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From Furs to Farms
The Transformation of the Mississippi Valley, 1762–1825
“Reda provides a welcome, readable account of the formative years of Missouri and Illinois. While emphasizing the place of economics in their formation, he also restores the Mississippi River to its historical role as a short fence between close neighbors, rather than an impermeable barrier.” —Robert M. Owens, author of Red Dreams, White Nightmares: Pan-Indian Alliances in the Anglo-American Mind, 1763–1815
“[This] succinct and pointed history of the white settlement of the Mississippi Valley challenges the oversimplified and convenient notion of Manifest Destiny. . . . Like the work of all diligent, mindful scholars, Reda’s account of the history is complex.” —Foreword Reviews
This original study tells the story of the Illinois Country, a collection of French villages that straddled the Mississippi River for nearly a century before it was divided by the treaties that ended the Seven Years’ War in the early 1760s. Spain acquired the territory on the west side of the river and Great Britain the territory on the east. After the 1783 Treaty of Paris and the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the entire region was controlled by the United States, and the white inhabitants were transformed from subjects to citizens. By 1825, Indian claims to the land that had become the states of Illinois and Missouri were nearly all extinguished, and most of the Indians had moved west.
April 2016 212 pp., 6x9
John Reda received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is assistant professor of history at Illinois State University, specializing in colonial American history and the history of the Early American Republic.
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