The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South (Indians of the Southeast)

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9780803239722: The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South (Indians of the Southeast)
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William L. Ramsey provides a thorough reappraisal of the Yamasee War, an event that stands alongside King Philip’s War in New England and Pontiac’s Rebellion as one of the three major “Indian wars” of the colonial era. By arguing that the Yamasee War may be the definitive watershed in the formation of the Old South, Ramsey challenges traditional arguments about the war’s origins and positions the prewar concerns of Native Americans within the context of recent studies of the Indian slave trade and the Atlantic economy. The Yamasee War was a violent and bloody conflict between southeastern American Indian tribes and English colonists in South Carolina from 1715 to 1718. Ramsey’s discussion of the war itself goes far beyond the coastal conflicts between Yamasees and Carolinians, however, and evaluates the regional diplomatic issues that drew Indian nations as far distant as the Choctaws in modern-day Mississippi into a far-flung anti-English alliance. In tracing the decline of Indian slavery within South Carolina during and after the war, the book reveals the shift in white racial ideology that responded to wartime concerns, including anxieties about a “black majority,” which shaped efforts to revive Anglo-Indian trade relations, control the slave population, and defend the southern frontier. In assessing the causes and consequences of this pivotal conflict, The Yamasee War situates it in the broader context of southern history.

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About the Author:

William L. Ramsey is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Philosophy at Lander University.

Review:

"This book is a welcome addition to the growing number of studies challenging Chapman Milling's and Verner Crane's moral argument of "good" Indians versus "bad" colonists. In recent years, historians increasingly appreciate that a "middle ground" existed in most colonist-Indian relationships, and Ramsey fits nicely into this mode of thinking."—Brett Richard Bell, Southern Historian (Brett Richard Bell Southern Historian)

"The first book-length study on a conflict so pivotal in early American, Native American, and southern history, The Yamasee War does not disappoint. . . . A talented historian, Ramsey guides his readers through the complex and tangled motivations that led to war and explores its consequences for all residents of the colonial South."—Christina Snyder, Journal of American History (Christina Snyder Journal of American History 2009-03-01)

"The Yamasee War is a thoroughly impressive study and a welcome addition to the Indians of the Southeast series published by the University of Nebraska Press."—Matthew T. Pearcy, Journal of America's Military Past (Matthew T. Pearcy Journal of America's Military Past)

"Specialists in colonial and Native American history as well as graduate students and advanced undergraduates will find Ramsey's treatment of the Yamasee War thought provoking and compelling."—David A. Nichols, Journal of American Ethnic History (David A. Nichols Journal of American Ethnic History)

"The Yamasee War is an important read for anyone interested in the field of southern ethnohistory."—Michael P. Morris, South Carolina Historical Magazine (Michael P. Morris South Carolina Historical Magazine)

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