Date of Award

7-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Andrew Jr., Rod

Committee Member

Anderson , Paul C

Committee Member

McKale , Donald M

Abstract

This thesis examines the effect of Native Americans on the martial tradition in the Old South. As proposed by John Hope Franklin, the proximity of Southern settlements to Indian tribes aroused grave apprehension regarding the safety of the settlers from hostile attack. This thesis seeks to illustrate a specific example of his assessment. Therefore, the work is focused on the events of the Seminoles in Florida and to a lesser extent the Creeks in Alabama and Georgia. Chronologically the thesis focuses on approximately 1800-1842. Geographically the text is concerned with Florida and the border areas. This thesis argues that the presence of the Seminole Indians instilled a martial tradition in Southerners. This occurred due to the depredations by Native Americans in Florida and the perceived danger to white settlers. Not only Florida, but also the border states, perceived a threat from the continued presence of the Seminole tribe. The Militant South thesis is defined as encompassing both the violent, bellicose stance of the white, male Southerner along with enthusiasm for martial ideals. This is in line with Franklin's use of militant, both in his title and in his text, as he does not limit the explanation to 'militaristic' or 'martial,' as pertaining only to militias, military schools, or the federal army, but also referring to personal violence.

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