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Broken LandscapeIndians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution$
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Frank Pommersheim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199915736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199915736.001.0001

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Early Contact

Early Contact

From Colonial Encounters to the Articles of Confederation

(p.9) 2 Early Contact
Broken Landscape

Frank Pommersheim

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the early contact between European settlers and the Native American Indian tribes, and how these encounters played a role in establishing the foundation and early development of Indian law and sovereignty. It enumerates the general legal and policy rationales that brought the Europeans into North America in the first place: papal edict, first discovery, sustained possession, voluntary self-subjection of native people, and armed conquest. It discusses the role of commerce and trade in colonization. It also compares the idea of ownership between the two communities and how this led to conflict. Additionally, the chapter describes how the Articles of Confederation of the colonies further strained relations with the tribes.

Keywords:   colonization, European settlers, Native American Indian tribes, Indian law, tribal sovereignty, armed conquest

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