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This Violent EmpireThe Birth of an American National Identity$
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Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832967

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9780807832967.001.0001

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Sweeing Red

Sweeing Red

Chapter:
(p.207) Chapter Four Sweeing Red
Source:
This Violent Empire
Author(s):

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807832967.003.0007

This chapter explores the complex interactions between European Americans and Native Americans in the Western frontier. The West was a place of linguistic as well as cultural hybridity. Social and linguistic commingling and appropriation might have led to a fusion of cultures and identities; from cohabitation might have emerged a shared American West; from the contingency of social relations might have come racial hybridity and a creolization of western culture. But no such synthesis occurred. Rather, the blurring of clear defining markers gave birth to fears of disorder and danger, to a “widespread sense of being adrift on a turbulent, forbidding sea.”

Keywords:   Western frontier, American West, European Americans, Native Americans, western culture, national identity

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