Elusive Empires: Constructing Colonialism in the Ohio Valley, 1673–1800

by
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 1997-01-28
Publisher(s): Cambridge University Press
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Summary

This book examines the efforts of France, Britain, and the United States to extend imperial dominion over the Ohio Valley, focusing on the relations between Europeans and Indians to tell the story. It treats empires as cross-cultural constructions whose details were negotiated by their participants, not directed from London, Paris, or Philadelphia. Hinderaker argues that three models of empire competed for acceptance in the region: empires of commerce and of land, each of which was attempted by both the French and the British, and an empire of liberty, which grew out of the American Revolution and eventually became the basis for Euro-American occupation of the valley. The result is a fascinating story that carefully considers the wealth of recent scholarship on the West, but simultaneously offers a strikingly new interpretation of the American Revolution and its legacy in the relations between Indians and the new American nation.

Author Biography

Eric Hinderaker is Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah.

Table of Contents

Maps and Figures
ix
Preface xi
PART ONE: EMPIRES OF COMMERCE
Networks of Trade
3(43)
Communities of Exchange
46(41)
PART TWO: EMPIRES OF LAND
Definitions of Value
87(47)
The Alchemy of Property
134(53)
Coda: The Ohio Valley on the Eve of the Revolution
176(11)
PART THREE: EMPIRE OF LIBERTY
Land and Liberty
187(39)
Empire Ascendant
226(45)
Epilogue: State Power and Popular Authority in the New American Nation
268(3)
Bibliography of Cited Materials 271(16)
Index 287

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