November 21st, 2006
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny
Robert J. Miller Foreword by Elizabeth Furse
Manifest Destiny, as a term for westward expansion, was not used until the 1840s. Its predecessor was the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal tradition by which Europeans and Americans laid legal claim to the land of the indigenous people that they “discovered.” In the United States, the British colonists who had recently become Americans were competing with the English, French, and Spanish for control of lands west of the Mississippi. Who would be the “discoverers” of the Indians and their lands, the United States or the European countries? We know the answer, of course, but in this book, Miller explains for the first time exactly how the United States achieved victory, not only on the ground, but also in the developing legal thought of the day.
-To say this book is required reading for those wishing to understand American history is an understatement. Miller has provided an opportunity for readers with varying interests from Constitutional law professor to tribal advocate to public lands users of all types to gain valuable insight into the interconnected web of religion, conquest, human rights, land and equity. One comes away from reading Miller’s Native America with a meaningful sense of how irresponsible, and illusory, a folly it is to allow a sense of Providence to blindly guide such things as constitutionally protected rights, domestic and foreign policy with other nations and the relationship and “dominion” over Nature and other “nonbelievers.” This is an important time for this book to be published, and one can hope that it will be well read.
â€”Journalstar.com (Lincoln, NE)
Endorsement From Carole Goldberg Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, Law School co-author of American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System
Through its focus on the Doctrine of Discovery, Miller’s book offers fascinating new insights into Jefferson’s Indian policy, the significance of the Lewis & Clark expedition, and the origins of Manifest Destiny ideology in 19th- century America. Miller forces readers to confront the raw assertion of colonial power embodied in the Doctrine of Discovery, and its consistent deployment by the United States in the guise of law.
Endorsement From Rennard Strickland Knight Professor of Law, University of Oregon
Written by lawyer and law professor Robert Miller, this is revisionist history in the very best sense of that tradition. Miller reviews historic documents and oft-told stories in a new and original light. This important study gives Native Americans and their role in United States history a richer and deeper meaning through Miller’s thoughtful interpretation of the Doctrine of Discovery in the context of its historical, law-related, political principles.
ROBERT J. MILLER is Associate Professor at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and Chief Justice, Court of Appeals, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. He is a citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
List Price: $49.95 0-275-99011-7 Pages: 240 Publication: 9/30/2006