Dominion and Civility
English Imperialism, Native America, and the First American Frontiers, 1585–1685
Was the relationship between English settlers and Native Americans in the New World destined to turn tragic? This book investigates how the newcomers interacted with Algonquian groups in the Chesapeake Bay area and New England, describing the role that original Americans occupied in England's empire during the critical first century of contact.
Michael Leroy Oberg considers the history of Anglo-Indian relations in transatlantic context while viewing the frontier as a zone where neither party had the upper hand. He tells how the English pursued three sets of policies in America—securing profit for their sponsors, making lands safe from both European and native enemies, and "civilizing" the Indians—and explains why the British settlers found it impossible to achieve all of these goals.
Oberg places the history of Anglo-Indian relations in the early Chesapeake and New England in a broad transatlantic context while drawing parallels with subsequent efforts by England as well as its imperial rivals—the French, Dutch, and Spanish—to plant colonies in America. Dominion and Civility promises to broaden our understanding of the exchange between Europeans and Indians and makes an important contribution to the emerging history of the English Atlantic world.