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A Spirited Resistance The North American Indian Struggle

In the early 1800s when once powerful North American Indian peoples were being driven west across the Mississippi a Shawnee prophet collapsed into a deep sleep When he awoke he told friends and family of his ascension to Indian heaven where his grandfather had given him a warning Beware of the religion of the white man every Indian who embraces it is obliged to take the road to the white man's heaven and yet no red man is permitted to enter there but will have to wander about forever without a resting placeThe events leading to this vision are the subject of A Spirited Resistance the poignant story of the Indian movement to challenge Anglo American expansionism Departing from the traditional confines of the history of American Indians Gregory Evans Dowd carefully draws on ethnographic sources to recapture the beliefs thoughts and actions of four principal Indian nations—Delaware Shawnee Cherokee and Creek The result is a sensitive portrayal of the militant Indians—often led by prophets—who came to conceive of themselves as a united people and launched an intertribal campaign to resist the Anglo American forcesDowd also uncovers the Native American opposition to the movement for unity That opposition he finds was usually the result of divisions within Indian communities rather than intertribal rivalry In fact Dowd argues intertribal enmity had little to do with the ultimate failure of the Indian struggle it was division within Indian communities colonial influence on Indian government and the sheer force of the Anglo American campaign that brought the Indian resistance movement to an end An evocative history of long frustration and ultimate failure A Spirited Resistance tells of a creative people whose insights magic and ritual add a much needed dimension to our understanding of the American Indian


10 thoughts on “A Spirited Resistance The North American Indian Struggle for Unity 1745 1815 The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science

  1. says:

    Gripping and richly detailed account of how pan Indian ideology arose among the First Nations of eastern North America in the eighteenth century Gregory Dowd shows how First Peoples grappled with questions of resisting accommodating or remaining neutral toward the Europeans and Americans By the War of 1812 the US defeated the revolts that pan Indianism inspired but Native political consciousness had changed Dowd shows the centrality of religion in inspiring political resistance