This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book covers territory that Americans might think they know all too well: the Northeast in the seventeenth century. By looking toward the sea rather than the land, it offers a new way of thinking about Indian history and a new way of understanding this all-too-familiar region. It presents a novel explanation of how the English came to dominate the region in part by emphasizing the intentions of Indians and Dutchmen. The book argues that neither group of colonists were solely responsible for their colonies' fates, as Native decisions and opinions were crucial at every stage of conquest. Viewing the overlap of two empires through a single frame uncovers curious similarities and differences between these abutting colonial projects. The meeting of indigenous and foreign seafaring traditions drove many physical changes along the shore, while rivalries between Native leaders and between the English and Dutch seaborne empires spurred its political realignments.
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