North Carolina Historical Review -- Wendy St. Jean * North Carolina Historical Review *