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Grant number: FT-59456-12

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Jeffrey Ostler
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)

The Destruction and Survival of American Indian Communities, 1754-1900

This book-length project analyzes the processes of destruction, inherent to U.S. expansion, that affected American Indian communities from the eve of the American Revolution to 1900. The project was initially framed as an intervention into the debate about whether or not U.S. actions toward Native Americans constituted genocide. After initial research revealed problems with the genocide framework, however, the project was reconceptualized. Following Alexis de Tocqueville's contemporary observations about the destruction of Indian communities, the project will focus on destruction and survival rather than genocide per se. Through a series of chronologically-ordered, regionally-based chapters, the project will identify several intersecting factors such as disease, war, violence, economic deprivation, dispossession, cultural stress and assess their impact on specific Native American communities over time. The project will also identify survival strategies these communities employed.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 8/31/2012