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Title: 'Our share of land' : the Cherokee Nation, the federal government and the citizenship status of the freedpeople, 1866-1907
Author: Bawden, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 0745
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the debates surrounding the status of Cherokee freedpeople in the final four decades of the nineteenth century. Despite being granted full citizenship in the 1866 Reconstruction Treaty signed by the United States and the Cherokee Nation in 1866, the nature of these rights remained constantly under debate as the Cherokee Nation attempted to limit their obligation to freedpeople. In contrast, the federal government insisted freedpeople and their descendants be awarded the full rights of Cherokee citizens. Repeated federal intervention on behalf of Cherokee freedpeople led to jurisdictional disputes and tensions between the two nations as the Cherokee Nation insisted that they held final authority over the boundaries of its citizenry and the nature of citizenship awarded to freedpeople. Scholars have questioned the apparent polarity between the equal rights of freedmen and Cherokee sovereignty and, in 2013, Barbara Krauthamer identified the necessity of exploring how these two concerns became constructed as oppositional. In the twenty-first century, high profile legal battles over the exclusion of individuals descended from freedpeople from the Cherokee Nation have highlighted the lasting importance of this issue. This thesis builds on previous research by reconsidering how Cherokee freedpeople pushed for full and equal inclusion in the forty years following their emancipation. It argues that Cherokee freedpeople were not pawns in the disputes between the Cherokee Nation and the United States. Instead, freedpeople were active agents who exploited the differing interpretations of citizenship held by Cherokee and federal officials to secure their own interests. Furthermore, this thesis argues that the federal government only supported Cherokee freedpeople when it served their larger agenda of damaging the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available