Expansion, adaptation, and exclusion : Texas and the eastern North American borderlands, 1763-1845

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2023-12

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This dissertation examines the process of American Indian removal across eastern North America and into Texas from 1763-1845. I examine treaties, personal letters, diaries, legislation, and government documentation to show how American Indian removal was an essential component of American expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries. After the first Treaty of Paris, American Indians, and native Mexicans, like all groups who encountered chaotic circumstances, resisted, or adapted to the changing nature of relationships in their regions as the borders and power dynamics fluctuated. I argue that the theft and sale of American Indian land contributed to the rapid economic development of the United States and became more aggressively violent after the 1815 Creek War, which eliminated significant Indigenous resistance in the Old Northwest and the South at the same time the European competition became severely weakened and removed from much of North America. Furthermore, I show how the theory of Indigenous incorporation into American society was never meaningfully attempted, and methods of exclusion were supported and more common practice by the time Americans first settled in Texas.

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