Paul Frymer, Professor of Politics at Princeton University, provided a visual narrative of the mass displacement enacted through the 19th Century as a result of the federal government's use of land policy to control territory and establish states during a December 1 talk at UC Berkeley as part of the Haas Institute's Research to Impact series.
Drawing from his most recent book, Building an American Empire: The Era of Territorial and Political Expansion, Frymer punctuated his story of American westward expansion with points on the decisive role of land use policy, and racial engineering, in order to actualize America as a white settlement colony.
With a series of historical maps, Frymer walked the audience through a 19th century depiction of the expansion, settlement, and empire building agenda of the United States, where reality was constructed through a logic-defying manipulation of race categories and land distribution practice.
According to Frymer, maps provided a “distorted, flattened sense of reality” that illustrated the tension between America’s declaration of sovereignty, its violent removal of indigenous people, and the actual scope of its land settlement.
The constant confrontation of people, and large unsecure territorial peripheries, produced an uneven settlement process that was intermediated by the politics of racial domestic conflict, and the limited capacity of the nation to carry out its goals.
The solution for the federal government, according to Frymer, was land settlement policy. Through land ordinances and preemption acts—like the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 and Homestead Act of 1862—settlement provided an effective policy mechanism to secure, overwhelm, and engineer demographics.
With its limited military and abundant land, Frymer argued that the federal government used land policy as a less transparent way to transform places, while making conflict less apparent. This strategy, he contended, was useful for enacting security, order, and racial formation.
In today’s political landscape, where displacement continues to be legitimized through policy, Frymer’s analysis is particularly relevant. Acknowledging the current implications of this 19th century story, Frymer shared two personal experiences that exemplify the pervasive, and at times insidious, effect of land policy: bearing witness to gentrification and the displacement of people and culture while attempting to rent an apartment in the San Francisco Mission District; and, recalling a trip to Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, where an armed Israeli serving as a "tour guide" asserted that there was no need for war with Palestinians to control their land, as he believed Israel could simply buy it.
In his examples from the past and present, the acquisition of property, made possible through policy, is a “seamless process” that simultaneously conceals, obfuscates, and produces conflict. Frymer poignantly ended his talk by underscoring the implication of the history of land use policy under the Trump administration, where white populism drives a familiar policy agenda, and reminds us just how much we diminish its centrality to our national history.
Paul Frymer is professor of Politics and Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His research and teaching interests are broadly in American politics, law, race, labor, and historical-institutional development.
Taeku Lee: I'm thrilled to introduce our speaker for the HIFIS research to impact colloquium series. Today we have Paul Frymer, this is a homecoming of sorts. Paul is a professor of politics at Princeton University, and also director of their LAPA program, which is law and public affairs. One of the things that those of you should know about Paul, it's sort of a curio but an important curio is that in addition to a PhD, this says nothing about your sordid past. In addition to having a PhD, Paul also had a JD, but unlike a lot of people who have dual degrees, Paul actually took time off after having secured tenure at UC San Diego as a professor of political science to get a JD. I think, primarily out of intellectual interest or to credit him, so it's along the way. So he is a remarkable well suited scholar to address some of the issues that he's been addressing, and you can see the change in his intellectual outputs that are the product of his having gotten some legal training. Paul basically writes a book every decade or so that really changes the field and the way people think about issues. So I think your first book 'Uneasy Alliances', was that a 1999 copyright? So that really fundamentally changed the way a lot of us including myself thought about race and electoral competitions and the role of political parties. Then his second book, which has black and blue in the title, somewhere, is really changing the way that a lot of political scientists thought about how institutional racism really works, and the ways in which race and labor kind of intersect in important ways. And today, he's going to showcase his 2010's decade agenda-setting work. I'm referring to decades.
Paul Frymer: Oh yes I'm sorry.
Taeku Lee: So, that's something. Building an American Empire, the Era of Territorial and Political Expansion, which really is a story that makes an important, well, it makes many important points, but one important point that I get from thinking about this book is, you know, America's kind of westward expansion is not this story of heroic pioneers. I mean, that could be part of the story, but it's also importantly kind of an engineered outcome, which is the ways in which the US state used federal land policy essentially to try to promote this idea of the United States as a white settler nation, and that's part of what Paul's going to talk about today. So please give a warm welcome to Paul Frymer.
Paul Frymer: Thanks Taeku, that was really great. And, I'm honored to be here. Again, I'm not just a law graduate, but a graduate of here. Boalt Hall, if it's still called Boalt Hall, I think it is. So, I'm excited to be back, maybe. I know it wasn't Boalt Hall for a while, but I thought it was coming back. So I'm excited to be here. This book is pretty hot off the press, 2017, a few months ago, and so, I'm going to talk about the big themes of the book and I'm going to talk a bit as well about a sub theme of the book, issues of deportation, which as we'll see are kind of a side part, but not necessarily ... Well an interesting side part of a story. So I'm going to walk you through, what you're going to see is a lot of maps. And, some of these maps, like this one, are probably familiar. Others will be versions of familiarity, but with some skewing and some difference. The book itself is broadly about American expansion. The book itself is also, like my other books, broadly about institutions and the way in which institutions situate and construct and establish realities, especially in the context of race, racial formation, racial diversity, the way that institutions are able to maneuver and manipulate difference categories. Categories that are all, as we know, any of us who are scholars of race, are constructed categories, artificial categories that defy any specific rational logic. So I look at how these institutions participate in the development of new racial categories, and one of the exciting things about American expansion, as I'll talk about, is that this was a constant process.
At every moment in the process of expansion, expansion involves a confrontation with new peoples, always. And at every confrontation, whether those new peoples were from Spain, whether those new peoples were from Cuba, whether they were from Africa, whether they were indigenous, all of these involved new conversations, that's a nice word, also new often violence, often, sometimes real, meaningful engagement and defied a lot of logic. All sides, and it's important to realize this, all sides were dealing with this. Some sides had more power than others, and helped shape this in ways, more profoundly than others, but all sides were struggling with this. And there were models of racial superiority coming from all sides, that justified lots of different categories. Certain categories went out over other categories, and I emphasize the institutional piece of this to try to explain this. But, what's exciting about this period is that so much of this is up for grabs, and so much of this is being figured out and there's so many different paths that people think about and meaningfully struggle to try to take. So that's, I think a really fascinating part of the process, and one that we're going to lay out.Also, because we have some law people here, there's a law sub theme. I'm going to mention that a little bit, there's an interesting role that law plays, especially property law in courts. It's not going to be a primary, but keep it in the back of your head, it'll be there. And then I also thought, the last word of the book is trump, as in the president, not in something being trumped. And there is very much, there's a lot in this book that's in our modern vision. So I'm going to talk a bit about that in the end. Okay, so, this is just a nice quote from Tocqueville, if we go back to this map, obviously, this is a map we all knows, it's a map that's incredibly familiar, it is a map that shows a seemingly obvious trajectory from sea to shining sea. It is so familiar, it is so obvious, we probably didn't stare at it for very long, or maybe you were just waiting for me to finish talking and move to the next slide.
