Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Joshua Piker

Committee Member

Andrew Fisher

Committee Member

Fabricio Prado

Committee Member

Paul Mapp


Constitutionality, Compromise, and Convenience: Toward a Whig American Indian Policy, 1828-1844. This paper examines the partisan dimension of Antebellum American Indian relations, focusing on the anti-Jacksonian National Republicans and Whigs, rather than the more frequently discussed Jacksonian Democrats. To build a picture of anti-Jacksonian Indian policy broadly, this paper analyzes a series of flashpoints in relations between the United States and Indigenous Peoples. Specifically, it looks at Cherokee Removal, the debate over the Buffalo Creek Treaty with the Senecas, and the Second Seminole War, in addition to exploring the Whig Party’s attempt to cultivate an image of being “better” on American Indian issues than the Jacksonians were. It ultimately asserts that the Whigs’ and National Republicans’ American Indian policy emphasized Indigenous sovereignty and obtaining majority consent in treaty-making, coupled with the beliefs that white encroachment was inevitable, and that Indigenous Peoples needed to assimilate into white culture. This paper further argues that the tension between Whigs recognizing Indigenous sovereignty and advocating for assimilation encapsulates Kevin Bruyneel’s concept of “colonial ambivalence.” “The Consolidation of Liberty”: The Colombian Policy of Adams and Clay. This paper explores United States foreign policy towards Latin America in the 1820s under the administration of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay. It specifically examines their relationship with Gran Colombia, using correspondence and diplomatic records between the two countries to assess the United States’ intentions in involving itself in the region. It especially focuses on a series of diplomatic faux pas involving the U.S. diplomats in Bogota with Colombian leaders Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander. It ultimately argues that Adams’ and Clay’s handling of the situations indicates that their primary goal in Colombia was the promotion of liberal republican values in that country.




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