In this sweeping collection of essays, one of America's leading colonial historians reinterprets the struggle between Native peoples and Europeans in terms of how each understood the material basis of power. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in eastern North America, Natives and newcomers alike understood the close relationship between political power and control of trade and land, but they did so in very different ways. For Native Americans, trade was a collective act. The alliances that made a people powerful became visible through material exchanges that forged connections among kin groups, villages, and the spirit world. The land itself was often conceived as a participant in these transactions through the blessings it bestowed on those who gave in return. For colonizers, by contrast, power tended to grow from the individual accumulation of goods and landed property more than from collective exchange-from domination more than from alliance. For many decades, an uneasy balance between the two systems of power prevailed. Tracing the messy process by which global empires and their colonial populations could finally abandon compromise and impose their definitions on the continent, Daniel K. Richter casts penetrating light on the nature of European colonization, the character of Native resistance, and the formative roles that each played in the origins of the United States.
Introduction PART I. NATIVE POWER AND EUROPEAN TRADE Chapter 1. Tsenacomoco and the Atlantic World: Stories of Goods and Power Chapter 2. Brothers, Scoundrels, Metal-Makers: Dutch Constructions of Native American Constructions of the Dutch Chapter 3. "That Europe be not Proud, nor America Discouraged": Native People and the Enduring Politics of Trade Chapter 4. War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience Chapter 5. Dutch Dominos: The Fall of New Netherland and the Reshaping of Eastern North America Chapter 6. Brokers and Politics: Iroquois and New Yorkers PART II. EUROPEAN POWER AND NATIVE LAND Chapter 7. Land and Words: William Penn's Letter to the Kings of the Indians Chapter 8. "No Savage Should Inherit": Native Peoples, Pennsylvanians, and the Origins and Legacies of the Seven Years War Chapter 9. The Plan of 1764: Native Americans and a British Empire That Never Was Chapter 10. Onas, the Long Knife: Pennsylvanians and Indians After Independence Chapter 11. "Believing that Many of the Red People Suffer Much for the Want of Food": A Quaker View of Indians in the Early U.S. Republic Notes Index Acknowledgments