tv Lectures in History Native Americans Colonial- Era Power Struggles CSPAN October 12, 2019 8:00pm-9:16pm EDT
next on "lectures in history," daniel richter of the university of pennsylvania teaches a class on 18th-century power struggles among native americans, colonial settlers, and european empires. the class was part of a seminar for high school teachers hosted by the institute of american history in response -- in partnership with the library company of philadelphia. >> i am here in philadelphia at the center for early american studies at the university of pennsylvania. we have been spending the week with an amazing group of educators from all over the country brought together under the auspices of the guilder lerman institute of early american history. this is generously supported by the library company of philadelphia and the pew center for arts and carriage -- arts and heritage. aroundt the week tossing ideas about how we might redraw early american history. bytried to do that
suggesting one productive way of redrawing that history is to think in terms of a complicated and ever shifting set of contests among three sets of actors. three sets of actors we call native people, settler colonists, and european empires. obvious to folks what we mean when we think about native peoples, although it should not be that obvious, except to stress it is a plural term. we it is a complicated set of things.
we have also been talking about the technical use of the term settler and settler colonists. i wonder if i might embarrass somebody in our room among these wonderful teachers to try to take a crack at defining what we mean by settler colonists in this three-part mix. theory the settlers believed the land they arrive to belonged to them and not the native people so they had a right to be on that land and the native people could be erased. >> right, and that is a historical product. there may be some people who came to north america from europe or elsewhere with the idea in their head this land already belong to them. one of the things we've been trying to think about in redrawing early american history is to find ways of seeing how people come to see their own rights to owning this land as something involved with their position in north america as
farmers, with man as head of families, who come to see they have a right to this land, and in a weird way, that land never did belong to native americans, it belong to them. that too is something we have to explain as a historical process. we've been trying to think in terms of these three parties. european empires, native peoples, settler colonists. we have talked about how, through a long period of controversy through the 17th and early 18th century, sometime around 1720 a rough balance of power was achieved between those three forces, between the empires, the settler colonists, and the native peoples. always unstable, always hard to maintain, always multiple and in different directions, again we are talking about a multitude of native peoples.
talking about various settlers from various perspectives, various empires. a rough balance of power was achieved by about 1720. that balance has several aspects to it. one of the important things to help us understand this three-way struggle, one of the important things was summed up by the governor of virginia in said "ay 1720's, who governor of virginia has to steer between a rock and a hard place, either in indian or a civil war." what he meant by that is it is always the job of representative of the empire to try to mediate between the desire of settler colonists to conquer more land, to get the native people , and the fact that if a governor tries to restrain that, he might have a civil war on his hands because the people will rebel against him. the three-way struggle involves imperial representatives trying to keep a balance of power
between native people and settler colonists, to keep them from fighting each other, but also to keep them from rebelling against the imperial power who was trying to keep the peace. it is a delicate thing. how much do i let people expand, how much do it right try to coerce native people into agreeing -- how much do i try to coerce native people into letting more land into settler hands, how much do i worry that if i do not do that, my own people will start rebelling against me, so i think one of the things we are trying to say as early american history is not a two way set of struggles between europeans and native peoples, it is a three-way struggle among the european imperial powers, their own settler colonists, and native people. balance thatough is achieved by the 1720's or so. the governor virginia is recognize it.
