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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  July 31, 2016 9:36am-10:01am EDT

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host: when did europeans first migrate to the great lakes region? professor sleeper-smith: this come in 1640's, 1660's and at the same time indians are moving out of the ohio river valley in an attempt to access trade goods where european traders are coming in. that's generally green bay. >> which europeans are we talking about? professor sleeper-smith: primarily the french. the british will come later in the 18th century. host: this is about more than exploration. this is about business? professor sleeper-smith: yes, it's kind of a complex but interesting way to think about it. if you think about the early landscape in the united states as being a landscape of not just
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a series of indian villages, but a series of indian villages often combined as con federal are sis or even some indian nations becoming empires, all of the entire transcontinental united states is combined by trade networks. before europeans even arrive in the great lakes, european trade routes preceded them. they stretch from the west coast through the center of the nation, the southwest, the north are exchanging trade goods. europe trade goods become incorporated in that existing network. host: how did the native american transcribes in the area respond to the arrival of the french? professor sleeper-smith: very welcoming.
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most french traders began to come in the 1660's after radisson comes into the great lakes. basically most of the traders are french. they come from montréal and québec. they bring goods with tremendous high state us value and also have tremendous utilitarian value. initially, most of the trade is in iron goods, trade that are pots, vessels that women would primarily use, digging sticks that make cultivation of grain crops much easier. as many of those goods become saturated in the great lakes, what was initially the fur trade turns into what becomes a cloth trade. and so most of the products that would come into the great lakes
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from the end of the 17th century to the end of the 18th century will be cloth. the indians become involved in almost a fur trade that is a clothing trade. it transforms into it by the 1720's, 1730's, really evolves almost into a silver trade. europe begins manufacturing goods for the indian trade, and that includes as the trade becomes more established, even becomes what you would call a luxury trade. so, you see incredible numbers of silversmiths moving into the great lakes, creating items for the indian trade. host: which indian tribes were in this area? who are we talking about? professor sleeper-smith: in the ohio river valley, much of that
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center portion of the ohio river valley, much of that is miami land. but along the wabash and the miami rivers, you find a huge group of very diverse people. so, for instance -- originally a french post on the wabash, you can find several groups, kickapoo, you are going to find miami. as we move toward the center -- and these are fairly well-established towns. these are 5,000, 6,000 people. these are not scattered indian villages. they are united by the trade. you are going to find shawnee. you are going to find delaware.
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they have moved from pennsylvania into the ohio river valley. you are going to find mohawk who have come down from iroquois land. you are going to find seneca people. host: did the european men marry into any of these indian tribes? professor sleeper-smith: yes. for most of the fur trade, it would be very difficult for them to trade. they had no understanding of indian languages. and initially women act as cultural mediators during the 17th century. by the 18th century, much of that becomes intermarriage. so you find frenchmen intermarrying into indian communities. they are not really removing those women from the indian communities. it would be useless. indians trade based on kinship alliances.
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so, trade is not something we think of in 20th century terms. it is embedded in villages. it is embedded in kin networks. there, women become a very crucial component. they not only act on the trade. they are involved in the exchange process. bringing an indian trader into a household unit becomes very important. it brings prestige to the household unit. it brings them access to trade goods. simultaneously, it gives a trader access to a woman's kin network as trading partners. host: so were marriages more business arrangements than love matches? professor sleeper-smith: i don't think there were any love matches and the 17th and 18th century. i think that romantic connotation of marriage was -- will take root primaries in an
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anglo society. it's not to say it is not romantic relationships between people, but to a great extent in indian communities, marriage had this companionate -- but it is often not romantic. if women, because they are the agriculturalists, they are the people who are responsible for a major portion of the diet. so frenchmen that marry in have in a sense can devote all of their efforts to trading. women become the agriculturists. they become involved in the trade. it gives women power and authority they did not have before. many of these marriages are long-lasting. so, it is not just a trading process where everyone comes for
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the trade and i will be here for five years and then i'm going to disappear. yes, there were traders that do that and those are advantageous relationships to those communities. but we also find that many of these frenchmen actually never return to quebec or montreal, that many of these marriages go on 20, 30, 40 years. you can trace them back to the registers the jesuits kept in the great lakes. host: what happened to the children of these matches? did they become part of the tribes? professor sleeper-smith: yes and no. some children who are born to french traders and indian women become part of the french trading community that has indians living in that community. others simply disappear and become part of the indigenous society. it is difficult to trace them. they often do not appear in baptismal registers.
