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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #221 - History: Defeat West and land agreements (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 09 Dec 2012 10:01:24 +0200


When Richard White writes Middle Ground in 1991, he performed for historical research Ãtasunienne that Braudel and Le Goff, France, conducted on or medieval European history: the intrusion of popular players, trades, particularities, taking into account the economic and social, in short, a thickening of history, where the past becomes more real, and sometimes even more exotic. The break with the purely factual and symbolic - "big" battles, "big" men ... - had already been initiated by Howard Zinn who was very seriously challenged at the time the clocks of the official story. ---- That R. White describes is a world engulfed yet wearer incredible potential. The Middle Ground, both "common ground" and "Middle Earth" is this vast territory around the Great Lakes to the Ohio and Mississippi to the west.

The Pays d'en Haut, as the French called at the time, is populated by trappers, traders, first peoples (Algonquin, Iroquois, etc.) as we imagine them to Fenimore Cooper. Yet it is a world of constant composition is described, where the original forms of understanding are at work and where the initial fracture due to the Western presence are gradually "glued together". Leagues and federations tribal alliances and adoptions create a society unsuspected new, where refugees Indian, French at odds, Irish immigrants, create a new way of living together hybridization. A "process of creative misunderstandings" is at work and these people, all suffering must deal, adding their cultural traits in a continuous listening. Not free of wars, betrayals, questionable alliances, the company's Middle Ground remains fluid, and seeks agreement away from the American colonies and colonial governments in war, despite and outside of them. Incidentally, White sends some legends maintained by the official history: the idea of ââborders, the Iroquois inspired the American Constitution or the image nice Indian / White naughty. It describes the formation of policy innovations unpublished aware embody resistance "Crowns" and discovering more direct ways to "society."

White works are emulated, and Pekka HÃmÃlÃinen, author of the recent Comanche Empire is an example. Empire "that has never existed" was nevertheless almost unique example of turning political ruler dominated in turn. More to the west, the Great Plains of the U.S. South, Comanche raid and attack indiscriminately Mexicans, Texans and other settlers. But ... create fairs and trade gigantic mobile nodes that determine the economy of the entire Southwest and they neatly alternating raids, diplomacy and fine indigenous cultural diffusion and West.

Stateless or centralized decision-making body, the Comanches dominate their territory for nearly 40 years. Hegemonic and violent, but also cultural melting pot and resistance to Advanced American Comancheria collapse the late 19th century. The void she leaves will be occupied by the young United States, as they did in the Sioux territory or in the Middle Ground. The Comanches will be prepared that completes the American empire.

Cuervo (AL Northwest Suburbs)

Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republics in the Great Lakes Region: 1650-1815 , ed. Anacharsis, 736 pages, 28 euros

Pekka HÃmÃlÃinen, The Comanche Empire , ed Anacharsis 736 pages, 28 euros.
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