A Whole Country in Commotion: The Louisiana Purchase and the American Southwest

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Overview

Bringing together the work of prominent scholars and rising stars in southern, western, and Indian history, A Whole Country in Commotion explores lesser-known aspects of one of the better-known episodes in U.S. history. While the purchase has been seen as a great boon for the United States, doubling the size of the new nation and securing American navigation on the Mississippi River, it also brought turmoil to many.

Looking past the triumphal aspects of the purchase, this book examines the "negotiations among peoples, nations and empires that preceded and followed the actual transfer of territory." Its nine essays highlight the "commotion" the purchase stirred up—among nations, among Louisiana residents and newcomers, even among those who remained east of the Mississippi.

Many of these essays look at the portion of the Louisiana territory that would become Arkansas to illustrate the profound impact of the purchase on the diverse populations of the American Southwest. Others explore the woeful commotion brought to many thousands of lives as Jefferson's "noble bargain" set the stage for the forced migration of native and African Americans from the east to the west of the Mississippi.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557287847
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick G. Williams is an assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas and associate editor of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. He is the coauthor of Mapping America's Past: A Historical Atlas.

S. Charles Bolton is a professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is the author of Territorial Ambition: Land and Society in Arkansas, 1800-1840 (Arkansas) and Arkansas, 1800-1860: Remote and Restless. (Arkansas)

Jeannie M. Whayne is a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, director of the Arkansas Center for Oral and Visual History, editor of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, and secretary-treasurer of the Arkansas Historical Association. She is co-author of Arkansas: A Narrative History (Arkansas), and co-editor of The Clinton Riddle: Perspectives on the Forty-second President (Arkansas)

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Table of Contents

Introduction : a whole country in commotion
1 Lewis and Clark : kidnappers 3
2 Jefferson's grand expedition and the mystery of the Red River 21
3 Could Louisiana have become an Hispano-Indian Republic? 41
4 A shifting middle ground : Arkansas's frontier exchange economy and the Louisiana Purchase 59
5 Jeffersonian Indian removal and the emergence of Arkansas Territory 77
6 "Outcasts upon the world" : the Louisiana Purchase and the Quapaws 91
7 The Louisiana Purchase and the black experience 107
8 The first years of American justice : courts and lawyers on the Arkansas frontier 121
9 Dancing into the past : colonial legacies in modern Caddo Indian ceremony 149
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