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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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Raw Country and Jeffersonian Dreams: The Racial Politics of Allotment

Raw Country and Jeffersonian Dreams: The Racial Politics of Allotment

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 Raw Country and Jeffersonian Dreams: The Racial Politics of Allotment
Source:
The Color of the Land
Author(s):

David A. Chang

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807895764_chang.7

This chapter explores the racial politics of the privatization of landownership (a process known as allotment). It observes that white agrarianism, white racial nationalism, and even a desire to remake Indians into American yeomen and liberal individuals drove the push to force the unwilling Creeks to accept allotment and the dissolution of their governmental authority. The chapter shows how allotment, a colonial imposition, propelled a politics that undermined the sense of a Creek nationhood that transcended racial lines. It notes that the pressure by the American colonial power on Creeks to accept allotment and the dissolution of their national government propelled a long debate over the fundamental issues of who belonged to the nation and what belonging meant. The chapter observes that the imposition of allotment, the political conflict it engendered, and the way it was executed encouraged a shift by many Creeks toward a racial conception of the Creek Nation.

Keywords:   racial politics, privatization, landowership, allotment, white agrarianism, nationalism, Indians, American yeomen, Creeks, colonial power

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