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Carceral Colonialism in Arizona Territory

Carceral Colonialism in Arizona Territory Carceral Colonialism in Arizona Territory Joe Lockard When the US military entered what is today southern Arizona in November 1856, over two years after the United States Senate ratifi ed the Gadsden Purchase, they were unaware that this was the beginning of a thirty- year war. It was one matter to claim sovereignty on paper and quite another to do so in the often brutal Sonoran Desert. To establish control of space meant to assert control over the bodies in that space. An overwhelming majority in Arizona Territory were tribal peoples, some of whom complied with the new US authority much as they had reached prior accommodations with Mexican and Spanish authority. Most, however, resisted, notably Navajo, Apache, and Yavapai. Confi nement within borders or walls became a crucial element of US strategies of subordination. Th ese strategies served to impose social control on an entire population, not only one defi ned population sector. Th e early decades of US- governed Arizona Territory can be described as the establishment of smaller confi nements (jails, military guardhouses, and a small penitentiary) within an overarching system of larger confi nements (Indian reservations). Th ese interlocking civilian and military confi nements imposed http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Carceral Colonialism in Arizona Territory

Western American Literature , Volume 55 (1) – May 15, 2020

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
Copyright
Copyright © Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

Carceral Colonialism in Arizona Territory Joe Lockard When the US military entered what is today southern Arizona in November 1856, over two years after the United States Senate ratifi ed the Gadsden Purchase, they were unaware that this was the beginning of a thirty- year war. It was one matter to claim sovereignty on paper and quite another to do so in the often brutal Sonoran Desert. To establish control of space meant to assert control over the bodies in that space. An overwhelming majority in Arizona Territory were tribal peoples, some of whom complied with the new US authority much as they had reached prior accommodations with Mexican and Spanish authority. Most, however, resisted, notably Navajo, Apache, and Yavapai. Confi nement within borders or walls became a crucial element of US strategies of subordination. Th ese strategies served to impose social control on an entire population, not only one defi ned population sector. Th e early decades of US- governed Arizona Territory can be described as the establishment of smaller confi nements (jails, military guardhouses, and a small penitentiary) within an overarching system of larger confi nements (Indian reservations). Th ese interlocking civilian and military confi nements imposed

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: May 15, 2020

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