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the ones that tend to become linguistically skilled become translators, being mediators, those become listed in baptismal registers. host: i understand george washington figures in the story. professor sleeper-smith: yes, he does. by the mid-18th century, the fur trade in the ohio river valley had become very prosperous. it was evident in indian dress. it also had an incredibly large population. so, you would have places with 5,000 or 6,000 people. you might have miami town with 7,000 or 8,000 people. you might have places near the river and you might have clusters of shawnee, delaware villages there who have 3,000 or
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4,000 people. what becomes incredibly apparent is when washington comes into power and you have a new constitution that payment of the debt -- in other words, hamilton creates the national debt -- to pay off the debt, you have to have access to indian lands. in order to obtain indian lands, you have to negotiate those lands in treaties. north of the ohio river valley, indians will not come to the treaty table. they do not have much intention of moving. they do not have much intention of giving away their lands or trading them for goods. so for washington during that first administration when the nation has a very large debt, it is linked to land sales.
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if indians will not come to the treaty table, you have to do something about that. washington initially sends in one of the first generals in the u.s. army. he is defeated at miamitown by a very early northwestern panindian confederacy. that completely and periods -- that infuriates george washington that he orders the kentucky militia to lead a raid against agrarian villages in the wabash river valley and that raid results in the united states capturing initially about 50 women and children. a second raid of another 41 women and children. those women and children are
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then held at fort washington, which is today cincinnati until the indians will come to the treaty table to negotiate away their land. so there is violence and force that comes in and in many ways disrupts these communities. harmer that comes in with washington's express orders, charles scott who comes in with the kentucky militia, these people burn indian towns and you read those reports and they are describing those villages. people who "lived in a state of civilization," who live in log cabins, whose cornfields stretch for miles along the river. it's a very different view of indian society than we normally have. host: one last question for you. was this essentially the end of
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the fur trade? professor sleeper-smith: no, the fur trade goes on. it allows the indians to persist in the ohio river valley until late into the 19th century. it transforms from what was originally a european-based fur trade to a fur trade that switches from the peltry of beaver and otter and these type of animals to a black raccoon trade. that is one reason why the miami remained and able to persist. there continued to be a market for furs. host: thank you very much. professor sleeper-smith: you're welcome. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website history.
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road to theifacts, white house, lectures and history and more at >> each week american history brings youamerica" archival films that provide context for today's public affairs issues. ♪ [video clip] ronald reagan: it is morning, 20 miles from the enemy. these are american boys going to work.
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the morning fighter patrol. they're flying over italy, and there are others like them flying over burma, over holland, over china and over germany. in search of the enemy. bady planes, the odds are this morning, nearly three to one. the routine morning patrol goes out. they close the range, 3500 feet, 2000.2500, the odds are still three to one. -[gunfire] nazis spinning down in blood inflamed to every one of ours. - blood and flame. routine morning patrol.
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they're good planes, wonderful planes and their pilots are good, too. listen. >> yesterday i fulfilled one of my ambitions as a combat pilot. i got one airplane. ronald reagan: an american far from home fighting a war around the world. listen again. >> this is my leader. came on my right. i turned right and put up a stone wall of bullets. ronald reagan: a wall of bullets. these men so long ago were students in a university, workmen in a shipyard, just plain citizens from everywhere, u.s.a. they change jobs, they changed clothes. they took a train into the future. they did not know what the future would be, but many hoped they would get the chance to fly and fight any ai -- in the air. some wanted that chance more than anything in the world.