a governor virginia has to steer between a rock and a hard place, either an indian or a civil war. another kind of balance is being byntained, which was noticed the new york indian affairs secretary in 1751. he said "to preserve the balance between us that is the british and the french is the great ruling principle of the modern indian politics." whatrving the balance is native people are also trying to do. he also use this phrase, which was partly in a way that europeans are so good at doing, a kind of insult and complement at the same time. i am sure when he talked about the modern indian politics, he was saying it is what these people are doing today -- it is insulting to say the modern indian politics. i would like to turn that phrase around and use it as a marker of
historical change among native communities. these are 18th-century people who have come to understand what they are dealing with in the terms of the balance of power with the european empires in the european settlers. in that sense, we can talk about another balance, native people trying to maintain the balance between the empires, trying to keep their options open and preserving their autonomy and political authority through navigating a complicated imperial world in which the european empires are being , tryingby native powers to keep the balance of power between them. that has been the framework we have tried to develop this week. how in also talked about the middle of the 18th century, those balances got upset and the events that led up to and culminated in what we car in the seven years war, or what
colonists like to call the french and indian war. that french and indian war name reflects beautifully the settler colonist idea, because he was absent? -- because who was absent? there are no colonists or british. the war is a war against the indians and the french, and it reflects in the eyes of settler colonists a hope they are achieving the goal of getting both the other empire and the native people out-of-the-way so they can take over the continent. what led to the upset of the balance of power? but complicated causes, that if there is one thing we want to point to it as the massive growth in british settler colonist population through the early 18th century. in 1650 there are 55,000 colonists in the english colonies. 1700, that has increased more
than five times, to 265,000. by the eve of the seven years colonists,000 including almost a quarter of a million enslaved africans. one of the things colonial , in a points out is that sense, he replace the indigenous empire -- the indigenous labor other empires try to mobilize with imported labor, either with indentured servitude or enslaved africans, increasingly. all of these people are conceiving themselves of creating an empire of settler colonist replanting the native population or erasing the native population and replacing it with this new form of settler colonialism. but even of the american revolution, 2.20 5 million
settler colonists. one of the important things about sing this chart, among other things is you can get a sense of the growing british population, the growing demand for land that goes along with that. also, the growing importance of north america and a british empire that used to be centered in the caribbean. by the period we are talking about, the vast majority of british colonists now live in north america, not in other places in their empire. another way to conceive of this is to think in terms not just of population, but land occupied through these periods. 1675, the english settler population is confined to a remarkable small area of the landscape, mostly along the coast and along a few rivers into the interior. expansion.nsiderable
by the eve of the seven years 1755, that british population has pushed against the mountains, the appellation mountains, and is poised to go into the interior. if there is an origin to the upset of the balance of power in north america by the middle of the 18th century, it is a relentless pressure of british colonists for more and more land and space to put into agricultural production, to replace native people with english farmers, with german farmers, with scots irish farmers, with enslaved african labor, and to push farther and farther into native territory in order to achieve those goals. by the middle of the 18th century, much of this competition has come to focus on a particular part of the
landscape, which people in the 18th century called the ohio the arearoughly centered around what is today pittsburgh and into the states of western pennsylvania, ohio, adjacent.nd points these places are where british settler colonists and the british empire have their sights set for the next place in which .hey're going to expand it also happens to be the place where native peoples, many of whom have already been pushed out of their homes farther east, have been migrating for a generation. people like shawnee and delaware. to of whom are determined maintain their access to the land and not allow them to be dispossessed again. it is also a territory the french have long claimed, aspirational he at least, to be part of their empire --
aspirationally at least, to be part of their empire. by 1750, native people and these two major empires, and the colonists of the britain are all coming to focus on this particular region of the ohio country as the focus of all of their energy and activity in terms of their view of the future of north america. those things have become utterly incompatible goals. everybody wants the same spot of land. the settler colonists, the native people, the empires, all of them fighting among themselves for control of that space. this becomes the place where the great conflict of the seven years war is ignited. fast forwarding, making an extremely long story very short, the british empire and its british colonists briefly come that thee, in 1763, entire continent has been conquered, the french have been expelled, the spanish have been
confined to west of the mississippi, and in british minds, both british imperial mind and british colonist minds, native people have not been erased from the landscape, but they have been conquered in this thing british colonists to call the french and indian war. all of the land now belongs to britain. a massive british flag planted across that expanse of north america. that dream lasts about five seconds. it continues to be embodied in our maps like this that show the british conquest of north america in the seven years war, but of course native people have other ideas, and one of the results of that is a connected but decentralized set of wars that we conveniently lumped together as pontiac's war from
1763 to 1765, in which native people rose up against the british throughout this territory the british claim to have conquered, and if nothing else proved to them they remain a huge part of this balance of power between british colonists, the british empire, and native people. what results is a reestablishment of a balance embodied in the british policy known as the proclamation of 1763, which at least in theory draws a line down the appellation mountains and says british people must remain east of those mountains. arearea in the interior lands reserved for indians. which is an interesting grammatical construction because
the british crown still claims all of that land belongs to them, but they are now saying we will reserve this land for natives people in the british crown has reintroduced itself as the balance of power between the settler colonists in the east and native peoples in the west. bring us to what is supposed ,o be today's topic re-understanding the american revolution, i think it is useful to think in terms of a reestablishment of the balance of power very briefly in which the british empire sees it as the balance between the native peoples whose lands it says it has guaranteed and reserved in the interior, and the colonists it is trying to restrain in areas east of the mountains.
