COLIN CALLOWAY’S THE SHAWNEES AND THE WAR FOR AMERICA
In 1803 Ohio became a state, an event that 210 years later appears to have been an inevitable and irreversible accomplishment. No reasonable person, it seems, could question Ohio’sdestiny to be a firm, loyal state in the Union with a population today of 0.3% Native American and 81% white, non-Hispanic.
Do you find this sentiment of inevitability and irreversibility an accurate description of what happened in the years covered by Calloway? Or could Ohio have become something other than what it is today? Whichever answer you offer, explain by exploring the critical moment (or moments) that either tipped Ohio in its now familiar direction or pointed away to a possibility of a different Ohio. Why did the critical moment (s) you chose succeed or fail in creating lasting change?
THE STUDY GUIDE:
Consider these questions as a way to focus your reading and to develop material for your argument. The material you gather from answering these questions could easily cover far more than 5 pages so you will need to select the best evidence/examples from your notes to meet the 4-5 page requirement:
1) In 2003 Ohioans celebrated 200 years of statehood. Was that the right year to celebrate or does Calloway’s book offer us other dates for possible celebration? In other words, was Ohio’s place in the union sealed in 1803? If not, when could you say Ohio was more likely than not to be a permanent part of the U.S.? Before or after 1803? Explain.
2) From the time they took on the British to the time they took on the U.S., the Shawnees and other Native Americans resisted the encroachment of white settlers into the Ohio country. What strategies did they use? Which ones were the most successful? Least? Why?
3) List the number of countries that had interests in this region. Describe how they were involved and why.
4) Calloway argues that the struggle surrounding Ohio statehood was about whose vision of America would prevail (p. 175). So what were the alternative visions? Make a list of names, places, or events that relate to alternate visions of Ohio and describe what vision these people, places, or events offered. Did any particular alternative come close to succeeding? Why did it fail?
5) Make a list of important people Calloway discusses. Write a short paragraph summarizing who these people were, when they lived, and, generally, the actions they took and the beliefs they held. After that, summarize in a sentence or two why you think that person is important. Historical importance can stem from a number of factors. You should always ask a question to help you figure out why a person was important: Did this person change or force a change in something? Even in failure a person could be important, so ask, If this person had succeeded, how might have Ohio been different? Why did this person succeed or fail?
6) Make a similar list for places and events. Describe what happened at these places and events, focusing on how they changed Ohio. Did these places represent alternative visions of what Ohio could be? Did the event prolong the possibility that Ohio might be something else or end that possibility? Which event was most crucial in terms of ending what Calloway calls the struggle over whose vision of America would prevail? Did these crucial events happen before or after 1803 (the year of Ohio’s statehood)?