And Tocqueville sums up this sense of American exceptionalism. This was an easy process that American expansion moved seamlessly. There were not people here, arguable, there were not many soldiers, he's right about that, he's wrong about the number of people but he's right about the number of soldiers we had, very few. He's right about sort of the way that America continues to think about this early period, one that is easy, there are plenty of modern day scholars from around the country who make similar points. So, this is a theme. Now the map itself creates a false reality. It distorts, it truncates, it flattens what was actually a very complicated, a very diverse, a process that was full of a lot of data points. And without a clear sense, back to this one, not a clear sense of where we were going. Lots of people thought we were going down, a lot of people thought we were going up. A lot of people thought we were going well past the oceans in multiple directions. Thomas Jefferson in his famous argument about an empire of liberty, that was to the bottom of South America. Many people thought that the capital of the United States would be Rio. Many others thought Mexico City, many others, lots of other places. These were big arguments that were being discussed and debated. So, here's a sense as we walk through some maps of others ways in which this is distorted.This is the United States in 1790, this is county data. So, these are incorporated counties in the United States. It's based on the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which first established US borders, basically to the Mississippi River. Note right away a striking point. Number one, there's a sovereign reality, a declaration by the United States as to what the borders are, to the Mississippi River. Number two, there's a settlement reality, an incorporated reality that is not the same. The United States did not incorporate this territory in 1790, and as we're going to see as we walk through the maps, it's going to take an awfully long time to actually incorporate this territory. So right away, there's an interesting process between a declaration of sovereignty, which the United States signs with Great Britain, it has other European nations participate in. Does not include the people who live on the land, and then a second process, which is the removal of the populations who live on the land, or potentially the incorporation of those groups, and the actual settlement and incorporation of this land. I use county data as a way to show this. The counties incorporate into the United States and then we see this movement. Here's Georgia and Indian Territory in 1790. You see again the amount of incorporated land is quote small. This is why this will be such a point of huge contestation in decades to follow, but again, a really dramatic example.
Walking through just quickly, 1820, we still see movement, and I'm going to talk about the types of movement, but still, even with the Louisiana Purchase, a huge new swath of land that is now not incorporated, by and large the Louisiana Territory was not incorporated at all. Only the state of what would become Louisiana itself. 1830, 1840, again, you see this process of moving forward. We get to the Civil War in 1860, and we start to get from the war with Mexico, some movement on our Western borders, with a lot of space in between. Even when we get to 1900, I think there's still an interesting pattern here. We have three states that are the final three states in the incorporation of the 48 US states. New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, lots of reasons to say this is interesting. They're in the middle, right, they're not in the west, they're in the middle. New Mexico and Arizona are the longest standing territories in US history, Alaska I think is pretty much about the same, but these two were brought in just with the war of Mexico, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, are territories for over 60 years. At the same time of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, California comes in and is a territory for months. Texas comes in shorter, and it is not a territory, it was never a territory. So you have these two territories that stand out for over 60 years. You have Oklahoma, which is the residue, the final remains of what is Indian Territory. This is Indian Territory in 1840, the establishment of Indian Territory after the Trail of Tears and the removal of Native Americans, the United States establishes this massive territory. And it comes down to Oklahoma in 1900, and in these final years, this decade of the early 1900s we see this final process towards incorporation. A final map to lay the groundwork and then moving forward, well final of two maps, this is just is not terribly clear, but it gives you a sense, the US again had huge aspirations for other places that I talked about.
Here's some of the ones that were the most debated constantly. And maybe the most interesting here is this massive island right off the coast of Florida, Cuba. Which, from 1800 on, was assumed to be part of the United States. It was far too big, far too close to actually exist outside of the US territory. We tend to think of the beginning of the 20th century and the fights there over Cuba, this is a long standing issue going back to Thomas Jefferson, to George Washington, and others, and the belief that Cuba would be part of the United States. As we know, it never is, and there's a fascinating story related to that. Mexico as well, most thought all of Mexico, not just the territory acquired, the massive amount of territory acquired in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, would be incorporated into the US. So, I'm going to skip this map and move on. So here's the big story, and then I'll give you some examples. Expansion raised two problems, with two intermediaries, which I'll mention, and then a solution. And that's kind of the crux of a lot of the book. First, it's a constant confrontation of people, as I said. If you look back at that map of all of Mexico versus what the United States took, a good factoid to know, the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo took more than half of Mexico's existing land at that time. It took less than 1% of its population. That's a pretty striking amount, and that was known, that was talked about, that was discussed as part of that process. So the constant confrontation of people is constantly in everyone's minds. Again, as I said before, on all sides. That is a problem, because it was not seamless. Sometimes it was, sometimes even in surprising ways it was seamless, or fairly seamless. But often it wasn't.
There were also constantly large exposed and unsecured territorial peripheries. And the United States worried about these constantly, and tried to figure out ways to deal with them. The intermediaries, domestic racial politics. The United States had a very complicated, well at some levels, you could say a very obvious struggle as we know in the sense of slavery, abolitionism versus the potential maintenance of the slave trade and industry in the south. But also very complicated racial politics, which was figuring out who was white, that included large populations of Germans, Irish, other immigrant groups that were coming to the United States. Secondly, trying to determine what types of diversity the United States wanted, and how it would handle such diversity. An argument that I make in the book, I can come back to it, is that if you look for the driving agent of diversity in the United States, the answer is clearly the South. It's not for diversity reasons, it is for diversity reasons in the sense that it's labor, and the desire to maintain a diversified work force. We're using a positive word, diversity, in an obviously negative context. But they were the chief drivers of this diversity. They wanted far more diversity, they wanted Cuba, they wanted most of South America, they embraced people of color. They embraced people of color because they had a hierarchical, violent form of oppression that would handle it.
The North, in opposition, did not embrace diversity. It embraced, to a certain degree, a liberal individualism that counters the South, and is important. But it didn't embrace diversity, and time and time again, the North looked to avoid going to places like Cuba, not just because of a continuation of the slave trade, but because it did not want populations joining the United States that it felt could not be incorporated within their model. And so one of the things I say towards the end of the book, if the South had won some of these fights, we'd probably look today a lot more like Brazil, and if the North had won we'd probably look today lot more like Canada with post 1970, 1980s immigration, but otherwise a pretty strong white settler state. So this was an interesting battle, and it's going to quickly, as you might imagine, defy our obvious contours of how this is going to work its way out. You get some really surprising and interesting roles here. And then there's going to be a very, because I'm interested in institutions, a varying capacity of a nation to carry out its goals. Can the government do this? This is a huge project that we're going to talk about, whether it's settlement, or whether it's deportation, they're both huge. And a government often struggles mightily to do this. What I argue is that it does better with settlement than it does with deportation. It struggles with deportation, fails at deportation a lot of times. Deportation, Indian removal, black colonization, those are the two biggest areas that I look at in the book, they're failures, failures, quote, they are horrific. And especially Indian removal, which leads to, which is a genocide.