with that in mind, let's talk about native americans and european settlers war for independence. if we think about this three-way contest, it might be useful to think about the wars for ,ndependence as multiple wars multiple american revolutions, all of them working out within empireructure of british , native peoples, settler colonists. in many respects, what we have is two wars for independence, one by the settler colonists against the empire, and another, much more complicated set of wars for independence by native people trying to maintain their independence in this context of the british empire and its settler colonists. it is not entirely clear there war for independence is so much against the british empire as it is against the settler colonists. have two american wars for
one by thee, european settlers, one by the native americans. among the things at stake in the contest is an interesting contest over who gets to call themselves americans. i do not know whether we have thought about that much before. for most of the 17th and 18th when europeans or the british or french or colonists use the word "americans" they use that term to describe indigenous peoples from north america. period thats settler colonists get themselves the right to call themselves the real americans, which is a perfect example of what we were talking about as the settler colonial mindset. we are the real americans, not
those people who now need to be called some other thing, or at best native americans because they need an adjective, which they did not need before. really, we are the real native americans, the settler colonists who call themselves americans. as teachers, it is important to think about the words we use and why we use them. maybe we better be careful about talking about the american revolution, or at least think in ,erms of american revolutions american wars for independence, and keep in mind that native peoples and settler colonists are both engaged in their american wars for independence in this period, and maybe even struggle to find another way, another word to use to describe those settler colonists other than the americans, the term
they want to use for themselves. a lot of options here, perhaps. we could call them european settlers, but they are not really settlers anymore. most have been here for generations. as we have seen, they see themselves as the genuine occupiers of this landscape. we find ourselves using words like u.s. americans, and anybody who has dealt with people who live in other parts of the americas for this idea of how come you get to be called americans and we are not, comes up with mouthfuls like u.s. americans. we also might talk about peoples of the u.s., both of those are mouthfuls. i want to throughout a term that may or may not stick. it probably won't stick. i did not come up with this term myself. i believe it was greg early nobles, who teaches -- gregory nobles, who teaches at georgia
tech, maybe 15 or 20 years ago. the world -- the word i want to ian, a person uson who lives in the united states. .k, fellow usonians what we think about that? it is a real word. does anyone know where the word comes from? frank lloyd wright came up with plans for what he called the usonian house, the people's house for the united states. simple architecture. the kind of house a good usonian would live in. let's think about the possibility we might want to use describe theian to people creating the united states. other opportunities are people of european ancestry.
natives who live in the same area? daniel: i would say it would include anyone subject to the jurisdiction of the united states, enslaved africans, free africans, all kinds of other people, but the people associated with the political entity of the united states we could call usonians rather than americans. >> howdy feel about putting these people under number l a, rather than -- how you feel about putting these people under number 11, indigenous people, -- i have trouble identifying what is the purpose -- we have been stressing there
is always an "s" on the edge of these words. it is always contingent. there are many meetings. it helps to understand the thing we are trying to call the usonian revolution, some african people cast in their lot with the united states, but far more cast in their lot, for their own purposes, with the british. native peoples, some of them cast in their lot with united states. the vast majority were engaged in their own struggle for independence. my stressing usonian is fundamentally the people used to call european settler colonists creating their own political order dominated by white men and dominated by a view of the united states is legitimate owner of this content. -- this continent. in many respects we have the usonians against the british empire against the native
peoples, but there are complicated configurations, shifting alliances, people operating for different purposes and different ways. i feel like people are moving , i think it erases peoples individual reasons for doing different things. african people fighting with the ,ritish or with the colonists the indian war, was all for me, it feels like associating with that is taking away pieces of their individual story. daniel: i cannot agree more. i think naturalizing the term that american are the people associated with the people who won the battle to create a
united states, does more harmony raising those differences than trying to distinguish the fact there is nothing natural about these people calling themselves america, or that their united states of america is the thing we call american. throughout all of these wars and revolutions, people are having to choose sides. absolutely. not all white people decide to go along with the u.s. -- it is entirely probably not a good way of describing things that african-americans who self emancipate themselves and run away from their enslavers are necessarily doing that because they like the british. they are engaged in their own war for independence. maybe have an alliance of convenience with the british are seeing least some possibility of aligning themselves with the british. the same thing for native americans. very few of them love the british empire, but there war for independence tends to
coincide with the aims of the british empire. other native americans make the choice they will ally with united states and hope that will work out. we are trying to maintain the three way thing, empires, settlers, and indigenous people. we need to be careful about assuming settlers are all one thing, but also to give them a foreign sounding name like usonian to make them strange to us and something that has to be explained and talked about and deconstructed, not just naturalized. thank you very much. i hope that helps clarify things. usonians, tried out, see what your students say. i tried to use this in a book review wants in the editor just scratched it out. i use it with my students all the time.
