Roots of American Racism: Essays on the Colonial Experience

Synopsis

This important new collection brings together ten of Alden Vaughan's essays about race relations in the British colonies. Focusing on the variable role of cultural and racial perceptions on colonial policies for Indians and African Americans, the essays include explorations of the origins of slavery and racism in Virginia, the causes of the Puritans' war against the Pequots, and the contest between natives and colonists to win the other's allegiance by persuasion or captivity. Less controversial but equally important to understanding the racial dynamics of early America are essays on early English paradigmatic views of Native Americans, the changing Anglo-American perceptions of Indian color and character, and frontier violence in pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania. Published here for the first time are an extensive expose of slaveholder ideology in seventeenth-century Barbados, the second half of an essay on Puritan judicial policies for Indians, a general introduction, and headnotes to each essay. All previously published pieces have been revised to reflect recent scholarship or to address recent debates. Challenging standard interpretations while probing previously-ignored aspects of early American race relations, this convenient and provocative collection by one our most incisive commentators will be required reading for all scholars and students of early American history.

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