Conquest of Empire: The United States in North America, 1780–1820

School of Humanities and Social Science

Conquest of Empire: The United States in North America, 1780–1820

Barbara Alice Mann

Friday, 31 July
10am to 11am

(with morning tea/coffee afterwards)

Cultural Collections Reading Room (near the Information Common),
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus

Great Britain and France are usually fingered as the likely suspects of colonial empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but between 1780 and 1820, the fledgling United States was actually a continuation of the British Empire in North America. Across Turtle Island (North America), Native American land was grabbed using the tactics and rationales of the British Empire. Two primary tactics, forged by the British and continued by the Americans, ensured land seizure:

• capital economies scooping the wealth out of gift economies as profit, and
• outright murder of inconvenient peoples.

Full land seizure required a pure absence of Native resistance. This was achieved through the British tactic of massacre, which came in three varieties, featuring various levels of plausible deniability:

• Proxy wars
• Disease unleashed
• Outright physical massacre of targeted groups

Barbara Alice Mann
University of Toledo

Staff, students and members of the public are welcome

Enquiries to: Michael Ondaatje

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