at least some of them start calling themselves usonians because it is a lot easier to say than u.s. americans. let's try out native americans war forian independence. i hope you're with me on these ideas there are at least two american wars for independence, at least two. there are many other people from the other populations who have different aims for what they mean by independence, there is certainly a war for independence among african-americans or african people who see themselves as having the opportunity to achieve their independence by taking advantage of the chaos to self emancipate. lots of wars for independence. the end of the word is an important way of thinking things through. there are native peoples and
engaged in twots parallel wars to maintain their independence or create their independence at the same time. that is what i mean by at least two wars. perhaps two sets of american wars. native peoples and settler colonists both engaged in these wars at the same time. in some respects, it all traces back to the seven years war, the contest for the continent, a deep sense of betrayal by settler colonists who believed the british empire has turned their back on them by denying them the fruits of the conquest of the continent through the proclamation of 1763, not to mention the taxes they are imposing, not to mention many other things that are the central grievances of the usonian revolution.
again, the contests of the seven creating echo into the children of pontiac's war, native people trying to create their independence, and the sense of betrayal on the part of the british settler colonists against the british empire. the three way of analyzing this helps us understand or rethink through the period we too easily we call the period of the american revolution. i have stunned the room into silence once again. two sets of wars for independence. three axes of interpretation for those two wars. this kind ofaxis, axis. this is like my college classrooms, i throw a joke out
and nobody laughs. [laughter] there is nothing funny about any of this story, but once in a while we have to try to inject a note of levity or irony. what i mean i those axes of interpretation, we can talk about an axis that has to do with causes of these wars for independence. we have talked through some of that, and for both native peoples and proto-usonians, causes for their wars of independence are pretty similar. we talk often about the causes of events. the second access of interpretation is the nature of of --ruggle a lot struggle,, a lot of para-liles -- a lot of parallels there as well. the third access of
interpretation is what i call the parallel struggle. let's focus on usonians' wars for independence. history teachers think about causation in two ways. we talk about long-term causes and short-term causes. we have been through some of this in my remarks earlier. cause is the massive growth in british settler colonization in the early 18th century. of thee maturation political system the separate colonists had created, their legislatures, sense of governing themselves, their developing and that they own the land they govern themselves, that this really is there america. to those are long-term developments that have developed over more than a century of english colonization in north america. the short term causes, i think many historians would argue
trace back to the seven years the war called pontiacs and the events of the 1750's and 1760's, and the transformation of the british fire and the three-way relationship between empire, settlers and colonists that, after that war. we know what the axis of interpretation of causes are. and for any of the multiple peoples you are talking about, i'm going to place their sense of what is causing them to act along either a long-term set of grievances, long-term set of developments, or very short-term things. for them, it may not be the proclamation of 1763. it may be the fact that some local landlord kick you off your land, and this is your opportunity to get back. thinking in terms of causation as a spectrum or an axis might help us place various peoples and their decisions along the
way. i also want to stress it is exactly the same set of long -term causes and short-term native that lead to americans' wars for independence. they are also reacting to the large spansion of british settler colonization. they are trying to defend their land against the english. are reacting to events of the 1750's in 1760's and the seven years war. these same long-term causes are producing two different sets of american wars for independence. what do i mean by the nature of the struggle? let's go back to some classic of white historians america have tried to explain the american revolution. phrase by famous
historian carl lotus becker in 1909oring book written in called "the history of the political parties in the province of new york." he said the american revolution was two movements, the contest for home rule and independence, and the democracy of american politics and society. of these movements, the latter was fundamental. it began before the contest of home rule and was not completed until the achievement of independence. he famously said that there were two questions that were equally prominent, the first question of homebrew, the second question was of who should rule at home. home rule, who should rule at home? independence, yes, but for carl becker and most of us as historians, the more interesting question is, once
you achieve home rule, who gets to rule at home? that is the real revolution. british settler population was going to be the people who were going to rule? what kind of new way of thinking of political arrangements might be emerging? or is it just disable thing, meet the new boss, same as the old boss? a far more interesting struggle is often between different groups trying to answer the question of who should rule at home rather than the question of home rule. mean by the i nature of the struggle, a spectrum of home rule on the one hand, and who should rule at home on the other. are you following me? the more interesting revolution is always the one about who should rule at home, not to the slightly more easily
answered question of home rule. once we achieve independence, what does that mean? who is going to set the terms for the new political order, who is going to rule at home, who is making decisions? too,hereto -- and there a lot of people are making different choices and alliances and about what they want to believe in the nature of what that home rule is going to be. the third access -- axis is the object of the struggle. i want to go to a late 19th , and sometimesan a racist historian is on to some or at leastast -- saying something out loud that we otherwise might not hear. who am iing about -- talking about? theodore roosevelt, who among many other things was a historian.
