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p. 1Introduction: Mapslocked

  • Alan Taylor

Abstract

The Introduction describes the traditional version of American colonial history. The older view emphasizes the English cultural ‘seeds’ that were first planted in Jamestown in Virginia in 1607. According to this view, American history began in the east in the English colonies and spread west into a vast continent with no previous history. This theory is known as American exceptionalism, and offers only a selective story. A more contemporary version of American history, the Continental approach, hopes to restore the importance of native peoples to the colonial story. The new historical approach emphasizes the ability of the diverse natives to adapt to the newcomers and to compel concessions from them.

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