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Gathering TogetherThe Shawnee People through Diaspora and Nationhood, 1600-1870$
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Sami Lakomäki

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300180619

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300180619.001.0001

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“The Sheynars In General”

“The Sheynars In General”

Unity and Diversity on Imperial Borderlands, 1725–1755

(p.42) 2 “The Sheynars In General”
Gathering Together

Sami Lakomäki

Yale University Press

In the second quarter of the eighteenth century many previously dispersed Shawnee groups gathered in the Ohio Valley and, to a lesser extent, on the Tallapoosa River. Focusing on this process, the chapter investigates the political strategies and cultural models which Shawnees employed to construct new forms of unity and cooperation. It shows that Shawnees successfully combined long-standing town and clan autonomy with broader inter-community collaboration. Most importantly, they created diverse forms of sharing power in communal and inclusive decision-making institutions, such as councils. Growing cooperation among the Shawnee communities was a response to the intensifying imperial competition between Great Britain and France over the control of interior North America. From the 1730s on, this rivalry transformed the homelands of the Shawnees into imperial borderlands, and by 1750 the Ohio Shawnees, in particular, faced a two-pronged colonial invasion.

Keywords:   borderlands, imperial competition, Ohio Valley, decision-making, sharing power, councils

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