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Cultivating a landscape of peace : Iroquois-European encounters in seventeenth-century America / Matthew Dennis.

By: Dennis, Matthew, 1955-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Ithaca : Cooperstown, N.Y. : Cornell University Press ; New York State Historical Association, 1993Description: xii, 280 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0801421713 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Iroquois Indians -- History -- 17th century | Iroquois Indians -- Government relations | Iroquois Indians -- Social conditions | Europe -- Colonies -- America | United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 | Iroquois History, 1607-1775 | United States
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E99 .I7 D36 1993 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001735133

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


In this study Dennis seeks to replace the stereotype of the "bloodthirsty, aggressive" Iroquois with the portrait of a people who sculpted an ecological and political "landscape" of peace. Employing the methodology of discourse, Dennis asserts that the Iroquois League creation myth not only contained a set of mores for behavior among the Iroquois proper, but that it also patterned their motives to spread peacefully the branches of "the Great Tree of Peace" to all nations, primarily by adopting them as kinsmen. Dennis's view of Iroquois history rejects those of Francis Parkman, Francis Jennings (The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, CH, Sep'84), Richard White (The Middle Ground, CH, May'92), Daniel Richter (The Ordeal of the Longhouse, CH, Jun'93), Bruce Trigger (Natives and Newcomers, CH, Mar'86), and others. Most intriguing is Dennis's suggestion that French-Iroquois hostilities stemmed from the French failure to understand that Iroquois overtures of peace were predicated on the sincere desire to adopt, literally, the French as relatives. The Dutch, on the other hand, succeeded because they refused to let the connections of the fur trade grow beyond the more impersonal patterns of the market. Dennis's provocative argument is weakened by two serious flaws. First, he recreates 15th- , 16th- , and 17th-century Iroquois motives from 19th- and 20th-century sources. Secondly, Dennis's examples of Iroquois intentions for peace are carefully selected to fit his thesis: the Iroquois war in the Illinois country is the most notable omission. Advanced undergraduates and above. R. L. Haan; Hartwick College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>Matthew Dennis is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oregon.</p>

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