New Worlds of Violence
Cultures and Conquests in the Early American Southeast
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This book attempts to puncture some timeworn myths: among them that Native American history before the advent of Europeans was simply a prelude and that the English engaged in a relatively benign process of “settlement,” and not the harsher conquest carried out by the Spanish. Another myth is that of the lone scholar, a heroic, or weird, figure who spends days ...
Introduction: Cultures of Violence
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Violence in the colonial Southeast could be generative as well as destructive, and stories people told about violence mattered. William Bartram’s peregrinations through the Southeast were, from his point of view, a rather depressing journey. His travels can be read as a meditation on the futility of trying to tame lands that will eventually revert to their wild, ...
1. Violence in the Mississippian World
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The history of violence in the Southeast does not begin with the arrival of Europeans in the sixteenth century. Europeans flattered themselves when they believed they had come across a primitive world inhabited by innately inferior non-Christians, ripe for conquest and exploitation. Equally flawed was the notion that native peoples inhabited an earthly paradise devoid of ...
2. Spanish and Mississippian Violence
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The Mississippians and Spanish who squared off against one another in the sixteenth-century Southeast inherited long-developing and distinct cultures of violence. Some Mississippian elites used violence to legitimize their power over commoners, and many Mississippian communities went to war to acquire prestige goods, for religious reasons, and to accumulate ...
3. The Fight for Florida
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The American Southeast existed “beyond the line” that divided Europe from the rest of the world in the mind of many European theorists. In this area, rules governing violence, which had just begun to exercise some influence in Europe in the sixteenth century, did not apply. Piracy, smuggling, and violent conflict, even between nations which were at peace in Europe, ...
4. Violence after the Entrada
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The question of how much influence Mississippian world views had on later native communities is not without some contention. In a 2004 New York Times review of an exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute, critic Edward Rothstein accused the Art Institute of pandering by asserting a connection between the art of America’s ancient peoples and modern native nations. Though ...
5. Creating English Conquest
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Wingina, who had recently taken the name Pemisapan, leader of a small Algonquian community in present-day North Carolina, had reason to fear for his life in the spring of 1586. He had been confronted by a band of outsiders whose demands were becoming increasingly outrageous. Wingina’s people had already cleared fields and planted crops for their overbearing ...
6. Violence and the Founding of English Carolina
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The English who came into the Southeast were the heirs of the culture of violence described in the previous chapter. When they first arrived in the Southeast in numbers, in the second half of the seventeenth century, they came to a land that was already scarred by violence. The peoples of the coast, living in small communities that had been reshaped by disease and ...
7. Violence in the Era of the Yamasee War
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On April 15, 1715, Thomas Nairne, one of South Carolina’s leading Indian traders, was put to death at Pocotaligo, the principal Yamasee town. Nairne was one of nearly one hundred white traders killed at the outset of what later historians would call the Yamasee War, but Nairne’s death has made headlines in the centuries since because it was public spectacle. According ...
8. American Nations, American Violence
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Just a few years ago, finding the exact site of the Stono Rebellion was not all that easy. To be honest, it was impossible, at least for an eager college student stealing half an hour from an all-too-rare family vacation, armed only with the hope that a highway map would be enough and the naïve conviction that something so important could not possibly go without a historical ...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 10 halfones, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2011