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deep inside alabama is a famous school called the tuskegee institute. it was founded on july 4, 1881, and since that independence day, it has graduated many thousands into agriculture, into scinence, into industry. this school was the first of its kind, and its founder booker t. washington was a pioneer who broke open a road for others to follow. this man had a drink ieam. and the dream became stone. of ignorance veil and pointed the way to progress through education and industry. thee to this school, united states government determined to build an airfield. three years ago, this is just another farm in alabama. more than tre had to be cleared awaye. there was misunderstanding and distress and prejudice to be
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cleared away. -- and distrust. three years ago, there was an only an idea but ideas are powerful things, and today, there are fighter planes flying overhead. instead of swamp and yellow pine, there hangars, repair shops, barracks. instead of corn, concrete flight strips. but that's not enough. you can't make a fighter squadron out of concrete and aluminum and a can of paint. it takes men. a chemistry student, a welder, a shoe salesman must learn how to fly. a group of average americans must become a team of fighting men with wings. ♪ there is a new world of here, a man has to learn his way around. it takes many weeks of learning to make a fighter pilot. that learning is
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done in a hard, wooden chair. fighter prelate is a, nation mathematician and an athlete, a scientist and a sharpshooter. he's got to know what goes on inside his plane. the heart of this fighter is steel and copper, but its brain is the man who flies it. he begins in a safe, slow plane, two wings instead of one. but he flies many hours inside a closed room. in the morning, he may be flying a prescribed course over a sheet of paper. in the afternoon, he may fly the same course above the clouds. his muscles down here very close to the ground, but he'll use the same sense of balance and coordination in the skies above tuskegee.
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for this job of flying is never easy, and sometimes it is very, very tough. but he's learning how high and how fast and how far he must go to reach the enemy. dead reckoning, theory of flight, radio code. yes, he's getting muscles in his mind. he is getting hard, keen, quick. clear.ming into the the warm, familiar hills of alabama, these americans are learning to fly in tight combat formations they will use some day to hunt down the german and jap above his own cities. in in addition to fighter groups, a year ago this field began to train men for bombers. that, too, was a pioneer step.
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but one thing approved -- you cannot judge a man by the color of his eyes or the shape of his nose. on the flight strip, you judge a man by the way the flies. here is the answer to the propaganda japs and the nazis. here is the answer -- wings for this man. here is the answer. wings for these americans. squadron after squadron out of teske and flying p40's, then strikingly thunderbolts, p- 47's, then p-51's. no, it was never easy for these men. they were pioneers and no pioneer has it easy. they fought lies, they fought heartbreak and they won. nhow the -- now they fight the
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enemy on his own soil. [gunfire] they fought the enemy not without loss. out of the first class to graduate three years ago, only a handful are left alive. so that liberty might not perish from the earth. ♪ three years have passed since the founding of tuskegee airfield. 750 pilots have been trained, 50% have been in comment, and this is only the beginning. listen to major general butler at the celebration of this third anniversary. >> for the first time, negro aviation cadets were being groomed to fly a unit -- the 99th squadron. these men were pioneers of a venture so new that two stand
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before me know after three years e considerb forerunners in a movement that has given you a place in the fighting men of the sky. ronald reagan: under the feet of these men, a new road is being foren out, broad enough thousands and 10,000. these men remember that, marching or flying. they remember backing them up, their families, their friends who expect so much of them. and backing them up, the men and women of every creed and speech and color who made these claims. and backing them up, the most powerful force in the world -- the strength of the american people. ♪ >> each week until the 2016
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elections, wrote to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. next, dwight eisenhower accepts his presidential nomination at the 1952 republican national convention in chicago. in his speech, the former nato supreme allied commander promises to lead a great crusade to put a republican in the white house for the first time in 20 years. he also describes democrats as being wasteful, arrogant and corrupt after so many years in power. general eisenhower defeated democratic nominee adlai stevenson in the 1952 general election. this is about 15 minutes. ♪


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