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Colonialism, Manifest Destiny, and the Dynamics of the Expansion of the Navajo Nation

Territorial growth of Indian lands under American domination seems to be inconsistent with the expressed goals of a dominant society and is certainly inconsistent with the patterns reflected in the relationships between Indian communities and the United States.

How is it that in this atmosphere fueled by the desire to take land from Tribes the Navajo Nation grew from 3.5 million acres in 1868 to over 16 million acres (a 358% increase) while their neighbors, the Hopis, lost over 40% of their original reservation land and most other tribes, as well, have lost much of their traditional use areas?

This research attempts to answer these questions while testing the theory that Navajo expansion has been through a unique form of colonialism driven by a religiously rooted sense of Manifest Destiny. The results should provide insights for historians, practitioners of Indian Law, political scientists, and tribal leaders.


William Michael Havens


Rob Williams





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 H38c


ATT 1362209

UA Library: 

E9791 1995 119
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences