Indians, Empires, and Diplomats in the Founding of America
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Virginia Press
Table of Contents
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In the course of writing this book, I have received the support of several different institutions. This book began life as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Virginia. Its production was assisted by several graduate fellowships from the University of Virginia, a short-term research fellowship from the David Library of the American Revolution, and a dissertation...
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This is a book about how the United States of America came to be. At the start of the twenty-first century, when the American nation-state commands a position of nearly unrivaled political, commercial, and military strength—what, in 1999, French foreign minister Hubert Védrine provocatively labeled hyperpuissance, or hyperpower—it is scarcely imaginable that...
Prologue: The Cherokee Emperor
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Our story begins, fittingly (as this is a book about America), with a dream. During the summer of 1729, the wife of a minor Scots nobleman named Sir Alexander Cuming awoke to inform her husband that she had dreamt he was to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and into the American wilderness, where he would find fame and fortune. Interpreting the Lady...
Chapter 1. ‘‘In the Nature of Ambassadors’’: North American Diplomacy within the British Empire
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In 1748, diplomats of the kingdoms of Great Britain and France negotiated the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, leading the various European powers into ending the eight-year-long War of Austrian Succession. But in many quarters of the world touched by European power, there was little of the joy that usually comes with peace. In the British North American province of...
Chapter 2. ‘‘In an Odd State’’: The American Decision to Leave the British Empire
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British North America had been turned upside down. At least this was the view from Philadelphia, the city that was emerging as the de facto capital of the Thirteen Colonies, where the Second Continental Congress convened on 10 May 1775. While the delegates of the First Continental Congress had promised to reassemble, if necessary, when they adjourned...
Chapter 3. ‘‘Are We Not . . . Independant States?’’: Imagining and Realizing an Independent America
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In early 1779, the American Continental Congress proclaimed to the world that the independence of the thirteen former British colonies in North America could no longer be denied. With the publication of a 122-page pamphlet, Observations on the American Revolution, Congress made it clear, once and for all, that American independence was a reality and that...
Chapter 4. ‘‘Rendering Us Great and Respectable in the Eyes of the World’’: The Diplomatic Imperative for the Federal Constitution
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On 17 September 1787, the Philadelphia Convention concluded the work that it had been involved in for almost four months—debating and drafting a new frame of government for the United States of America. In the years that followed the conclusion of peace with Great Britain, a significant number of Americans had come to agree with the Chevalier de la...
Chapter 5. ‘‘To Be Considered as Foreign Nations’’: The Ambiguous Triumph of Federalist Statecraft
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A little over a month after taking the oath of office, the new president of the United States, George Washington, made use of a brief lull in the business of his office to ascertain the nature of the issues that would confront him and the United States during his first term as president. In early June 1789, Washington dispatched brief notes to the secretaries of war...
Chapter 6. Enlarging ‘‘Our Association’’: The Triumph of the Diplomacy of Conquest
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On 3 December 1804, Senator William Plumer prepared to dine with the president of the United States. That Plumer, a Federalist from New Hampshire, should receive an invitation from Republican President Thomas Jefferson was a little remarkable; Plumer noted in his journal that Jefferson had recently ceased to invite many of his more vociferous op-...
Epilogue: The Cherokee Lawyer
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Our story concludes, fittingly (as this is a book about America), with a lawsuit. In the spring of 1830, the Baltimore attorney William Wirt was approached by a delegation from the government of the Cherokee Indian nation asking him to serve as their counsel. The Cherokee had not approached Wirt randomly—he was recommended by some of the most...
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 1 map
Publication Year: 2009