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Encounter on the Great PlainsScandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930$
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Karen V. Hansen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746811.001.0001

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The Scandinavian Flood: Land Hunger, Dislocation, and Settlement

The Scandinavian Flood: Land Hunger, Dislocation, and Settlement

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 The Scandinavian Flood: Land Hunger, Dislocation, and Settlement
Source:
Encounter on the Great Plains
Author(s):

Karen V. Hansen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746811.003.0003

A deeply rooted desire for land motivated Scandinavians to cross the Atlantic and journey to North Dakota. The oral accounts of immigrants speak to their practical aspirations and job–seeking motives. The land, however appealing, was not benign. Subject to the whims of “the Nature,” as Norwegians called it, land also demanded sacrifice. These leave–taking stories weave contradictory threads—isolation and loneliness with community and camaraderie; high mobility and long–term rootedness; the thrill of possibility and the wrenching dislocation of insanity. Scandinavian settlement and commitment to a multi–generational family legacy displaced a recently conquered Native people, who became their new neighbors.

Keywords:   Norwegians, Swedes, Scandinavians, land hunger, immigration, insanity, gender

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