Amerindians

Land Ownership and the Foundations of Democracy, Part Two (Westward, Ho!)

My son would fill his tray with everything he could fit in, including that cafeteria classic – brightly colored, cubed Jello. My daughter was much pickier, but inevitably she chose the wiggly cubes as well. The boy would snarf down his selections in minutes; the girl would take hours if we let her. 

It is worth noting that she didn’t usually eat the Jello. 

She liked to look at it. The table would inevitably get jostled a bit, or otherwise nudged, and the Jello would wiggle. It’s what Jello does. She loved that. And, to be fair, that’s just as valid a use for Jello as any other. (Just because something is edible doesn’t mean it serves no other function – otherwise, neither houseplants nor family pets would be around long.) 

But that’s not how my son saw it.

Land Ownership and the Foundations of Democracy, Part One (What Made This Particular Destiny So Manifest?)

So we have two issues in play as the Founders wrestle with outlining this new government – the connection between paying into the system and thus earning a voice in the running of that system, and the practical challenges of who exactly “consents” to that government on behalf of the whole. Little wonder our progenitors might try to reconcile them in concert – hopefully without overtly dialing back those fancy new ideals they’d been proclaiming to justify the entire project. 

They weren’t starting from scratch. There were some longstanding assumptions about land ownership – or the lack thereof – with which they could begin.

The Civil War in I.T. (From "Well, OK Then...")

The time between Indian Removal in the 1830s and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 was a comparatively peaceful – almost prosperous – era for the Five Civilized Tribes (5CT). 

Then again, when you have a century of suck on either side of a generation, the bar for “Golden Age” status isn’t particularly high. 

40 Credits & A Mule, Part III: Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny It was genuinely maddening. Let’s not overlook that. Mixed in with the greed and selfishness and prejudice and maybe even some dark damnable thoughts was palpable frustration – an almost holy outrage – that this land was being denied them by a people unwilling to do more than jiggle their Jello.

We needed that land – we deserved that land. This is not just about me and mine – although it IS very much also about me and mine. We’re here as part of something bigger – something important – something holy – something democratic – something special.

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