Native Americans and the Problem of History, Part 1

in History's Shadow

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226114941
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226115115 | DOI:
Native Americans and the Problem of History, Part 1

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This chapter examines Native Americans as objects of study and as subjects of intellectual discourse in the nineteenth century. This study amounts to an intellectual history whose major actors are the Euro-American men (and occasionally women) who, for a variety of reasons and with a variety of motivations, took it upon themselves to study, record, and write about Native Americans. Neither intellectual historians nor historians of Native Americans have really considered fully how the curiosity that Indians aroused—and the ways that curiosity was pursued—shaped the nineteenth-century American mind. Studying Indians constituted a central, if now largely forgotten, part of the nation's intellectual discourse, defining American science and social science, and shaping conceptions of the nation's history.

Keywords: Native Americans; intellectual history; social science; American science; nation's history; nineteenth century; intellectual discourse

Chapter.  13910 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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