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Paths to a Middle Ground, Paths to a Middle Ground, 0817312102, 0-8173-1210-2, 978-0-8173-1210-7, 9780817312107, , , Paths to a Middle Ground, 0817356452, 0-8173-5645-2, 978-0-8173-5645-3, 9780817356453, , , Paths to a Middle Ground, 0817385223, 0-8173-8522-3, 978-0-8173-8522-4, 9780817385224,

Paths to a Middle Ground
The Diplomacy of Natchez, Boukfouka, Nogales, and San Fernando de las Barrancas, 1791-1795
Charles A. Weeks

Trade Cloth
2005. 304 pp.
Illus.
978-0-8173-1210-7
Price:  $49.95 s
Out of Stock
Quality Paper
2010. 304 pp.
7 Illustrations
978-0-8173-5645-3
Price:  $34.95 s
E Book
2010. 304 pp.
7 Illustrations
978-0-8173-8522-4
Price:  $34.95 d

Spanish imperial attempts to form strong Indian alliances to thwart American expansion in the Mississippi Valley.
 
Charles Weeks explores the diplomacy of Spanish colonial officials in New Orleans and Natchez in order to establish posts on the Mississippi River and Tombigbee rivers in the early 1790s. Another purpose of this diplomacy, urged by Indian leaders and embraced by Spanish officials, was the formation of a regional Indian confederation that would deter American expansion into Indian lands.

Weeks shows how diplomatic relations were established and maintained in the Gulf South between Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Cherokee chiefs and their Spanish counterparts aided by traders who had become integrated into Indian societies. He explains that despite the absence of a European state system, Indian groups had diplomatic skills that Europeans could understand: full-scale councils or congresses accompanied by elaborate protocol, interpreters, and eloquent metaphorical language.

Paths to a Middle Ground
is both a narrative and primary documents. Key documents from Spanish archival sources serve as a basis for the examination of the political culture and imperial rivalry playing out in North America in the waning years of the 18th century.
 
 
 

Charles A. Weeks is author of The Juárez Myth in Mexico.

“Indian points of view are captured at a crucial phase of this region’s history, and the political stakes for Indians and Europeans alike are made palpable. . . . Highlights in Weeks’s analysis include how he treats town autonomy among Indian nations, the gift-kinship relationship, and the versatile role of traders.”--Daniel H. Usner Jr., author of American Indians in the Mississippi Valley
         

“Weeks provides a detailed and thorough examination with the right balance of narrative and analysis. Although the focus of the book is a mere five years, the documents and the supporting text both point to and illuminate larger issues in European-Indian diplomacy. It is a book that should be of benefit to scholars of Indian history, Spanish borderlands history, and southern colonial history.”--Colin G. Calloway, author of New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America
 

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