But it is a failure on the part of the government. They saw it as a failure, they saw it as a complete and utter crisis that brings down a government that destroys a period of really otherwise prosperity. It's a really destructive moment in US history, and it weighs on the US as they go forward. They know the destructiveness of their own abilities. Again, it is also a genocide, and it accomplishes in a horrible way its goals, with lots of quotes here. But it is that. Okay, so the solution that I focus on is this land policy or settlement policy. Land policy is used to settle territory, and they do this in ways that secure, overwhelm, engineer demographics. And a lot of the examples are boring pieces of legislation you've maybe heard of or maybe not. But actually have huge consequences. Land ordinances in the 1780s, preemption acts, that are dealing with the turnover of land in the 1820s, 1830s. Maybe most famously the Homestead Act, which is really an act of racial engineering, a profound act of racial engineering that we just don't think of in the manner that it takes place. So that's the solution to this, an attempt to deal with these problems and come up with something different. Alright, so let me, I have some method here, but you don't care. So I'm going to skip to why land policy? Actually this one. And then move into some examples. So first, just in case you're skeptical of land policy, land policy was everywhere at this time, because there was tons of land. The United States, as you saw from those early slides, I'll show you some of those early slides again, more than half the United States was open territory. What did the United States have, if you think back to the constitution and the weakness of the US government in this time period? What was the one thing that US government had control over? Land. Open land.
It didn't have much control over militaries, it didn't have much control over budgets, they didn't have much control, almost no regulatory policy of any kind. Most policy making was in the states. But everything outside of those states, anything unincorporated, was federal territory. And federal territory was controlled by the federal government. And so they controlled this land process. All of the land that we're going to talk about, the government owns it, only the government is allowed to buy it from those who are living on it, mostly Native Americans and some other populations. Only the government is allowed to then distribute the land. So that's a huge monopoly that the government has, and it gives the government a really powerful role to structure this process. So that's why land policy, and of course, as you could imagine, in a time of you know, lots of greed and lots of corruption and people trying to make millions and billions of dollars, maybe not billions back then, but millions, hundreds of thousands, in a Dr. Evil kind of way. You know, people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Henry Clay, they were all making lots of money on this process. This was big stuff, this was the arguments of the day. So, this is an essential piece, even if it's not something that rises to the front of our brains immediately. It's also, there's a principle of private property, John Locke hovers over this. It's not accidental coming from a British Lockean system that land would be such a sustained piece of colonialism, the taking of land. But again, it's an incredibly powerful point. And I made this point about the US declaring ownership.
It's also, land was a site of collective action. You might think back, Fletcher v. Peck, the Yazoo land scandal, this land had the potential to be completely disastrous, because often 15 people said they owned it from 14 different countries, from you know ... It was just completely out of control, there was lots of land speculation. Yazoo, which was really the size of what, Mississippi, Alabama, even bigger than that, a huge piece of land. This stuff was potentially out of control, and there were way too many sellers, way too many buyers, and it was constantly potential for war, because people were taking land that wasn't theirs, that was of other places. And I'll say here too, as we give ourselves the scope, it's important to remind ourselves, we're not in 2017. In the 1820s, or even in the 1850s, Mexico is the Spanish empire. And the US is not clear, the US is still kind of getting started. So, when this threat of war is coming up, we can't think about it from today, like oh these places, we were able to win all this. These were real threats, and these were threats with the Cherokees who had by far the upper ground in most of these fights in the South early on. These were really meaningful fights that the government really worried about, and so we need to remind ourselves of this earlier period, and not just assume, oh of course, this is all going to happen. The US came not as the hegemon, it became a hegemon, but it doesn't start that way. And a final thing about land policy, you know, land policy constantly enables violent takings with less apparent conflict. It settles the land, and it does so by removing people in parcels, and through court decisions, and through decisions by the general land office, and the Department of Interior. It is less a transparent violation of American national liberal ideals.
This is why when I say that Indian removal was such a striking controversy, Indian removal, at its core, drove America apart, whereas Indian removal that was going on just prior to the violent pushing, and putting people in stockades and violently leading them off the land, one year before that, it was totally fine. In the same way that taking over the mission, where I used to live, is totally fine, as long as we don't know about it. But going in with ICE or other groups and violently taking people out and removing them from their homes, suddenly now we have a new issue. So, land policy is a great way in the mission, in the neighborhoods that surround us, is a great way to transform places, to remove populations, to resettle populations in a way that doesn't create the kind of conflicts, obviously there's a low level of conflict in places like Berkeley exhibit this, but not the kind of conflicts that we see of the actual massive removal of a population, and that's quite different. Okay, so, I'm going to focus on two examples of how this land policy is used. The first is security and order, and the second is racial formation. First, quickly, security and order, I'll just walk you through again, some of these maps that we've seen, just to give you an example of it. So, early on, the US is doing a number of things with land policy. It's establishing boundaries, and one of the fascinating things here, maybe a little bit weedy for our talk, but you know, it's still interesting to note, is the US is always very aware that it's weak, and it doesn't have a lot of power.
And so what they do with land policy, very early on, is they slow it down. They spend a lot of their early years trying to go very slowly, or stopping. One thing, in the ingeniousness of US land policy is they don't over extend. There's a lot of land, and overextension leads to problems. Fast forward to Mexico, big problem Mexico had is it had a lot of isolated pieces of territory that it couldn't secure. They were way too far away from where the populations were. And the US was very good throughout the early decades of being aware they can't go too far, and so they constantly shut down the movement of populations. The British started this, 1763, this was the Proclamation of 1763, they drew this line. And you know, you probably would say, oh, everyone was running across the lines.' Sorta. People were running across the lines, and we'll see where they were running. But again, the British, like the US after, they controlled this land. And so even if people sat on it, and claimed it for themselves, they didn't own it. And they were often removed and they were often, as we'll see with the county data, it's meaningful. They are held back throughout this process. Here is the United State in 1775, 1776. You see, populations stayed within these territories. Here's the US in 1790, here's the Proclamation of 1763, pretty close fit. One obvious exception is Kentucky. Here is the place where you see the United States move forward. Part of that is geographical, there's a gap, right, that allows people to get through. Part of it is Native American nations are here and they are here, but they were historically not here, so there was an opportunity to move into this territory.
And Kentucky is an interesting you know, it's an interesting own story of how this develops. But by and large, this is creeping, this is not a rush. And that is a representation of the United States maintaining this line and not allowing populations to move forward. So there's an awareness of state weakness and awareness of these divisions, and we've seen this slide as well before, involving Georgia. As I said, in this context, the United States didn't have much else to do this, they proclaimed this, they declared this. But they didn't have militaries to enforce it, they didn't have a big bureaucracy, there wasn't a lot there. They used the power of land property rights and land policy to do this, by denying people property rights. And if you look at the archives during this time, what you see is just constant people asking for land, they're staying, they're living on it or they're trying to live on it, in despairing ways, and they're asking for the land, and repeatedly, only in about the 1830s did the US start saying yes, throughout this they say no. And they kick people off their land. Some stay there and they try to hold on, but most don't do well, they don't thrive, there isn't a lot of movement. The land ordinances of the 1780s start to distribute this land and figure out ways to do it. They use surveys, another really boring thing, but surveys are incredibly important. All land had to be surveyed. What did that mean? You needed a federal official to get out there and do a survey, draw it into a square. And, they didn't get there very fast. And so most of America waited to be surveyed.
