Southern Intrusions: Native Americans and Sovereignty in the Early Republic
Miller, James Hendry (author)
Frank, Andrew, 1970- (professor directing dissertation)
Moore, Dennis D. (university representative)
Blaufarb, Rafe (committee member)
Gray, Edward G., 1964- (committee member)
Jones, Maxine Deloris (committee member)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
College of Arts and Sciences (degree granting college)
Department of History (degree granting department)
Southern Intrusions: Native Americans and Sovereignty in the Early Republic" examines the meaning and contests over power, authority, and state building in the American South. It contends that Native Americans turned to and then ultimately rejected national forms of power in the early nineteenth century. It investigates the various forms of trespass—defined here as incursions by unwanted people or property—that southeastern Indians confronted from roughly the 1790s through the 1830s. By examining these intrusions by broadly defined trespassers (government agents, travelers, free-range livestock, squatters, and military forces), "Southern Intrusions" investigates the ways that Native Americans defended their territorial integrity in the wake of an expanding United States. Despite cultural traditions that focused on local, town-level identity and political decision making, southeastern Indians began turning to emerging national entities to protect their sovereignty. At first, tribal nations negotiated with European and United States governments to define boundaries and establish diplomatic relations, but only with a limited mandate from constituent towns to keep unwanted outsiders out and protect territory. "Southern Intrusions" argues that these emerging Native nations lost the support of towns because they failed to do this. Some scholars suggest that southeastern Indians disdained thrusts towards centralized governments because they were incompatible with cultural norms focusing on local identity and autonomy. This project argues that southeastern Indians would have more readily accepted thrusts towards centralized authority if these emerging nations managed to keep intruders off of Native American land and maintain broader sovereignty. Instead, tribal governments acquiesced to land cessions to the United States and allowed trespassers to construct highways on and move through remaining lands. Further, tribal governments often proved ineffective in removing unlawful squatters from Native American lands. As a result, town leaders withdrew their support from tribal governments and insisted on local autonomy. To address the problems caused by trespassing outsiders, southeastern Indian town leaders and individuals resorted to violence and intimidation, hoping drive trespassers away. Unfortunately for southern Native Americans, this most often only resulted in United States diplomats and politicians seeking further land cessions. "Southern Intrusions" argues that towns and local leaders initially accepted, perhaps begrudgingly, centralized nations when they protected sovereignty, but rejected them and insisted on local power when they failed.
Southeastern Indians, Sovereignty, Trespass
April 10, 2017.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Andrew K. Frank, Professor Directing Dissertation; Dennis Moore, University Representative; Rafe Blaufarb, Committee Member; Edward Gray, Committee Member; Maxine D. Jones, Committee Member.
Florida State University
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.