he wrote a great work called "the winning of the west." and he talked about to american two american- revolutions, or we would say to usonian revolutions. he said it was a twofold character, americans who struggle for independence in the east, and in the west, war of conquest, or rather a war to establish on behalf of all our people, the right of entry into the fertile and vacant regions beyond the alleghenies. and vacant fertile regions beyond the alleghenies. he explains you have to fight native people to get into that fertile and vacant region west of the appalachians. here is where it gets really racist, but important. the most ultimately righteous of
all wars is a war with savages, although it is apt to be the most terrible and he -- and inhuman. therude settler who drives savage from the land delays all civilized mankind under a debt to him. importancecalculable that america, australian siberia should pass out of the hands of the red, black and yellow or aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races. he is saying in stark terms this is about white people claiming what is theirs. [indiscernible] would argue the settlers want to be in power and their struggle against great britain is to make them in charge, not great britain.
why not invoke that language? , what'sinvoke that idea wrong with that? mr. richter: there is nothing wrong with that, except the settlers are actually best -- battling the existing imperial and because, back to our three-way struggle, what the british empire has haltingly and to do is ton trying mediate between native people whose lands they have reserved for themselves, and the settler connellan nests -- and the settler colonists. the settler colonists then come to see themselves as the great, imperial civilizing power, as opposed to the namby-pamby
empire who believes that you natives, atect least once in a while. >> international imperialists came later, and we were doing imperialism internally. mr. richter: internally is such a usonian word. native people would not say this was a struggle internally. the imperial contest was for control of the continent. theodore roosevelt got it, and he said it in the most stark and revealing terms, there are two revolutions going on, one is a struggle for the independence on the other is a struggle for conquest. meet -- that is what i mean by three axes of interpretation for the usonian
revolution. we can talk about the nature of the struggle between who should rule at home and home rule. it might be interesting if you want to think about individual stories, how you place them in the graph of what their position is on home rule as opposed to who should rule at home, whether that comes out of a short-term set of circumstances or long-term development culturally, and then, to make it three dimensional, this other thing about the spectrum between the war of independence and the war of conquest. we might want to replace those words of liberty and land, because land is the object of much of this controversy. the object of the struggle is who is going to control the land, and whose definition it means to be liberty and free and
independent is going to prevail. it is not as simple as settler colonists replacing indigenous people. the who should rule at home question comes in there. which particular colonists should control this land everybody is struggling over? >> [indiscernible] i wonder if the object of the struggle also contains the bifurcation of the subject. in the previous quote by roosevelt, the advancement of civilized man, the ruling class, as i read it, is predicated on
the labor of the other man, so even with that imperative, he announced his intentions. mr. richter: which is why i put this on the spectrum, a different way of saying there are tensions involved. and while these things may appear to be ways of using a three-part model to simplify what is going on, they actually allow us to think it very complicated ways about what this means, and to think through what somebody like theodore roosevelt is saying, and what somebody like john dickinson is saying, somebody like thomas jefferson is saying. where are these mixes of factors filtering in to their view of what they think they are trying to create in the u.s. during this period? >> i see how these three axes are used in terms of the three groups you are talking about, empire, native peoples and
settlers. just one ofok at them, settler colonists, couldn't this also be there narrative, in the sense that every history book i have read that doesn't take into consideration what we are taking in this class, our story is independence to conquest, 1776-1890. so instead of it being a spectrum, it is just a not continuous, but certainly conducted. mr. richter: independence and conquest always go together. it is not from independence to conquest. of independence for settler colonists is conquest.
and i think history books have celebrated that, because fantastic, 1776, we kicked out the british and we achieved independence. by 1890, we-- and conquered the west. two ways of complicating that. week, -- who is this we? the indians,ed out kicked out the british, and that process continues to the 1890's and continues on a global stage from that time forward, perhaps continues right through the period of manifest destiny, in which usonians have their eyes on both native peoples in the british empire.
the other way of complicating this is to keep telling the story that there is two sets of revolutions going on, and that for native people too, the same set of long-term causes is producing the same kind of nature of the struggle, and producing the same kind of struggle over liberty and land and independence, and ultimately those two revolutions can't coexist, because they are fundamentally products of the same historical circumstances but utterly incompatible in their goals, because one person needs to get that land on the other people need to lose it. >> can you give me a date for the idea of the indians completely conquered? i have heard 1890. mr. richter: the idea, or the historical reality? >> the reality.
