Sunday, June 29, 2008

Remember Fort Mims!

Two hundred years ago we responded to savage attacks on civilization in a very different way. It is worth looking at the war on terrorism during the early days of our republic and the nation's response to the 9/11 of its day. Below I describe the Fort Mims Massacre and our immediate response. I'll continue to describe the changes in policy that followed in future articles.

5 Comments:

Blogger FJ said...

The elements absent from the present conflict are border proximities and near term prospects for cultural assimilation.

6/11/08, 10:10 AM  
Blogger Grant Jones said...

The above piece on Jackson's Indian policy is excellent. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

7/11/08, 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Remember Fort Mims:" Reinterpreting the Origins of the Creek War

Karl Davis

Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter, 2002)


Concludes:

>>The Red Sticks carefully calculated the attack on Fort Mims in order to resolve an internal conflict and to preclude United States military involvement in their civil war. Their calculations failed because Mississippians saw an opportunity to expand their borders by capitalizing on the support of outraged white citizens. Although millenarianism and pan-Indian collusion were undoubtedly important in the broader history of the Red Stick insurgency, the events that led up to the "Fort Mims Massacre" demonstrate that pragmatic political concerns about national unity, autonomy, and sovereignty, propelled the Creek Nation into the civil war.

8/4/08, 3:16 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I’m grateful to the above individual for recommending this enjoyable and enlightening article by Karl Davis. In my brief blog entry, I wasn’t able to delve into the details of the internal war among the Creeks that led to the attack at Fort Mims. I might have contrasted the Creeks that sought to adopt individualist mores, engage in expanded commerce, expand open immigration, and welcome other Western societal values on the one hand with those that wanted to return to the tribal structures, collectivist values, and economic modes of their forefathers on the other hand.

From Davis’ paper I find that the parallels between the struggle within Creek society and the struggle within the Islamic world are far greater than I suspected. That makes a comparison between the response by Americans in 1813 and the response by the Americans in 2001 all the more interesting. It is that cultural change in America that I’m most interested in capturing.

9/11/08, 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check into Gregory Waselkov's book, A Conquering Spirit, which is based of extensive historical and archaeological research done in the last few years. There are several problems with using the traditional historic narrative: 1. it establishes a false dichotomy of whites/creeks when a large majority of the victims at Fort Mims were creeks themselves. The attack on Fort Mims was probably for cultural/religious reasons: the Creeks, like many southeastern tribes, had a firm believe that the death of an individual absolutely required the death of the killer to bring the spiritual and physical worlds back into balance
2. Earlier scholarship casts the Redstick war in terms of the wider struggle of 1812, which is misleading. There is no evidence the Creeks ever received arms or encouragement from the British until late 1814, and the arms they did buy from the Spanish were legal purchase, as Spain was the biggest trading partner for the Creek Nation,and indeed most of the Southeast--Andrew Jackson actually swore fealty to the Spanish crown--twice--to export his cotton, which would have prohibited his election had anyone known. The original is in the Barcelona Archives.

10/15/09, 9:37 PM  

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