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Dominion & Civility: English Imperialism & Native America, 1585-1685

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Was the relationship between English settlers and Native Americans in the New World destined to turn tragic? This book investigates how the newcomers interacted with Algonquian groups in the Chesapeake Bay area and New England, describing the role that original Americans occupied in England's empire during the critical first century of contact. Michael Leroy Oberg considers the history of Anglo-Indian relations in transatlantic context while viewing the frontier as a zone where neither party had the upper hand. ...
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Overview

Was the relationship between English settlers and Native Americans in the New World destined to turn tragic? This book investigates how the newcomers interacted with Algonquian groups in the Chesapeake Bay area and New England, describing the role that original Americans occupied in England's empire during the critical first century of contact. Michael Leroy Oberg considers the history of Anglo-Indian relations in transatlantic context while viewing the frontier as a zone where neither party had the upper hand. He tells how the English pursued three sets of policies in America—securing profit for their sponsors, making lands safe from both European and native enemies, and "civilizing" the Indians—and explains why the British settlers found it impossible to achieve all of these goals. Oberg places the history of Anglo-Indian relations in the early Chesapeake and New England in a broad transatlantic context while drawing parallels with subsequent efforts by England as well as its imperial rivals—the French, Dutch, and Spanish—to plant colonies in America. Dominion and Civility promises to broaden our understanding of the exchange between Europeans and Indians and makes an important contribution to the emerging history of the English Atlantic world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael Leroy Oberg. . . has written a fascinating and detailed account of the clash between English imperialism and native cultures during the first century of British settlement in the New World. Dominion and Civility is a fine book, one to be appreciated by both college students and professional historians."—Donald A. Dudhadaway, History: Reviews of New Books, Fall 1999

"In this age of overspecialization, readers will appreciate Berg's attempt to synthesize and bring order to the first century of English colonization. Berg's detailed and lively account . . . offers a provocative synthesis of English imperial policy towards Indians. Readers will enjoy this well-crafted narrative."—Claudio Saunt, H-Net Reviews, January 2000

"Oberg helps remind historians that imperialists were, necessarily, less tribal than their colonial or Amerindian counterparts."—Ian K. Steele, International History Review, June 2000

"Studies of Anglo-Indian relations in colonial North America have more often than not lumped all or most English people into an undifferentiated mass, even when highly nuanced distinctions among Native Americans. Michael Oberg offers an important corrective to such studies. . . . He reminds us that, from the beginning, imagined possibilities of coexistence with native peoples were as fully a part of Anglo-American public discourse as their less humane alternatives."—Neal Salisbury, William and Mary Quarterly, July 2000

"The author's 227-page overview is fast-paced but definitely not lacking in detailed description (and great quotes) derived from 'old-fashioned' exhaustive research. His impressive, well-utilized, thoughtfully integrated evidence conclusively demonstrates that colonists' materialistic objectives and ruthless militancy was consistent across the American landscape, with little differentiation due to distinctive inherited folkways. . . . Dominion and Civility deserves a wide readership."—J. Frederick Fausz, Journal of Southern History, February 2001

"Oberg's fresh prose and exhaustive use of primary and secondary sources makes for a wonderfully lucid overview of English imperial advances into the New World during the first century of her involvement. Dominion and Civility provides a useful and interesting recasting of these well-worn stories of American colonial history as part of a new colonial history of the North American continent, and it is a worthwhile addition to the field."—Ann Marie Plane, New England Quarterly, December 2000

"This book merits careful reading. Oberg presents an especially detailed and sophisticated narrative of the complex interplay competing between competing Indian and English interests in New England."—Eric Hinderaker, Journal of American History, December 2000

"Refreshing and concise. . . . Employing up-to-date scholarship and thoughtful reading of primary materials, he weaves Virginia and New England into a single story."—Daniel K. Richter, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 2000

"Oberg's book is perceptive. . . . No historian . . . has yet completely explained the full significance of the frontier experience on the attitudes and character of the American people. . . . But Oberg's Dominion and Civility will aid in that definition."—Mary Lou Lustig, West Virginia History, Vol. 58, 1999-2000

"Dominion and Civility offers abundant details about the first century of relations between the native peoples of North American and the English peoples who established colonies along the shores of Chesapeake Bay and in New England. Michael Oberg's excellent research is presented in a lively and stimulating way."—Peter C. Mancall, author of Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801435645
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations Used in Notes
Introduction 1
1 This New Found Land 8
2 Master Stockam's Opinion 48
3 Severe Justice 81
4 Edward Randolph's Report 113
5 Elizabeth Bacon's Letter Home 174
Conclusion 217
Index 229
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