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State intervention and extreme violence in the revolutionary Ohio Valley

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Previous studies of the revolutionary Ohio Valley attribute the violence of the period to the mutual animosity of Indians and white settlers. This article demonstrates that colonial states played a central role in escalating frontier conflict, both by prompting violence directly and by undermining diplomatic efforts. The resulting clashes helped radicalize both white settlers and Indians, fostering escalating cycles of retaliation that states could not control. Colonial violence in the Ohio Valley thus entailed a complex interplay between multiple states and various groups of Indians and settlers. This messy pattern suggests that the concept of “extreme violence,” characterized by diversity of victims, breadth of participation, and multicausality, has value for the analysis of colonial as well as modern cases of genocide.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

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