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In this chapter I analyze the distinct terms by which colonial powers imputed humanity onto indigenous peoples in New Spain and New England. During the sixteenth-century Junta de Valladolid, Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda debated the quality of indigenous humanity and established the terms for the Indians' incorporation into the Spanish Empire. Seventeenth-century sermons and political treatises by British settlers in New England imputed humanity to indigenous peoples in terms of equal but separate sovereignties and were foundational to the construction of eighteenth-century anticolonial U.S. revolutionary rhetoric. Together, these European imputations of indigenous humanity facilitated the...

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