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Building an American EmpireThe Era of Territorial and Political Expansion$
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Paul Frymer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691166056

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691166056.001.0001

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Homesteading and Manufacturing Whiteness

Homesteading and Manufacturing Whiteness

(p.128) Chapter 4 Homesteading and Manufacturing Whiteness
Building an American Empire

Paul Frymer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the incorporation of the territory first acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, particularly the states west of the Mississippi with the exception of the Southwest. It first considers the tensions in early land policy between those who wanted to use the land for profit and those who wanted to settle and cultivate it. These battles originated in Congress, in disputes over preemption and homesteading that engaged the idea that settlers ought to be allowed to have subsidized or free land if they settled and cultivated it in a manner beneficial to the growth of the nation. Once eastern settlements were incorporated as states, federal land policies began to change. The chapter also explores the rising tension between homesteading and slavery before concluding with an analysis of the consequence of the Homestead Act of 1862 for western settlement and for the continued manufacturing of whiteness, especially in Oklahoma.

Keywords:   homesteading, Louisiana Purchase, land, preemption, federal land policies, slavery, Homestead Act, settlement, whiteness, Oklahoma

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