Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny

May 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 19-4: Success by Accountability and Assessment, Media Reviews

Praeger Publishers (2006)

Review by James Thull

In Native America, Discovered and Conquered Robert J. Miller explains that Manifest Destiny was based on the Doctrine of Discovery and was the legal basis, under American and European law, used to obtain title to the land in the Americas. The Doctrine of Discovery states that Europeans who “discover” new lands have the sole right to negotiate with the Native inhabitants for the legal title to that land. Miller provides the reader with a thorough analysis of how the founding fathers of the United States based their right to negotiate for Native American lands on this ethnocentric European belief.

This is an easy-to-read, informative, and well-researched book. Miller manages to describe a complex international doctrine in layman terms and keep the readers’ interest along the way. It will be enjoyed by those studying legal, U.S. or Native American history. I recommend this book for purchase by tribal college libraries.

James Thull holds a Master of Arts in History and a master’s of Library and Information Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He currently works as a reference librarian and assistant professor at Montana State University-Bozeman and has been the assistant coordinator of the Tribal College Librarians Institute since 2005.

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