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Palgrave Macmillan

American Settler Colonialism

A History

ISBN 9781137374240
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Over the course of three centuries, American settlers spread throughout North America and beyond, driving out indigenous populations to establish exclusive and permanent homelands of their own. In doing so, they helped to create the richest and most powerful nation in human history, even as they caused the death and displacement of millions of people. This groundbreaking historical synthesis demonstrates that the United States is and has always been fundamentally a settler colonial society - and, indeed, that its growth as a country represents the most sweeping, violent, and significant instance of the phenomenon in history. Linking episodes too often treated in isolation - including Indian removal, the Mexican and Civil Wars, and the settlement of Alaska and Hawaii - it upends many familiar categories of US history and presents a compelling yet disturbing framework through which to understand America's rise to global dominance.

Walter L. Hixson is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Akron, USA. His most recent book is The Myth of American Diplomacy: National Identity and U.S. Foreign Policy (2009).

1. Introduction: Settler Colonialism, History, and Theory
2. 'People from the Unknown World': The Colonial Encounter and the Acceleration of Violence
3. 'No Savage Shall Inherit the Land:' Settler Colonialism Through the American Revolution
4. 'The Common Enemy of the Country': Settler Colonialism to the Mississippi River
5. 'Scenes of Agony and Blood': Manifest Destiny and the Crisis of Settler Colonialism
6. 'They Promised to Take Our Land and They Took It:' Completing the Continental Settler Colonial Project
7. 'Spaces of Denial': American Colonialism in Hawai'i and Alaska
8. 'Things Too Scandalous to Write': The Philippine Intervention and the Continuities of Colonialism
9. 'A Very Particular Kind of Inclusion:' Indigenous People in the Postcolonial United States
Conclusion: The Boomerang of Savagery


'The strengths of this book include its commitment to a clearly stated theoretical foundation, its concern about the under reporting of the violence and violation to human beings at the core of this history, and its intention to incorporate a comparative element. It integrates Native American history into American history narratives and does important work in bringing the U.S.-Mexico War and other colonial conflicts into the analysis." - Sherry L. Smith, University Distinguished Professor of History and Associate Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, USA
"This book is an important achievement. Hixson applies to American history the findings of settler colonial studies as a global intellectual endeavor." - Lorenzo Veracini, Associate Professor, Swineburne University of Technology, Australia, and Managing Editor, Settler Colonial Studies
"Hixson has synthesized the history of English/American settler colonialism of American Indian peoples through the latest settler colonial theories. There is no other work out there like this, and this kind of synthesis is much needed. In particular, he shows the thread between conflagrations that are often treated distinctly from one another: the US-Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and the Spanish-American War." - Margaret Jacobs, Chancellor's Professor of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
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