Annotated Bibliography

September 14th, 2011

Vaughan, Alden T. “From White Man to Redskin: Changing Anglo-American Perceptions of the American

Indian.” AHR, 87.4 (1982): 917-953. Print

Vaughan’s article characterizes the images and perceptions of other races, particularly Native Americans in American society over the centuries. This article also shows the role of Native Americans change throughout the centuries, firstly characterized as being almost as light skinned as Europeans, and secondly being characterized ad red. A major concern of the colonists was establishing order in society and finding a place for its inhabitants. The Africans were seen as too dark and therefore unable to assimilate. The Native Americans were seen differently, “ Anglo-Americans believed that American Indians were approximately as light-skinned as Europeans-with all its implications-and thus would be assimilated into colonial society”  (917).  This aspect exhibits how colonist found ways to justify enslaving and scrutinizing one group and not the other.  The colonists kept this notion for as long as it benefited them social and economically. However, as the United States moved into the eighteenth century they began to take away the status away from the Indians, “not until they were thought of as inherently inferior ‘redmen’ rather than unenlightened “whites” did their separate and unequal status become firmly fixed in the American mind”(918). As American society became to stand firmly in color separation as white, red and black, they enforced a hierarchy that placed whites colonists as superior and anyone else as inferior. This article is very useful to my project because it shows the increasing opportunistic ways of the colonists, especially as time become more modern. In relation to the short story, The Little Frenchman and His Water Lots, the American auctioneer constantly degraded the Frenchman and justified taking his money.

 

 

Young, Mary E. “Indian Removal and Land Allotment: The Civilized Tribes and Jacksonian

Justice.” AHR 64.1 (1958): 31-33. Print

This article explains the motives and justifications that the United States used to initiate the Indian Removal Act. It also showed the motives of the officials of government during the nineteenth century preceding the time that The Frenchman and His Water Lots was published. As Americans began to change the classifications of Native Americans as similar to white to distinctly red, they used this as ammo to forcibly relocate the Indians to west of the Mississippi, “ The President’s justification of Indian removal was the one usually applied to the displacement of the Indians . . . — the superiority of farming to a hunting culture, . . .” ( 31) Americans found themselves to be superior to the Native Americans because of their ability to farm. They characterized the Native Americans as savages and used this as reasoning to take their land, “The Farmers rights of eminent domain over the lands of the savage could be asserted consistently only so long as the tribes involved were ‘savage’ “ (31-32). This resulted in Americans provoking many Indian settlements trying to prove their savageness. This is useful to my project because it further show the characteristics of the American government as menacing and swindling for their own benefit. The Indian settlements were atop very fertile land that many Americans wanted to that they could build large plantations.

 

Neem, Johann N. “Taking Modernity’s Wager: Tocqueville, Social Capital and the American Civil War.”

JIH 41.4 (2011): 591-592. Print

This article is about Alexis de Tocqueville, a French sociologist that came to America to study its prison structure, and his predictions on America’s future.  He felt that America’s success was due to its land and it’s location. However in the years after he published his thoughts on America, the two factors that he thought sustained would lead to the Civil War, “Although Alexis de Tocqueville did not live to witness the American Civil War, it would not have surprised him. A close student of

Democracy , Tocqueville believed that America’s fate lay in its ability to maintain social order through voluntary association” (591). Tocqueville also thought that America would end up like his mother country that was actually in a Civil War. This is beneficial to my project because it shows how the thought of the Frenchman have come to pass. It also shows the reasoning for why the auctioneer, who represents the American, wants to discredit the Frenchman. As the Tocqueville points out the flaws of American government some Americans are angry at the things that he predicts for the fledgling nation.

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