It took a very long time, it was a form of government control, and where did the surveyors go? Where the government wanted them to go. They went slowly and they went to specific places, and they moved very carefully in going forward. I'll say another thing about the survey, and the rectangular system in general, San Francisco a great example of a rectangular system. The rectangular system ignores hills, it ignores lakes, it ignores any kind of on the ground geography, it just draws squares. And the reason they do that is compactness, they want not just the land to look nice, but they want people to be compact. Keep everybody close. Move by square by square by square. The federal government won this battle, the South had a very different land policy during this time, which was go out and claim it. It wasn't working, and the federal government instituted this model. So condense instead of disperse, that's the secretary of state at the time. Thomas Jefferson, we're going to be full on this side, and once we multiply, we will advance compactly, he says this when the United States is given the Louisiana Purchase. His first reaction to the Louisiana Purchase is, we're shutting it down. That's for another period. In fact, he thinks it's going to go to Native Americans. We're going to focus on getting to the Mississippi, and we're going to move slowly and compactly. And these maps that I've shown you before, this is exemplary of this. Pretty compact, slow movement. 1820, 1830, 1840, we're going slowly, we're not racing across the country, even though our national map is going to start racing, the process of settlement is moving quite slow.
We also avoid wars. Again because we have small militaries. So we focus on land purchases. That's an example of small militaries. This is an example of land purchases, huge takes, we try to buy land, and this is through the federal government, and we try to do this meaningfully and kind of systematically over time. Again, as I said before, Indian removal as we know it really happens quite after the fact of it's already been taken. But there's a violence there that really shakes America up. And we get a lot of money from it. What we do instead of military fighting a war is we do a lot of what's called residence and defense. Here we settle the territory with soldiers. Those of you who are anti gun activists who want to argue that the 19th century was a time where guns were not allowed, shut your ears, because there were a lot of guns, and there was an idea that the settler defended the land, they defended the land for themselves, and they did so in this residence defense. Many of them were military bounties, so they agree that they fought wars for the US. 1812, Revolutionary War, they would then get land. Skipping ahead, I'll come right back. The bounties where they put them were always in the center of danger zones, they armed, they militarized these areas with citizens to fight battles. Ohio is basically a militarized state, it is established as a military bounty state because it is in the center zone of the fights with Tecumseh and the real big battles of what leads to the War of 1812, so right away, Ohio is a militarized state. Many others, lots of these danger zones, this is a constant way, put military, former military people, give them free land, with their guns to defend this territory.
This is an example of Ohio, entirely carved out by bounty land. The Northwest Ordinance is another piece of that. Again, by using settlement practices to slowly build up what was the, at the time, well there were two huge areas, the Southwest and the Northwest, but the Northwest, the design was again to mobilize around it and use citizens to slowly takeover this territory, to remove the threat of the Native American nations were offering. And then you get into things like that come a little later, like The Armed Occupation Act of 1842, skipping back ahead over these things. So, what Indian removal in the 1820s, sorry 1830s, a new threat arises. Native Americans were sent to the same place across the Mississippi River, Oklahoma in Indian Territory. But in so doing, a big part of the strategy of settlement was you scatter your enemies and you compact those who you are supporting. Indian removal actually made a very compact Native American nation. Not a nation that themselves saw each other as allies, as a classic example of colonialism. It was taking populations and putting them on top of each other that didn't agree with each other or like each other, and it leads in itself a whole other chapter, to huge consequences in the fighting that takes place there.
But certainly for the United States, this is a new threat. By 1840, you now have what the United States declared was 400, 500,000 people, they tend to assume like we do with the Middle East today, that all of those people are warriors, and ready to fight at a moment's notice. So certainly an exaggeration perhaps, but a belief that this was a real threat. Again, when you're dealing with the US Army of 20,000, and you're declaring there are 400,000 warriors poised to fight, these are real threats. Think again today in the post 9/11 era of what we constitute threats, and think of how these would be understood. So the US again uses land policy to try to thwart this. And what they do here is they, using compact survey systems, they try to rush people into specific spots. The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 was for Florida to deal with the Seminole War. The Vietnam of the 1830s. And the idea was, as some of these quotes give you a sense of, to mobilize populations with their guns, put them next to each other, and have them defend the territory. By giving out free land, you get a rush, a lot of people go there. You don't say free land to all of Florida, you say free land to this square. Everybody get in this square. And then we're going to go another square, and maybe we'll go one more. And that's what they do, they go square by square, and they flood the territory, and they overwhelm it. And this was a quite successful way of dealing with this in Florida.
They do the same in Oregon. New Mexico will be our last story, is a little less successful, and there's some interesting examples in the failures. But, the same ideas in Oregon, Washington, a rush to these areas. With Oregon, we're in the 1850s now, there's a little more willingness to move past the square and even just let people get out their and do their damage. But it's still the same idea, rush populations to get to take this land. So all of this is using land policy in different ways. Using land policy to settle this territory. Let me just turn to the second one, which is racial engineering. Racial engineering is going on this whole time. The word racism as I've ... Taeku or others I think is a 20th century word, so that gives you a sense of how these dynamics are being figured out. But certainly it's ever present throughout, from the beginning. There was a very clear sense of whiteness and what it meant. But racial engineering becomes a bigger theme later as the United States turns the tides in terms of security. By the 1850s, Mexico isn't the Spanish empire anymore, the United States is not a little 13 colonies, the United States is becoming a hegemon. Britain still is there, there are forces that are threatening, but now our biggest threats are coming from within, and so racial engineering becomes really the new constant theme of this period.
So again, it's a constant confrontation, and whiteness becomes a huge part of it. We don't need to decipher that slide, but what's actually interesting here, and I'll just, as I walk you through some of this, is how conscious the United States is in the 1850s especially, about being white. And it isn't just about the fight over slavery, that's a piece of it, of which sides are having. They are counting, starting in the 1850s, who's White, and by the definition of the 1850s, it's everyone who's from Europe. Wisconsin becomes a state with about 40% Germans, German citizens, who speak German. Imagine that today, something like that happening. Minnesota's another, it's pretty widely understood, there's fights, David Rodeger wages in whiteness, the urban level, over the Poles, over the Irish. That's at the local level. At the congressional level, whites are whites, and they're supported over and over and over in these land policies. And they're very conscious of it. They pay a lot of attention to it. Here's an example, here's a congressional vote where, this was a homestead bill in 1854, the Homestead Act doesn't pass until the 1860s, but this is an early homestead bill in 1854, and they walk through a number of amendments, and one of those was that the land would only be for whites. They specify it's only for whites.
