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The Color of the LandRace, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929$
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David A. Chang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833650

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895764_chang

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An Equal Interest in the Soil: Small-Scale Farming and the Work of Nationhood, 1866–1889

An Equal Interest in the Soil: Small-Scale Farming and the Work of Nationhood, 1866–1889

Chapter:
(p.39) 2 An Equal Interest in the Soil: Small-Scale Farming and the Work of Nationhood, 1866–1889
Source:
The Color of the Land
Author(s):

David A. Chang

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807895764_chang.6

This chapter explores contending visions of Creek nationhood. It turns its sights to the small-scale farmers who made up the majority of the Creek Nation—a nation that included, in the wake of emancipation, a sizable black citizenry. The chapter notes that this small farmer majority, both black and Indian, had a common stake in defending Creek national land. It observes that that shared interest underlays the construction of a remarkable political alliance that resisted the efforts by the elite to consolidate wealth and power and impose a form of racial nationalism on the Creek Nation. The chapter notes that the alliance between black Creeks and conservative Creeks upheld two fundamental notions: that being Creek meant belonging to a polity, not a race; and that the lands were to be defended as national property available to all who were part of the nation.

Keywords:   Creek, nationhood, small-scale farmers, emancipation, Indian, political alliance, race

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