ARKANSAS: A Narrative History / Edition 1

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Four distinguished scholars, each focusing on a particular era, track the tensions, negotiations, and interactions among the different groups of people who have counted Arkansas as home. George Sabo III discusses Native American prehistory and the shocks of climate change and European arrival. He explores how surviving native groups carried forward economic and docial institutions, which in turn proved crucial to early colonists. Morris S. Arnold examines the native communities and the roles of minority groups and women in the development of law, government, and religion; the production of goods; and market economies. Jeannie M. Whayne shows how these multicultural relationships unfolded during hte subsequent era of American settlement. But mutuality ended when white settlers transplanted plantation agriculture and slavery to formerly native lands. Thomas DeBlack shows that the plantation society, while prosperous, also brought the state into the Civil War. He analyzes banking fiascoes, the state's reputation for violence, the mixed blessings of statehood, and the war itself. Whayne returns to discuss different groups' access to the political process; prostwar economic issues, including women's work; and the interrelated problems of industrialization, education, and race relations. The Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s, transformed political and social landscapes, but vestiges of the old attitudes and prejudices remain in place.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Informed in its scholarship, rationally organized, and written in clear, graceful prose, this volume is extraordinarily comprehensive in its treatment of Arkansas' past. . . . By any manner of reckoning, this is an extraordinarily valuable addition to historical literature, one that provides a highly readable and comprehensive account."—Willard Gatewood, from the Foreword
Four American scholars present this concise, one-volume history of Arkansas from prehistoric times to the present. Coverage includes an examination of Native American prehistory, emphasizing cultural developments within the changing environmental and social conditions; negotiations between Indians and immigrants during the colonial era; the unfolding of multicultural relationships during the subsequent era of American settlement; the shifting of power with the development of plantation agriculture and slavery; the impact of the Civil War and postwar banking problems; the linked histories of progressivism, civil rights, education, and industrialization, and the shaping of the political process in Arkansas. Suitable for use as a college text, but accessible to the general reader. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557287243
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeannie M. Whayne is chair of the History Department, University of Arkansas. Among her publications are A New Plantation South: Land, Labor and Federal Favor in Twentieth Century Arkansas (1996, University Press of Virginia), and Arkansas Biography, with Nancy A. Williams (Arkansas, 2000). Thomas A. DeBlack is associate professor of history ot Arkansas Tech University and the author of Arkansas in the Civil War and Reconstruction in the Histories of Arkansas series (forthcoming). George Sabo III is Research Station Archaeologist at the Arkansas Archaeological Survey and a professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas. His publications include Visions and Revisions: Ethnohistoric Perspectives on Southern Cultures (Georgia, 1987) and Paths of Our Children: Historic Indians of Arkansas (Arkansas Archaeological Survey, revised 2001). Morris S. Arnold is a United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit. Most recently, he is the author of The Rumble of a Distant Drum: The Quapaws and Old World Newcomers, 1673—1804 (Arkansas, 2000). Links to this and his other books are to the right.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Native American Prehistory 1
Ch. 2 Spanish and French Explorations in the Mississippi Valley 20
Ch. 3 New Traditions for a New World: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Native Americans in Arkansas 33
Ch. 4 Indians and Immigrants in the Arkansas Colonial Era 46
Ch. 5 The Turbulent Path to Statehood: Arkansas Territory, 1803-1836 75
Ch. 6 "The Rights and Rank to Which We Are Entitled": Arkansas in the Early Statehood Period 109
Ch. 7 Prosperity and Peril: Arkansas in the Late Antebellum Period 135
Ch. 8 "Between the Hawk & Buzzard": The Civil War in Arkansas 166
Ch. 9 "A Harnessed Revolution": Reconstruction in Arkansas 205
Ch. 10 Prosperity Eluded: Era of Transition, 1880-1900 240
Ch. 11 Reasonable Progress: Limits of Progressive Reform 272
Ch. 12 Darker Forces on the Horizon: Natural Disasters and Great Depression 303
Ch. 13 Turmoil and Change: Toward a New Arkansas 336
Ch. 14 Dramatic Departures: Political, Demographic, and Economic Realignment 372
Suggested Readings 401
Contributors 417
Index 419
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