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This book presents new material and shines fresh light on the under-explored historical and legal evidence about the use of the doctrine of discovery in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. North America, New Zealand and Australia were colonised by England under an international legal principle that is known today as the doctrine of discovery. When Europeans set out to explore and exploit new lands in the fifteenth through to the twentieth centuries, they justified their sovereign and property claims over these territories and the indigenous peoples with the discovery doctrine. This legal principle was justified by religious and ethnocentric ideas of European and Christian superiority over the other cultures, religions, and races of the world. The doctrine provided that newly-arrived Europeans automatically acquired property rights in the lands of indigenous peoples and gained political and commercial rights over the inhabitants. The English colonial governments and colonists in North America, New Zealand and Australia all utilised this doctrine, and still use it today to assert legal rights to indigenous lands and to assert control over indigenous peoples. Written by indigenous legal academics - an American Indian from the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, a New Zealand Maori (Ngati Rawkawa and Ngai Te Rangi), an Indigenous Australian, and a Cree (Neheyiwak) in the country now known as Canada, Discovering Indigenous Lands provides a unique insight into the insidious historical and contemporary application of the doctrine of discovery.
North America, New Zealand and Australia were colonised by England under an international legal principle that is known today as the doctrine of discovery. This book analyses how England applied this doctrine to gain control over the lands, property, government, and human rights of the indigenous peoples, and how this control continues to this day.
North America, New Zealand, and Australia were colonized by England under an international legal principle that is known today as the doctrine of discovery. This book analyses how England applied this doctrine to gain control over the lands, property, government, and human rights of Indigenous peoples, and how this control continues to this day.
This extraordinary work traces the role of the Discovery Doctrine in Lewis & Clark's expedition (authorized by Thomas Jefferson) to secure the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest for the United States of America, which was vying with European powers and Indian tribes for sovereignty.
An analysis of how religious bias shaped U.S. federal Indian law.
Johnson v. McIntosh and its impact offers a comprehensive historical and legal overview of Native land rights since the European discovery of the New World. Watson sets the case in rich historical context. After tracing Anglo-American views of Native land rights to their European roots, Watson explains how speculative ventures in Native lands affected not only Indian peoples themselves but the causes and outcomes of the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and ratification of the Articles of Confederation. He then focuses on the transactions at issue in Johnson between the Illinois and Piankeshaw Indians, who sold their homelands, and the future shareholders of the United Illinois and Wabash Land Companies.
In 1823, Chief Justice John Marshall handed down a Supreme Court decision of monumental importance in defining the rights of indigenous peoples throughout the English-speaking world. At the heart of the decision for Johnson v. M'Intosh was a "discovery doctrine" that gave rights of ownership to the European sovereigns who "discovered" the land and converted the indigenous owners into tenants. Though its meaning and intention has been fiercely disputed, more than 175 years later, this doctrine remains the law of the land. In 1991, while investigating the discovery doctrine's historical origins Lindsay Robertson made a startling find; in the basement of a Pennsylvania furniture-maker, he discovered a trunk with the complete corporate records of the Illinois and Wabash Land Companies, the plaintiffs in Johnson v. M'Intosh. Conquest by Law provides, for the first time, the complete and troubling account of the European "discovery" of the Americas. This is a gripping tale of political collusion, detailing how a spurious claim gave rise to a doctrine--intended to be of limited application--which itself gave rise to a massive displacement of persons and the creation of a law that governs indigenous people and their lands to this day.

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