American Indian History chronicles the dynamic process of interaction among Indian nations, Europeans and the United States during the past five centuries. Through his meticulous research and excellent narrative style, Robert Venables, Ph.D., makes this history come alive.
Volume I: Conquest of a Continent, 1492-1783 begins by comparing and contrasting the different worldviews held by Indian and European nations as reflected in their philosophies and religions. It progresses to comprehensively document the contact, conflict and alliances that shaped and influenced their histories. During the initial conflicts in the 1500s, Europeans debated the morality of conquest, then set the legal precedents that continue to affect Indian nations to the present day. The Doctrine of Discovery and the Papal Bulls shaped these policies of conquest, and Indian nations developed political philosophies to cope with the pressures of colonial governments. Some adapted to European ideas and technologies as a means of survival. Some went to war with the Europeans, and others made alliances with them. Often these alliances were against other Indian nations, making the frontier far more complicated than Red versus White. During these times, the descendants of the Europeans, believing the entire North American continent was their destiny, began the long process of coercing the Indian nations from their lands, a practice that continues today.