Now the black, blackish color is voting yes. And I think what's interesting, to give you a sense of this map, one thing that's distorted is you don't get to see New York City, which is actually a lot of black votes. Black, color black votes, for white only land. When you do that map of abolitionism versus slavery, it's not the map we think. It's not North versus South. The desire for whiteness really is going quite high. These are scattered empty territories, a lot of them. And so really, if you're looking for places that are arguing that we shouldn't be a white only nation, it's New England, and it's a White only area. So, that's kind of your base. You have a little others, but this is by and large, it goes much higher, well into Ohio, well into New York, well into Pennsylvania, the Trump map in some ways, right. And it is quite conscious. So this was the fight over whites, and this is a pretty constant fight. The senate fight on this, I wouldn't show you a map because it was unanimous, they didn't even do a printed vote, because most of these are unanimous votes. I picked this one because they actually voted, so you got some who voted no, that it should be open for others. But again, not a big part of the territory.
So, you do get then the Homestead Act, and the creation of whiteness and the engineering of whiteness. The Homestead Act finally comes in 1862, and that's after the South leaves the Civil War. Fascinating, fascinating stuff about the Homestead Act that leads up to the Civil War, but that's for another day. And, the Homestead Act gives 160 acres of land, this land again is coming from territories, it's coming from Indian treaties. So this is all federal land and the government opens it up. What the Homestead Act doesn't do, is what this looks like. It doesn't just say, go West, the land is free, it's yours. No, it continues to distribute. All of this is going to be federal land, and it's going to be under the Homestead Act, but they open it up parcel by parcel by parcel. And, it's not that the West is free, they take their time. They pick for instance a very violent form of redefining communities or neighborhoods, of course that happens in South Dakota with the Sioux. Where the United States, again, is gentrifying basically, and leaves Sioux to huge bloodshed. But these are all part and parcels. And to give you a sense of that, here's just the amount of land, the way they put it. They tend to put it in the strategic zones. And so North Dakota and South Dakota, as I talk about in those years, was really critical. Washington and Oregon to a certain degree, I'm going to talk about Oklahoma as a focus here.
But again, it's parcelized. There's a fight over who counts. That's an interesting story, but again, more weedy details. I'll just say here really quickly, hopefully you're just getting kind of a sense of how complicated a lot of this is. There's no precise numbers as to who was white, who was Native American, and who was other. That's because a lot of these populations were hybrids, were mestizos, and people didn't know. So you have all sorts of numbers that are all over the place. Who counts, who doesn't, is a huge debate in itself, it's a really fascinating debate. You've got the federal government that keeps clamping down kind of the way the federal government does now, where they're really just, you know, a striking like, oh we know who whites are and almost nobody is in it. But you go out to these territories and the categories are much more, as we are today, much more in flux, much more fighting over these kind of things, and that's, you know, New Mexico and Oklahoma, these are really interesting places, because they are much more diverse and complicated than the federal government even saw them. So then, in these final territories, we have these three places, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. And again, Oklahoma as I said before comes from Indian territory, these are all the various removals that take Native Americans to Oklahoma and push it into this one specific spot. And so around the mid 1880s into the 1890s, Oklahoma becomes the place to be seized. Now, you know, it is in the middle, the United States has surrounded it and is going to go full force and take it over.
And this is, again, a story that if you watched the Republican convention in 2016, Ted Cruz talked about it. We went there with our guns and our courage, and I can't do a Ted Cruz imitation. But you know, we're in our wagons, we're racing out there, and we're taking land. The Okies, this is a great story. And I'll just say, there's lot of courageous people, nothing against the people involved in this. I mean, they're participants. I'm focusing on the federal government and what they're doing. But what's clear in this process, and these again the dark areas are examples of it, the US kept doing their squares, and they kept parsing them out piece by piece, and Oklahoma's a fascinating case. So if you know the football team, they're called the Sooners. A Sooner meant that if you got there too soon, you never had access to the land. So the government shot off a gun. And they said, go, race out and get to your land. But if you go two minutes too early, no matter where you get, you never have the land. It's the federal government controlling, regulating this land process. So it creates a rush. Everybody lines up, here's a square, go get it. And that's the land rush of Oklahoma. Oklahoma, through these squares, 1.1 million people went to Oklahoma in 10 years, 1.1 million people. It took a territory of again, depending on the counts, you know, hundreds of thousands of Native Americans, and turned it into a state of 1.4 or 1.5 million people in 10 years. A white state, a state that was a segregated state, a state that quickly implemented Jim Crow laws, and the like. That's an amazing act of racial engineering using the Homestead Act, and we don't talk about that, we don't think about that in that kind of light.
So then the final example is New Mexico and Arizona. And they fail in certain ways, and they're kind of interesting in their failures. They take a long time. And that's because here, the US struggles in New Mexico in ways it doesn't struggle elsewhere. I say New Mexico, Arizona is always hovering there. Arizona has always been Arizona, it's always been kind of a lot of retirees that always went there from very early on. It was warm and you see all these articles, it was good for their knees, people talking about that stuff even in the 1870s. And they were always the white people, and they said they were the Americans, and they wanted to be a state right away. So Arizona's always been Arizona. But New Mexico was always this place that, to this day, is one of the most diverse states in America. It has always been that way. This was the place where Mexico actually did incorporate populations. Texas was never incorporated, so it was always a state pretty empty and became overwhelmingly white very quickly. But New Mexico did not. It was also a place where Geronimo, I have Geronimo and Geronimo, there's only one Geronimo. Geronimo was Bin Laden, he was the 1880s, 1890s Bin Laden. He lived in the hills of New Mexico, Arizona / Afghanistan. He came out, he terrorized, and he hid, and we couldn't find him, and he scared America. And it was great for my book when Barack Obama decided to use Project Geronimo to attack Osama Bin Laden with Apache helicopters, in unfortunately not the hills of Afghanistan as it turned out, it's a suburb in the middle of Pakistan.
But, the parallels are immense. Geronimo in New Mexico, that was our territory that we were trying to conquer, and we struggled and we fought with Geronimo to try to get him. So New Mexico was constantly dangerous, it was difficult to settle. We left it empty, it was a population primarily of what we describe as people of color, whether Spanish, Mexican, other Latino, Native American, and it took a very long time to do. And this is the Comanches were another very powerful entity in this territory. But, it takes more than six decades, and there's a lot of stuff here, there's a lot of land litigation over the types of grants. The Spanish had already created the land, so you couldn't just put it in squares the way we did everywhere else. There were these huge grants of land, so they had to ... It just messes everything up. But also, by the end of the day, and it's so far a big point, it goes in the same way. We get to 1900, Arizona wants to declare itself a state, 95% of whom are Americans. Whatever that means. And these federal commissions start looking for white people, and they start sending them to New Mexico. And, there are these hundreds and hundreds of pages of, they go around New Mexico, and they say, are you white? What, who are you? What language do you speak? And all this kind of stuff. And they constantly declare, as you might imagine a senate committee, even today would do, that you have to find whites who they know it when they see them. Not like Oklahoma, but certainly about 200 or 300,000 people are moved to New Mexico to whiten the state, and then in 1912 it is declared a state that is available to be, it's okay. So this is all very conscious, there's no, I don't have to parse anything out, they're saying all this. In 1912 still, states need to be white and we need to find them, these places.
