Tag Archives: Native America

Facing East (HUM303/455)

Notes on Facing East From Indian Country (2001) by Daniel K. Richter

“These were not just European but also indigenously North American wars that grew from longstanding, home-grown conflicts. Inter-Indian and Indian-colonial rivalries made them every bit as much a matter of Native Americans involving European allies in their battles as they were of Europeans involving Native Americans in theirs” (Richter 155).

“Direct military confrontation with European powers was suicidal; some kind of diplomatic accommodation was the only route to survival. But an accommodation that relied solely on a single European power was an almost equally certain path to extinction” (164).

“The Native peoples who survived and even prospered into the eighteenth century capitalized on their geographic position, their economic and military value to European governors, and their decentralized political systems to keep their options open, to maintain connections with more than one imperial power, and thus to maintain their cultural and political autonomy” (164).

Peter Wraxall, New York Indian affairs secretary: “‘[T]o preserve the balance between us and the French is the great ruling principle of the modern Indian politics’” (164).

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