Jeffrey Lichy - 1 Lichy Jeffrey Lichy History 461 October 5...

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Lichy Jeffrey Lichy History 461 October 5, 200 Final Paper Assignment Truly Native Grounds Kathleen Duval’s The Native Ground offers a new thought on the history of various Indians and colonists in North America, as well as the Arkansas Valley. Duval differentiates her notion of a “native ground” from historian Richard White’s image of a “middle ground.” While White believed that neither Indians nor Europeans could control the Great lakes region, Duval had a contrasting thought when assembling her model of the Arkansas Valley. Because of the diverse ideas of European settlers, Europeans “ could not establish themselves in the Arkansas Valley alone. Duval said, “ Settlers, traders, adventure-seekers, priests, soldiers, bureaucrats, and wives came from Europe and other colonies with a variety of motives and ambitions, often in conflict with those of other Europeans”(6). Therefore it was necessary that the European molded their economic, political, and social policies to Indian desires and demand. On Native Ground, the Indians defined everything from patterns of land use to international borders, while Europeans “ settled for simply carving out rights within native notions of layered occupations”(10). Although throughout the novel Indians dominated hopeful colonizers such as the French and Spanish, the invasion “dramatically changed the existence of colonial-era Indians—microbes, trade, missionaries, and settlers.” Contrasted to White’s “middle ground”, even though Europeans in the Arkansas Valley influenced Indians, 1
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Lichy Duval shows time and time again that Europeans explorers instead faced the only choices acceptable to the dominant peoples of the interior: total incorporation or expulsion. Duval effectively portrayed the Natives’ connection with the Europeans, as well as the supremacy they had over the colonizers. Two tribes that Duval used in order to verify her Native Ground model were the dominant and militaristic Osage, as well as the diplomatic yet feisty Quapaw.
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