Conquered Landscape in the American West

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Abstract

The paper traces the history of “conquered landscape” back to the original European colonists and the Puritans. We discuss the contribution of Thomas Jefferson as an architect of Western expansion through the purchase of the Louisiana territory and the mapping of future policy regarding the settling of Western territory. We cover the major moments in the settling of the West and their historic significance. We discuss Frederick Jackson Turner’s concept of the West as “a succession of frontiers” versus revisionist historian Patricia Nelson Limerick’s concept of conquest and conquered territory. The second part of the paper deals with the Native American view of the land, with reference to Paula Gunn Allen’s ideas and Leslie Marmon Silko’s novels Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead. Silko juxtaposes two different kinds of space, Native American versus federal space. The Native American and Anglo-American views of nature are contrasted and explained, with the discussion of aspects of native removal, reterritorialization and misrepresentation.

References
  • Gunn Allen Patricia, The Sacred Hoop. BostonȘ Beacon Press, 1986. Jacobs, Wilbur. Dispossessing the American Indian: Indians and Whites on the ColonialFrontier. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972. Print.

  • Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest. New York: Norton, 1988. Print.

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  • Slotkin, Richard. Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the AmericanFrontier. Middletown CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1973. Print.

  • Smith, Henry Nash. Virgin Land. New York: Vintage Books, 1957. Print.

  • Spence, Mark David. Dispossessing the Wilderness and the Making of National Parks. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

  • Turner, Frederick Jackson. The Frontier in American History. New York: Holt Publishing House, 1947. Print.

Linguaculture

The Journal of Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

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