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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although racial lines eventually hardened on both sides, in the opening decades of colonization European and native ideas about differences between themselves and the other were fluid and dynamic, changing on the ground in response to local developments and experiences. Over time, perceived differences were understood to be rooted in more than just environment and culture. In the eighteenth century, bodily differences became the basis for a wider range of deeper, more innate distinctions that, by the nineteenth century, hardened into what we might now understand to be racialized differences in the modern sense. Despite several centuries of dispossession, disease, warfare, and enslavement at the hands of Europeans, native peoples in the Americans almost universally believed the opposite to be true. The more indigenous Americans were exposed to Europeans, the more they believed in the vitality and superiority of their own cultures.

Keywords: Native Americans, Puritans, King Philip’s War, Great Awakening, New England, race and culture

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