mr. richter: i would hope the historical reality is never, although suddenly the balance of power shifts in major ways. in terms of the united states president could sit down and say, it is time to change policy, the warring period ofe conflict military entanglement has ended. the u.s. census says the frontier is closed? mr. richter: there is no frontier anymore. here is what i would say. that is why i distinguish between the idea and the historical reality. the historical reality is always complicated. and we know that the settler
-colonial political regime comes triumphant over time meant native people themselves aren't really conquered. that is analogy logical -- that is an eddy illogical construct. but at various points you can say that both imperial and settler colonists think they have actually done the job. one of those points was 1763. the british thought they conquered the empire and suddenly have a war on their hands, from native people who see things differently. another point where that happens is about 1783, when the united states comes to the same erroneous conclusion, all this territory now belongs to us because we have the treaty of paris that says it does. unsurprisingly, the u.s. finds itself with a major set of wars on a task, by major -- by native people rebelling against that idea, or maybe rebelling isn't
the best word, because that implies a sense of that regime being illegitimate, instead of making war against annan path -- against an expansive power that is claiming these territories. 1890, itint us to could point us to the termination point in the 1950's. so here again, settler colonists are always trying to convince themselves they really do control things and the land really does belong to them, and that america is the u.s. one way of thinking of american history is that is always a challenge construct, always and ideological construct, and one that we have to think through and how people resist those interpretations and how people embrace those interpretations. >> i'm interested in your that roosevelt quote.
it seems it is the usonians adopting the imperial narrative and taking it over, so the empire doesn't have a narrative anymore because they have lost it to the usonians, who have kind of turned it into something that they own now. does that make sense? askedchter: john famously the question several times, what do we mean by the american revolution? this is not the answer he would have come up with, but i might say, the answer to john adams' question is just what you said. come to thinkns they are the great colonial power, in fact a race empire
taking native american people from their landscape. that is vastly oversimplified, not everybody sees it that way, but there is a narrative one could tell about this period, and about much of u.s. history. i want to talk about how we might begin to think about these -- about this same, three-axis model talking about native peoples. the same basic historical causes, same basic historical events, are leading to native people having to engage in their series of wars for independence at the same time settler-colonists are doing it, always within the three-part framework of the british empire, but during these wars for independence, certainly the french and spanish empires get back involved. between theiance
french empire and the settler-colonists and the spanish, always trying to figure out how they can get back into the game somehow as well. but in any event, certainly the same short-term causes. the object of the struggle is in many respects obvious, everybody is fighting over liberty, independence and who gets to control the land. that is the one that is incompatible. somebody's going to win that war for independence and somebody is going to lose it, except for nobody ever clearly wins or loses because native americans continue to control their land somewhere in different places, even within the regime the united states claims. but i want to think about how we apply the idea of home rule and who should rule at home to native americans' revolutions during this period as well. because this is the period of great political change among native peoples, and i think many of us know the cherokees during
the long american revolution are reinventing their government. they are establishing courts, changing gender relations. by the 1820's they have come up all a written constitution, of which is interesting to put in parallel with what usonians are doing, moving through the articles of confederation, redefining what republicanism the unitedreating states, thinking over who should rule at home but how we should rule at home. story and iliar hope we can at least point to the cherokee people and say they are having that same debate over who should rule at home, how we should rule at home, how we are going to create a political system in this new world while trying to preserve our independence. this may be a less familiar or iroquoishoshone
warle have their own civil in many respects around this reinventave to themselves as the six nations in the late 18th, early 19th century, doing so in various locations but most profoundly and what we today call canada. it is perhaps useful to think to moving parallel through the articles of confederation to the u.s. constitution, reinventing the nature of their political system after a divisive civil war, which is what the usonians went through as well. ofcan point to a lot different parallel developments throughout eastern north america, but another thing is involved in this struggle over who should rule at home. this goes back to the were called pontiacs. , nativehat period
american political and spiritual leaders begin to develop the idea that all native peoples have to unite in a common cause against their common enemy, whether that is the british empire or the settler-colonists. that was controversial in 1763. that debate continues throughout the wars of independence as various native leaders try to create larger confederacies, get native groups together to decide their common enmities, aim their energies against a common enemy. this is always controversial, and sets up attention which is tensionere -- sets up a which is still there in native americans today, and like all these other spectrums, people are sharing these different opinions in different contexts and different ways at the same time. famous brennan --
famous ben franklin cartoon, unite or die, the stake -- the snake that it is -- the snake that is divided up into the different colonies. we can see native americans making the same argument during period, unite or die, and the struggle over who should rule at home in the struggle for independence. it might be useful to think about these questions once in a while, but if we have a way of thinking about one set of american wars for independence, we can talk about a variety of those wars, and complicate our narratives about how all that works, and get our students to think about a much more comprehensive and multivalent way of thinking about this period.
