Brothers among Nations: The Pursuit of Intercultural Alliances in Early America, 1580-1660

Synopsis

During the first eighty years of permanent European colonization, webs of alliances shaped North America from northern New England to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and entangled all peoples in one form or another.

In Brothers among Nations, Cynthia Van Zandt argues that the pursuit of alliances was a widespread multiethnic quest that shaped the early colonial American world in fundamentally important ways. These alliances could produce surprising results, with Europeans sometimes subservient to more powerful Native American nations, even as native nations were sometimes clients and tributaries of European colonists. Spanning nine European colonies, including English, Dutch, and Swedish colonies, as well as many Native American nations and a community of transplanted Africans,Brothers among Nationsenlists a broad array of sources to illuminate the degree to which European colonists were frequently among the most vulnerable people in North America and the centrality of Native Americans to the success of the European colonial project.