Okay, so let me then give you some quick discussion. The book, I use the word empire, I thought it was a good title, empires are putting men in their place. It's a land policy. But here's some discussions and implications. I'll skip this one a little bit, it's more of a poli-sci type of thing. But, it's a different form of policy making. And I won't tell you about Mexico now, but you know, kind of like going to here. It's kind of like deregulation, it's managed. It's not a form of like, I think if the US was stronger, it would've just bulldozed and deported everybody, that's what they wanted to do, they wanted to deport everybody. But they couldn't, and that's why the government kept coming back, you have a lot of pushback. Georgia is wanting deportation throughout. The North is wanting the deportation of, by 1860, 4.5 million African American and African people on the continent, deported to outside of the United States, somewhere. This was believed. We brought in two and a half million Irish in three years, four years. People can be moved. And they thought they could. So, if they could do it, they wanted to do it. They had huge ambitions. They started, Abraham Lincoln started the black colonization and deportation of it, it constantly failed and led to lots of deaths, it led to starvation, led to lots of crises, and so they constantly failed at it. So what they kept going back to, a little bit like today, we deregulate, we incentivize, we use things like land to kind of move people around, and we avoid the stronger nation building type stuff going back to our Bush years, because that doesn't work quite as well. Not quite as well, it doesn't work, it fails dramatically.
And so, this is the point that I was just making, these forced population movements are constantly struggles. It's going to be fascinating watching President Trump, obviously, working to get further in his goals of mass deportation. We already see the strains and we're likely to see more. And we now have a 21st century American nation state that is incredibly powerful. But we still see that when we try to push that, we struggle, like in places like Iraq, where when we ... repopulating New Orleans after the hurricane with lots of Starbucks and gentrified land zoning, that works a lot easier, and again, nobody complains. Occasional article in The Nation saying what's going on, but not the kind of attacks you see elsewhere. I said I'll say something about the courts, so I'll say it. This is a sub theme in the book. I actually started this book, this came out of law school here, and I'm interested in law and legal policy. I thought there'd be a lot more law. It tends, the federal government actually dominates this mostly through its land agencies. The courts are primarily opposed to what the federal government is doing. The courts are pretty Lockean. They believe in cultivation, they believe that people should be able to get the land for themselves if they follow the principles of property law. And so you get an interesting dynamic, the federal government is clamping down and saying no one's allowed to have this land, and all these people are going to state courts and local courts and saying, but I cultivated it and I improved the land. And the local courts are giving it to them. And that's where then the federal government is saying, but this is federal land. So you get these battles too, like in Tennessee and other places, what's federal, what's state, gets into the commerce clause, it gets into that. But it's an interesting dynamic, the courts are continually being much more pro settlers in a way that I think we've kind of overlooked. We tend to also, we focus on the Marshall court trilogy of cases, those are a footnote. They just get a lot of attention, but they come very late, and they're more declarations and worth reading with students, but they're not impactful in really any meaningful way during this time.
I've said a lot about gentrification. And you know, I think there's obviously ways we see this. I got this idea initially, two things happened to me in a single year. One was that I was getting an apartment in the Mission, and I saw all the people being moved out of the building as I moved in. And I actually didn't get the apartment, I was in line with a lot of people who looked like me. And the people who were moving out of the building, it was such a stark, obvious example of what is going on. The other was that I was in Israel in East Jerusalem, and my tour guide told us, as he held his gun, we don't need to fight a war here, we bought that house, we're buying that house over there, we bought the block over there, we're just taking it block by block. That was really when I first heard of it. I was like, wow, it's that, it's obviously not that simple, but that is the process behind it. It's everywhere today. And we can change the populations and change the categories, and we see the same things in so many different places, and how seamless it is. Seamless quote, unquote. So finally, Trump America. And so two things about all this. One is, you know, my publisher was saying, I should really push on the fact that we were really a pro immigrant nation in the 19th century, because we were. We were bringing in Europeans by the hundreds of thousands. We were open borders, totally true. But, that's not the full story. They were all white. There was a reason why we were pro immigration at the time. We weren't pro immigration in the way ... You know what I'm trying to say. This was always seen as a white settler project. And so today, even though it's cast in an anti immigration mode, it's still the same argument. Which is white populism of a white settler state. And that I think, brings this final point.
The scope of white populism in America is much bigger than we think of it. We tend to make these divides, like the Civil War, prior to the Civil War it was always slavery versus abolitionism. This was a white settler state that dominated all of this. And you know, the South had its own little category, again as I talked about before, about diversity. But that, a form of diversity. But everybody else, this was a white settler state, so we need to realize, I think as we do realize, and we ... Obviously a lot of smart people in this room doing work in this area, what President Trump is responding to is very recent, 50 years right, this is a new project that has tried to redefine America. It's much bigger, and we should actually appreciate what's happened post 1960s to redefine America. How dramatic and how huge a scope that is, and we're seeing the backlash to it. In some ways, it's surprising the backlash didn't lead to Trump, or maybe it did, say Reagan, some of that, before. But America is a white settler nation, and once we start to think of it that way, it puts our current context in a bit different light. Alright, thank you. Yeah sure, back there. Go ahead.
Speaker 3: Thank you so much, that was a really fascinating talk. You spoke a little bit about how the North did not embrace slaves. And then later, how New England had interestingly voted for diversity. Can you talk a little bit about New England's land policy and how it relates to race?
Paul Frymer: Yeah, so good question. So New England, first of all, is settled before all these land policies started. They're all states, I guess Maine comes in a little late, and Vermont. But in general, they already have their own land policies, there's no territories to be dealt with. New England is also the only ... In 1860, five states had voting rights for African Americans, and they were all from New England. There were no, very few African Americans there. There were then big battles in the 1860s, once the Civil War starts, and you have a huge flow of black migration, escaping the war, refugees, escaping the war. The governor of Massachusetts says no to refugees, Connecticut says no to refugees, so you put New England on the spot, and they don't deliver very well. But it is certainly true also, abolitionists come from New England, they are an incredibly courageous, meaningful crowd. They're not very big, and they turn over an incredible amount of American history, that is not to be denied in any way. And so New England is a complicated, interesting story on its own, but you know, it's complicated. It's one of the good areas, but it's still complicated. Yes?
Speaker 4: This is great, I can't wait to read the book. So, two questions, one kind of small and one big and one bigger. Can you put that map up of counties in 1900? So, what happened to change the scale of counties in America? Because as you look how small they are, often until you get to the Rockies or something, then they decide let's go for much bigger units. Is there a story there? Is that a federal project, or a change in the federal project? The other question is, I guess, why is there still so much federal land, and why is it still so racially charged? I met William Bundy, the Bundy's, in the 1850s like stand there.
Paul Frymer: Yeah, the first story, and this is something that gets lost in the talk, but it's part of the book about the strengthening of the American state. By the time they get over here, we are the hegemon, so they're less worried about all these tiny squares and the security of it, and the project up here, the Homestead Act does have another big agenda, which is the Republican party, to this day, creates all these states for Republicans. They do it as fast as they can to dominate Congress in the post Civil War years. So they make these states like North Dakota and South Dakota, would not have been created in the 1830s, they were just huge, empty areas just to be Republican states, and they're still Republican.