for native people, i think carl it is just asion, true for native peoples throughout this period as it is for usonians, that there is a dual struggle over home rule and who should rule at home. that is one way to think about native american history during this period, as we think about native people trying to conduct their wars of independence, it invariably involves the question of who should rule at home and why and how. , do we really want to collapse our three axes of interpretation into one? for everybody in this period, land is the key to liberty. and it is finally putting
together becker and roosevelt, we have a set of conflicts over the question of how does one achieve liberty through control of the land, a struggle for the continent that involves struggles over who is going to become a free people. independence, land and liberty all go together. to get back to your point earlier, it is a narrative we would hear, daniel boone with his coonskin cap fighting for liberty by conquering the land, but let's think about that as something that goes in multiple directions, that involves all these different kinds of contests we have talked about, and that also involves very practical ways in which the control of land is the key to political regimes that people are creating.
here is a picture we have seen in our books. northwest ordinance, which lays out this nice, gridded landscape in the ohio country, the place people had been fighting over for a generation or two. i point out, we know now why midwesterners are square. i'm looking at you, kid. [laughter] but how many times do we think about this, which is so crucial in our personal stories, if we ever tell a story about the northwest ordinance anymore? i don't know how many of you get a chance to teach about it. what an amazing assertion of settler colonial ideology the northwest ordinance is. it completely rearranges the landscape and puts it in nice, square townships, and pretends
native people aren't there. is articles of confederation often described as the greatest achievement, this agreement among various states to cede their western land claims to the u.s. as a whole, and to cede them under this vision of the ichthwest ordinance, wh creates a new way to set up states and settler populations to put people on square plots of land that erase whatever landscape was there before. that very action that is so crucial to the creation of the united states is an aggressive colonial-settler assertion of authority over this territory, particularly since it takes place before they even tried to have treaties with native people .o gain that land
the northwest ordinance exists before the u.s. actually has possession of that landscape under anybody's definitions. land, but thatat land is crucial to the finances, or at least the vision of the finances the united states and the various states have for how they are going to creates the ability -- who going to create --bility -- who are going going to create stability here at home. [inaudible] mr. richter: this is what many had waste had happened after the seven years war. one of the big grievances against the british empire is that they had been prevented from doing this thing, at least temporarily. richard henry lee on the impact
of the passage of the northwest ordinance on the states, they will soon be discharged by whichsion and stress, means that the key to get out of our war debts is to sell this western land to settlers, generate income from it and solve our financial problems. this is another thing that goes back to 1763, the british empire had a huge pile of debts from the wars. united states might find itself in the same situation, and at least there is a fantasy that acquiring western land and selling it to new colonists was ind -- was going to be a way which money would be generated to pay off war debts. historians have been looking into this in recent years. never works out quite the way people like richard henry lee envisioned, but it is very much a part of what they were thinking. put astern land claims stress on claims.
the northwest ordinance, crucial to the creation of the united states in many respects, is also, in the minds of people who are creating that system, crucial to the future of the united states in terms of solving its financial problems as well. and we can actually see various states doing this so again, think about the northwest ordinance and perhaps less optimistic terms that are usually created. theing native people from landscape, basing the nature of the future of the u.s. on acquiring that land and re-envisioning it as square townships full of square people who'se good, usonians land it justly is. if we were to spend hours looking at a timeline, figuring
out when they tried to have treaties with the native people to acquire this land, it happens for the most part after northwest ordinance has been passed on the land is already envisioned as part of the united states. so as we think about other removal,maps, indian how the united states got possession of these lands, all goals ofentral to the the american revolution. the american revolution as much as anything is about acquiring control not just of home rule, but of home rule over this native land in the continental interior. the states are doing the same thing. here is a map of pennsylvania. pennsylvania expropriate its from native people for fraudulent treaties this vast area in the northwest corner of what is today the
state, an area john dickinson, president of the supreme council of ansell venue, described as within the acknowledged boundaries of this state, within the acknowledged boundaries of this state. who acknowledged it? well, he did. again, if the vision of the paxton boys was the exclusion of native people from pennsylvania, that is achieved in 1783, when all of the land, at least in theory, is expropriated from native vastcans, and in fact the majority of native people are excluded from that territory. and not just excluded from that territory, but done in particular ways. pennsylvania government divided that plot of land into two separate plots they called the donation lands and the
