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A New SignificanceRe-Envisioning the History of the American West$
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Clyde A. Milner

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195100471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100471.001.0001

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Still Native: The Significance of Native Americans in the History of the Twentieth-Century American West

Still Native: The Significance of Native Americans in the History of the Twentieth-Century American West

Chapter:
(p.213) 7 Still Native: The Significance of Native Americans in the History of the Twentieth-Century American West
Source:
A New Significance
Author(s):

David Rich Lewis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100471.003.0007

When Frederick Jackson Turner reimagined American history in 1893, he considered Native Americans to be of little significance. He demonstrated more interest in the process of heroic, white yeomen hewing out a corridor of civilization in an environment that all but overwhelmed them, transforming them from immigrants into Americans. This chapter suggests six broad areas of significance for Native Americans in the history of the 20th-century American West and, by extension, the history of the United States. The first four areas of significance—persistence, land, economic development, and political sovereignty—are overlapping and interdependent. The fifth and sixth areas address larger cultural issues: the persistent symbolic value of native peoples, and the contributions emerging from Native American history and literature.

Keywords:   Frederick Jackson Turner, American West, history, Native Americans, persistence, land, economic development, political sovereignty, symbolic value, literature

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