Speaker 4: Four senators right there.
Paul Frymer: Right four senators yeah. So they're making as many states as they can. The South tried to do this before the Civil War, they wanted Cuba to be four states. And so you had that kind of stuff, they lost. But because the South leaves the United States, not a good move, right. If you're ever coming back, you don't leave and let the other party just take over, because Republicans created that. You know, I mean the current sense of injustice, these populations believe this is their land, that they own this land, that they created this. They have no sense of what the role of the federal government is in helping them, all along. So they have this victimization and a belief that this has always been their land. And, you know, I have a quote from Ted Cruz in the final chapter, because he amplifies this victimization, this belief, first, that these people could do this without the government, because they couldn't. Which they knew, they kept saying to the government, we need your help. Not to be left along, they needed their help to like get the land. But they act then as if they're entitled and we can piece together all the ways why that fits a certain racialized, gendered victimization model in the post 2016 world. Yeah?
Speaker 5: Great discussion about settler nationalism and also the land policy. I had two related questions to get your thoughts on and how they fold into this dominant narrative. And one is around exclusion. So for example immigration exclusion in the form of the Chines Exclusion Act in 1882, or the National Origins Quota System, which isn't suspended until the Hard Seller Act of 1965. And the other part of this is thinking about, so there's exclusion is one thing. The other part of it is, how do you account for, with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, this notion that Mexicans residing in that territory, I believe it's something like who within a year don't elect to reaffirm their citizenship as Mexicans, become and acquire the rights and privileges of white citizens.
Paul Frymer: Right yeah, both good questions. The first, I should say, Chinese exclusion and a lot of the policies of the late 19th century are for a methodological reason not a part of my book. The methodological reason is to make sense of all this, what I did as a political scientist was I looked at the incorporation of states, and then I stopped. So I stopped at Texas when they become a state, I stopped California, which would be the place you know, once it becomes a state. So then you have these interesting policies that are going on, and I talk about them a bit, but they're not generating the same goal of incorporation quite the same way. But obviously the exclusion policies are very much a part of this threat to whiteness, threat to the white populist state out on the West coast, after all these populations thought that they could rush there and then try to exclude those who would participate with them. Most of which were populations that pre dated them or were coming at the same time. So that's a big part of the story, that's why it's a little bit less accentuated in the book, but it's there. So the same question about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is, you're right, the United States offers citizenship. And so right away, you have, I mean, this gets lost in today's talk, I think it comes out more in the book. When you give it in a talk, it becomes this again, like a very strong like, well the racial order is a white order that dominates and is completely focused on this domination. The reality is it's messier, and throughout all this process, it goes back to, even in the 1820s, you know, Cherokees are being given rights to become citizens too, and some African free slaves are becoming citizens. It's a much more scattered process. Like today, it's just a messier thing on the ground. And in New Mexico at the time, these populations were fairly small, fifty or 60,000 people, and it was thought that this was okay. They drew the line here because they didn't want these populations down here to join them. They were okay with these scattered populations. Some of these populations that were saying they were white, all along, they were Spanish and they'd never been part of anything else. But that's I think part of why they did that.
What was interesting is that, despite that, they still don't incorporate it as a state, they still wait for a more clearer version of who is white to enter in. Maybe a modern day example of that is Puerto Rico, right. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and they have been, but they don't have statehood. And that's again, I think a sense of, well Puerto Ricans can be, you know, if they're living in boroughs of New York City, they can be handled, we can handle a certain amount of diversity. But when they are a state, suddenly they are a dominant population. In the very final chapter, I try to get the book out, but in the very final chapter I talk about Hawaii, because Hawaii is a state, again a very diverse state, it has a lot of the same struggles, it takes a very long time to become a state for these same reasons. And there, with Hawaii and with some international politics, they rush it a little bit. The Senate or Congress is saying, when Hawaii becomes a state, that it's about 40% white, not as much as they wanted, but it was enough, they thought, to be okay to be a state. And now we're dealing with the middle of the 20th century, and they're still talking very dramatically in these terms of how many whites and whether these whites are in control. Every state has its own specific features, but that's part of that story. Alright, here, and then in the back, I'll get Jacob, yeah go ahead.
Speaker 6: So, I was actually, I'm also really interested in thinking about the relationship of immigration to settler colonialism, and these different narratives and what serves as an alibi to what. But you actually had a slide where you mentioned something you didn't say verbally, which was about the Homestead Act, and immigrants who had declared their intent to naturalize, being able to participate in homesteading. So I just was wondering if you knew statistically of everybody who participated in that project, what percentage of people actually were non citizens who were homesteading. And then the second thing was, gender, and thinking about the key role of reproduction to this settler project if you could speak to that.
Paul Frymer: I think the last time we saw each other was like at a Devon Carbado talk or something.
Speaker 6: I was thinking, at least I think-
Paul Frymer: Yeah, San Diego.
Speaker 6: 2001 or 2002. Hi Paul. I'm glad you remember me.
Paul Frymer: I didn't see you, no I didn't see you in there, but I hope we get to talk about other stuff after. So first, the populations of non citizens that were a part of the ... So what I know more is, there was, early on a push among African Americans to claim land, and that was largely unsuccessful. Oklahoma was a place where African Americans went, and they got caught up in the Jim Crow politics and were not able to have opportunities. I don't know, again, methodologically, because I was looking at Oklahoma and New Mexico, the place that would be interesting for your question would be where especially Asian immigrants are coming, and how much they're using homesteading to gather land. As we know, Asian immigrants acquire an immense amount of land in California, that they lose in the 20th century. But, so I don't have an answer to that, that's actually a good question. Again because California was already a state, I wasn't looking at California specifically.
Speaker 6: You have to match it up temperly with the racial descriptions on naturalization.
Paul Frymer: Yeah, that's right.
Speaker 6: Probably to do that with European immigrants.
Paul Frymer: So European immigrants, sorry, for that part of the story, what the homestead acts said, you did not have to be an American citizen to have land. You had to be able to become an American citizen. So, yes, so Europeans, much of this land is European. I thought you were asking about non Europeans. Yeah, Europeans, they flood this land in all areas. And that's again, just some of the amazing you know, opportunities we provide for non American citizens. It's striking here too to say like, I remember when I was in high school, we all do right, about the 40 acres and a mule, right, after the Civil War. And I'm ashamed to say that in high school, I felt like, well 40 acres, that's a lot of land. I mean, I lived on a little tiny suburban tract in San Jose, so forgive me for thinking that. But yeah, 40 acres seems pretty ambitious, no wonder it didn't work. But then, you read this, like this was 160 acres, being given to everybody, most of them were not even American citizens, and the couldn't do 40 acres, I mean, of land that was available. So obviously it just becomes a much more atrocious story in a context where I have learned something, to say. But, you know, that fact. So, was there another one back there? Yes.