depreciation lands. it all sounds very bureaucratic. this was a way to pay off revolutionary war soldiers. the dark blue area was going to be set aside as lands to be donated to settlers, yes, but to soldiers in lieu of their backpay. they came up with a system in which veterans were given certificates to say, it is worth so much land in that donation land area. as often happens, speculators biopsy depreciation certificates and the soldiers never really settle on it, but again, we talk about states settling financial affairs through the acquisition of native lands. they are paying off their debt to the soldiers with the land they just expropriated from native people. the depreciation lands, can you
figure out what that might mean in this context? money is not worth a continental, that kind of stuff? using the proceeds to pay off the war debt, the monetary war debt. mr. richter: actually they are doing some of that, but the depreciation lands are to make up for the soldiers being paid and depreciated currency. and they get land grants there to make up for the fact that the money they were paid is no good. the financial implications of this for states, we are just beginning to understand as historians. and it is complicated, but at least there is this vision that acquiring native land is not going to just be the way in which settlers will civilize the continent, but also the way in which the states will get out from under their crippling war debts and financial problems during this period. >> can you give me a date on
ofn the boundaries pennsylvania become defined, finally? mr. richter: there they are. >> 1789 complete? mr. richter: that is the erie triangle and they discovered, whoops, we have no access to the great lakes. but the real key is 1784-1785, when one third of what is today pennsylvania was acquired. is the rule defined on making sure the land goes to these people who fought before? if they don't give them that land, they are back into another revolution? mr. richter: yes, thinking through who should rule at home, what does this mean? and what does it mean that this land mostly rent -- mostly ended up in the hands of rich speculators?
they sold their certificate to a speculator at some point, so i guess they got something. that thispoint there, whole thing goes back to the question of who should rule at home and who is going to control distribution of these lands, who's going to profit from making the state's profit off the land? one way to think about this comes from new york and the work of alan taylor. this is what we continue to call tribal territory, this massive expropriation of their required iroquois -- of territory after the war is important. treated most of this land, it made some sense in their minds, as land conquered
from the tribal groups because the tribal group said sided with the british and been forced out of the territory. but there is the inconvenient story of the oneida is, who ,ided with -- of the oneidas who sided with the united states. their land was expropriated as well, by the new york state government. which is selling off that land to pay its own debts. showsre is a chart which revenue is coming in from selling settler-connellan's -- from selling settler-colonists land that had been expropriated from native americans after the revolution, generating a surplus of $114,000 from selling this land to their own colonists.
in 1795.a lot of money and if you look through many of the state governments in this. , the degree -- state governments in this period, the degree to which native american lands fund this process becomes crucial to the states, and we know throughout u.s. history how important those western lands are to the finances and structure of the u.s. government throughout this period. so we are back to the question of land and liberty and what that means, and it is useful to be thinking in terms of these two sets of american revolutions, or american wars for independence, and seeing them both mapped out on these three spectrums, different ways of thinking about what those wars for independence were all about. thanks, everybody. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] you can watch lectures in history every weekend on american history tv. we take you inside college classrooms to learn about topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. that is saturday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on c-span three. on "reel america," the whole world is watching, a washington police department vietnam warting protests in 1971, including the largest mass arrest in u.s. history. here's a preview. chanting]s >> the whole world is watching.
narrator: by early afternoon, field arrest forms were reinstated and arrests totaled 7000, the largest single-day arrest total recorded in american history. our nation's capital does not possess facilities for detaining 7000 prisoners. no government should stand ready to arrest and detain thousands of people at one time. when the police were forced to take action, there were also forced to use facilities which provided a minimum of security, shelter and sanitation. this was what the demonstrators wanted. as stated in the manual, it greatly enhances our tactical position if the jails and attention facilities are filled with demonstrators. the specter of thousands of people jailed in the government's unsuccessful attempt to control may day will graphically demonstrate the
political isolation of the warmaking government. tens of thousands going to jail will make the choice is painfully clear to america's end the war or face social chaos. after demonstrators filled courts and the d.c. jail, police established a holding facility at robert f kennedy stadium. >> watch the entire film, the whole world is watching, tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on "reel america," when we journey through the 20th century with archival films to provide context on public affairs. >> next on american history tv, a talk on world war i era german atger from a conference the herbert hoover presidential
library in west branch, iowa. to the conference explored hoover's reputation as a great humanitarian during the world wars. it was his world war i work that provided the foundation for his white house run. in this session, mary elisabeth cox documents the depth of hunger among german women and children between 1914-1924. name is mary cox. i'm pleased to be here. . just published my first book it was just released in the u.s. a few weeks ago. lecture, covers a lot of what is in the book, but there's also a lot more that is in there. what i want to do is tell you a was like towhat it be in germany as a civilian during the first world war and in the years following. as part of that