Stuart Banner's How The Indians Lost Their Land: Law And Power On The Frontier

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The interwoven nature of Native American relationships with the White men created a perplexing dynamic, with an unyielding spirit both within the invaded and the invaders, throughout the entirety of the two’s interaction. Like most history, this story could be told through multiple lens, whether it be trade relationships or military motives, however Stuart Banner chooses to drive this narrative with attention to the means of which Indians and white Americans exchange land. In his rendering of this story, How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier, Banner contends that most all of the land transactions between Indians and white Americans lie on a spectrum which include law and power on both ends as extrema. Banner remarks, …show more content…
For example, in analysis of the Proclamation Line of 1763, the agreement set by King George III that English-American colonists were unable to settle West of the Appalachian Mountains, both elements are present. When England exerted its lawful power to prevent American colonists from buying land West of the mountain range, contractual power, there remained a layer of subsequent conquest. Indians were no longer, legally, able to sell their land to prospective American buyers. These restrictions imposed important questions as to what Indians could and could not do regarding their land ownership. This perspective, with some stretching, coincides with Banner’s multifaceted approach in explaining the transactions between the two peoples. While superficially it may appear that this exchange is solely law, deeper in the methodologies of the British specifically are further intentions to assert power over the Indians. However, the inexplicit nature of the English’s intention also presents a possible fallacy, in that there is no confirmation as to if they were actively seeking conquest through a backhanded

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