Speaker 7: I had a question as it relates to like the struggles for incorporating and statehood. And you talk a lot about like the challenges at the level of the federal government in terms of like not having a strong enough military or like strong enough reach. But I was wondering if you, across your research, found anything about resistance to statehood, like from people who were there rather than like as far as like the federal-
Paul Frymer: Who didn't want to become parts of the states?
Speaker 7: Yeah, for various reasons or like as it relates to like indigenous nations, and you know, and their resistance to incorporation, things like that.
Paul Frymer: Yeah, absolutely. Native Americans wanted to create the state of Sequoia to rival Oklahoma, it would be two states, that failed. Lots of places wanted their own states, the state of Franklin early on, would've been, actually I think the state of Franklin might even have been its own country. If we go back into the early 19th century, a lot of these places wanted their own countries. Being an American wasn't quite all that it was up to be now. And so, a lot of people had their own deals. Stephen F. Austin joined Spain and Mexico and tried to create his own state that would be his. So there was a lot of resistance, a lot of people didn't want to be part ... Not a lot, but there were people that didn't want to be part of the US, that resisted being a part of it. Arizona for a long time did not want to be part of the US because they thought they'd be part of New Mexico, and they didn't want to be a diverse territory, so Arizonans fought to stay a territory as opposed to becoming a state until they thought they could be themselves, and then live freely. Did you have another question that I didn't get to? Sorry?
Speaker 6: Gender and reproduction.
Paul Frymer: Yeah, so that is also a sub theme, and I know you probably know the articles. There is an engineering of moving women to the West. Again, on the ground, there's a lot of intersex and intermarriage, and the federal government and the East coast is very afraid of this. And so, there's a famous article that I'm going to forget, a Larve article about the movement of women from Boston to Oregon, White women, to create these territories. White women are, throughout this period, first they're given land, even in places where they don't have voting rights and they don't have other types of citizenship rights. And, because they're seen as, you know, civilizers, not just civilizers of the territory, but civilizers of the men, and maintaining an American racial order. So, women, I mean, it's a huge other story that is part of this process. But it's a fascinating one that drives it. Yes?
Taeku Lee: Yeah, this touches a little bit on your answer to the Letty's question, but there's this kind of a who done it or what done it question lurking in the background of your narrative, as I hear it. Which is, in the contrast between the United States of the mid to late 18th century, which is described well in that quote from Thomas Jefferson that we're a new state, we've got a ton of land, that's about all we have, and no kind of state capacity to really avail ourselves of this resource and we're going to wait for our population to multiply, and then incrementally avail ourselves of this resource. To 100 years later, where you've got this America as a White settler nation story, where immigration comes in, in part immigration from Europe comes in in part to help do the work of populating these territories. And the question is, is this a story of historical accident, where the US happened to have kind of open borders like policy? And, you know, the supply of migrants to the United States happened to be peoples that were describable as White, and therefore eligible for citizenship, that came from Europe. Or was there some design to you know, you could think of ...If you think of the US as a hegemon in some ways over these territories, you could think of somebody being able to say, we can't do this quickly enough with waiting for reproduction, even though you have these provisos to try to resettle women to do that reproductive work of state building, and so we've got to tweak our immigration policies in a way. So was it an historical accident story or is there some engineering there as well?
Paul Frymer: I'm sure there's a certain historical accident that's going to participate in it, you have a lot of Europeans who want to come to the United States, the Irish famine, things like that are precipitating it. But, had there been, and no doubt, a famine in the Philippines, it wouldn't have been allowed in. So, that part is not an accident.
Going back to Thomas Jefferson, it was always a White settler nation that was going to happen, and they were going to bring in Europeans. There's a lot of talk from the 1770s to the 1880s about population numbers, how you create more White people. And again, it's White people. Go back to Ben Franklin and it's only those in England, German's were not White, and the French were not white. But the French were mixed. But it's a constant, it is a constant engineering, bringing White people to the United States. And again, as I said earlier, I don't have a David Roediger story of where you see this pushback in cities and places against White immigrants. At the federal government level, there's very little pushback, there is a constant celebration of whites. It goes really all the way to Eastern Europe, at least in the numbers that were coming. And it was to engineer this new government, or this new nation as a white nation. So it's complicated and there's going to be details in there, but it's not accidental, it's not just a happenstance of here are the populations that are available. To give it an alternative actually to that, Mexico, leading up to the war in the 1840s, Mexico's also trying to populate. And there's kind of this interesting moment early, and the US is involved in this too.
They're going out there and they're making these deals with different countries. If you bring us 20,000 people to put here and 10,000 people here, and a lot of it's really strategic, we have the Cree nation is right here, we need 10,000 people to be next to them to stop them. And so the US is doing that. Mexico does it in a much less European racialized way. There's a racial dominance to it, and Mexico is certainly racially dominant as well. But they were open to different populations coming from Asia in ways that the United States wasn't. The United States was never going over to China and looking for populations to move here. The same with post slavery Africa. Of which, there are some ... The United States does at times, coming from the South, wanting to create black African slave labor states basically. The move for the Dominican Republic to become a state in the early 1870s is the idea that it would be a black state, and that they would kind of move them out of white areas and create a black state. So there are these kind of ideas that are poking around. But in general, Mexico and in Brazil and other places, although I don't want to overstate this because they also tried to whiten all the way into the 1970s, 1980s. But they were more willing to look for populations from other areas of the world, and the United States wasn't. Not through any of this period. But it's a great question. Is there another? Oh yeah. Okay, last one, we've got one minute.
Speaker 8: So I'm pretty convinced of the US sort of innovates these more property based ways of shifting populations and land. And that sort of analogy, the gentrification is nice. And most of the argument is due to low state capacity and this sort of it engenders less backlash, than sort of state based ethnic cleansing. But, is there sort of an ideological component, it really seems to draw out this sort of free soil free labor ideology in the North in the early end of the slavery periods. I think about the Dawes Act and privatizing communal land. To what extent is it sort of a more ideological project rather than instrumental to the needs?
Paul Frymer: Yeah it's both. I mean, I focus on the instrumentality of it, but John Locke, you know, there's an ideological component of John Locke that is racialized, there's an ideological component of John Locke that is arguably not racialized. You have to parse out the two pieces. They're both real, the Dawes Act has a component that is, this is what puts Native Americans 160 acres in Oklahoma. There is an ideological piece that is no doubt sincere, that is drawn on Lockean ideas of cultivation and so forth. There's some sincerity to that, but it doesn't diminish the other piece of it. I think we can embrace those different sides, and still accentuate you know, what I'm trying to tell, which is this story of a political engineering in these different ways. But yeah, these stories are all complicated, and there are good people here and there are good people with blinders and whatever.
Speaker 8: Even if you believe that Republicanism, free labor, rights of freedom of contract, you can still be a terrible person, right?
Paul Frymer: You can still be a terrible person, but also, I'll say the final point, there's a reason why free soil, free labor fits in the US more than it does in some other places. Mexico debates a lot of these ideas, but they aren't quite as embraced, they're less Lockean and have different theories of property. And so it doesn't maybe take on as much. I'm less into kind of cultural ideology, but it's certainly there. And there's no doubt why Locke has an important piece of the US. Thank you.