At the Crossroads: Indians and Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700-1763 / Edition 1

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Overview

Examining interactions between native Americans and whites in eighteenth-century Pennsylvania, Jane Merritt traces the emergence of race as the defining difference between these neighbors on the frontier.

Before 1755, Indian and white communities in Pennsylvania shared a certain amount of interdependence. They traded skills and resources and found a common enemy in the colonial authorities, including the powerful Six Nations, who attempted to control them and the land they inhabited. Using innovative research in German Moravian records, among other sources, Merritt explores the cultural practices, social needs, gender dynamics, economic exigencies, and political forces that brought native Americans and Euramericans together in the first half of the eighteenth century.

But as Merritt demonstrates, the tolerance and even cooperation that once marked relations between Indians and whites collapsed during the Seven Years' War. By the 1760s, as the white population increased, a stronger, nationalist identity emerged among both white and Indian populations, each calling for new territorial and political boundaries to separate their communities. Differences between Indians and whites--whether political, economic, social, religious, or ethnic--became increasingly characterized in racial terms, and the resulting animosity left an enduring legacy in Pennsylvania's colonial history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Provides disciplined historical coverage. . . . Should stand as a model of . . . historical representation."
Eighteenth-Century Studies

"A compelling look at life in the fractured and often fractious world of frontier Pennsylvania. . . . [An] extensive and impressive discussion of the rise of nationalism and the pull of empire."
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

"Rarely has the personal quality of relations among the peoples of colonial America been analyzed with such sophistication or described with such immediacy and intimacy.
(Gregory Evans Dowd, University of Michigan)"

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jane T. Merritt specializes in early American History from an Atlantic World perspective. In particular, she has written on eighteenth century Native American encounters in the mid-Atlantic region and is currently exploring the development of consumer markets, British imperial policy, the cultural life of the American colonies, and the emergence of the United States as a commercial empire through a study of the tea trade.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Maps, Illustrations, and Tables
Abbreviations and Short Titles
Introduction: At the Crossroads 1
Pt. 1 Limits of Empire
1 Cultural Communities and the Politics of Land 19
2 Kinship and the Economics of Empire 50
Pt. 2 Empowered Communities
3 The Indian Great Awakening 89
4 Mission Community Networks 129
Pt. 3 War and Peace
5 Demonizing Delawares 169
6 Quakers and the Language of Indian Diplomacy 198
Pt. 4 Boundaries Redrawn
7 An Uneasy Peace 235
8 Indian Nations and Empire 264
App. A Moravian Indian Lebenslauf (Life Stories) 309
App. B Native American Family Genealogies 325
Index 333
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