Leveraging an Empire


Leveraging an Empire

Settler Colonialism and the Legalities of Citizenship in the Pacific Northwest

Jacki Hedlund Tyler

416 pages
4 photographs, 1 map, 9 tables, index


August 2021


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2021


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2021


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Through an evaluation of Oregon’s exclusionary laws, Leveraging an Empire examines the process of settler colonialism in the evolving region of the Pacific Northwest between the years 1841 and 1859. Oregon laws—through nuanced emphases and new articulations—related to national issues of slavery, immigration, land ownership, education, suffrage, and naturalization.

Leveraging an Empire demonstrates how the construction of laws governing matters of race, gender, and citizenship from Oregon’s pre-territorial days through its early statehood reified and institutionalized American legal definitions and national perceptions of these issues leading up to the Civil War. Oregon’s exclusionary laws either supported racial and gender restrictions to specific rights or established a legal precedent for such restrictions through the development of legislation governing the remainder of the century. These laws—some developed even before Oregon became part of the Union in 1846—also influenced federal treatment toward territorial and state policies that restricted American citizens from political rights and reveal the impact of settler colonialism in the American West on the nation.

Author Bio

Jacki Hedlund Tyler is an assistant professor of history and the director of social studies education at Eastern Washington University.


“This is one of the first works of historical scholarship to explicitly take up the question of settler colonialism in the Pacific Northwest. By bringing together race and gender Jacki Hedlund Tyler offers an intersectional analysis that is also a useful contribution to the region’s scholarship. Scholars working on the American West more generally will also appreciate her argument about the influence Oregon had on the rest of the country.”—Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
List of Tables    
Preface: Daffodils    
Introduction: A Colonial Outpost    
1. Oregon and the Making of a Settler Colony in the Pacific Northwest    
2. The Dispossession of American Indians and the Right to Exist     
3. Understanding Immigration Restrictions through Arguments of Slavery and Labor    
4. Incorporated Definitions of Land Ownership    
5. The Privileged Right to an Education    
6. Implications of Citizenship in Suffrage and Naturalization Laws    
Conclusion: Defiant Subjects and Their Legacies    

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