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New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 2008
E99 .C85 H27 2008
A groundbreaking history of the rise and decline of the vast and imposing Comanche empire.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, at the high tide of the imperial struggles in North America, an indigenous empire rose to dominate the fiercely contested lands of the American Southwest, the southern Great Plains, and northern Mexico. This powerful empire, built by the Comanche Indians, eclipsed its various European and Native American rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence. Yet, until now, the Comanche empire has gone unrecognized in historical accounts.
This compelling and original book uncovers the lost story of the Comanches. It is a story that challenges the idea of indigenous peoples as victims of European expansion and offers a new model for the history of colonial expansion, colonial frontiers, and Native-European relations in North American and elsewhere. Pekka Hämäläinen shows in vivid detail how the Comanches built their unique empire and resisted European colonization, and why they fell to defeat in 1875. With extensive knowledge and deep insight, the author brings into clear relief the Comanches' remarkable impact on the trajectory of American colonial history.
Quoted from dustjacket.