Land Ownership? A Different View.

Treaty of Fort Stanwix

One of the reoccurring themes in relation to conflicts between European settlers and Native Americans was the idea of land ownership. The European idea of land ownership was that of a titled deed or another official paper document. Furthermore, the European concept of individuals owning land was a foreign concept to that of the Native American communal living practices. Europeans also claimed land “they found in North America is theirs by “right of discovery”.[1]

However, to the Native Americans, land ownership did not need to be in the form of an official paper and was most often known by geographical markers by all tribe members and their neighboring tribes. As a result, the differences in cultural systems of how land was claimed, lives were lost when settlers encroached upon Native American lands, such as in the French Indian War.[2] On the other hand, some Native Americans used the European land recognition to their advantage. For example, the “Iroquois sold them [the British] Shawnee and Cherokee hunting territories at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, satisfying the British while diverting settlement from Iroquois country.”[3]

 

 

Note: This article was originally published by Misty Hamilton Smith on Nov. 26, 2017, for the course HIST 314 at Southern New Hampshire University.

Footnotes:

[1]. Colin G. Calloway, New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), 125.

[2]. “French and Indian War.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 Mar. 2015.

[3]. Colin G. Calloway, New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), 125.

References:

Calloway, Colin G. New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

“French and Indian War.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 Mar.

  1. academic.eb.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/levels/collegiate/article/French-and-Indian-War/35340#325819.toc%20%20%20%20. Accessed 25 Nov. 2017.




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