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The Memory of All Ancient CustomsNative American Diplomacy in the Colonial Hudson Valley$
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Tom Arne Midtrod

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449376

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449376.001.0001

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Patterns of Diplomacy

Patterns of Diplomacy

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 2 Patterns of Diplomacy
Source:
The Memory of All Ancient Customs
Author(s):

Tom Arne Midtrød

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449376.003.0003

This chapter describes how Native diplomatic networks operated in practice. The Indian peoples of the Hudson Valley maintained a widespread and coherent diplomatic system. Native leaders established routines for resolving disputes between members of different peoples. In the case of more serious conflicts involving whole groups, leaders of neighboring peoples worked as mediators. This network should not be described as a formal alliance, much less a confederation along the lines of the Iroquois, as there were no permanent councils or other forums coordinating the activities of member groups. The various Hudson Valley peoples were at any time free to pursue their own polices independently of their neighbors, but ties of kinship, custom, and friendship structured their political choices. The diplomatic system consisted of a set of common practices and patterns of interaction facilitating cooperative relations. Custom and mutual understandings, rather than formal alliance structures, governed these relations.

Keywords:   Native diplomatic networks, Native Americans, American Indians, Hudson Valley, diplomatic systems

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