Nancy Shoemaker

in A Strange Likeness

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167924
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788996 | DOI:

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Eighteenth-century Europeans and eastern Indians of North America shared in how they structured international alliances as being either (1) between nations relatively equal in power, as in peace treaties that ended European wars and in “one dish and one spoon” alliances among Indians, or (2) between a strong and weak nation, transpiring usually when a weak and battered refugee people moved onto a stronger nation's territory and became tributary to them. German Protestants and French Huguenots, for example, settled in Anglo-America in distinct, autonomous communities but were subordinate in international affairs to whichever English colony their settlement was in. Similarly, the Iroquois Confederacy took in the Tuscaroras and many smaller refugee nations, and the Creek Confederacy included in its network the Yuchis, a self-governing people yet subject to the Muskogean-speaking peoples of the Creek Confederacy in their foreign relations. These arrangements are very similar to the concept of “domestic dependent nations,” a concept put into law by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall's decisions in Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia (1831) and Worcester vs. Georgia (1832), suggesting that contemporary US Indian law has roots in the ancient traditions of international relations as practiced by both Indians and Europeans.

Keywords: international alliances; one dish and one spoon; tributary nations; Iroquois Confederacy; Creek Confederacy; domestic dependent nations; US Indian law; Cherokee Nation court cases

Chapter.  9245 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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