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Empire by TreatyNegotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900$
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Saliha Belmessous

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391783.001.0001

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Struggling over Indians

Struggling over Indians

Territorial Conflict and Alliance Making in the Heartland of South America (Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries)

(p.78) 4 Struggling over Indians
Empire by Treaty

Tamar Herzog

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies two alternative (and often complimentary) strategies that the Spanish and the Portuguese employed in their relationship with the Amerindian population during the early modern period: the making of peace and the unleashing of war. It describes how these were conceptualized and implemented and what their concrete results were. By examining both the understandings reached with natives, as well as the violence employed against them, this chapter also analyzes European attitudes toward native right to land and subsequent processes of ethnogenesis. It argues that both treaties and wars were a means to dispossess Indians and transfer their rights to Europeans. Thus, although Europeans could invoke native rights in their conflicts with one another, they refused to give them full credence when coming to deal with natives.

Keywords:   war, peace, alliance, land rights, ethnogenesis, Spanish America, Brazil

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