Yavapai-Apache scholar Maurice S. Crandall begins his deeply researched and engaging monograph with a common assertion about the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act in the Southwest: “Indians suffered under Spain and Mexico, but eventually ‘won’ their long struggle for the right to vote in U.S. courts” (3). Crandall argues that this triumphalist narrative is not supported by the historical record. Rather, in each colonial regime Indigenous peoples adapted electoral politics “to continue to secure the franchise,” to protect their communities and their political sovereignty, and “to challenge and subvert colonial power” (4). Analyzing data from the Pueblos of New Mexico, the Hopis of what is now northeastern Arizona, and the Yaquis and Tohono O’odham of the Sonoran borderlands, Crandall effectively argues that Indigenous communities were always electorates who adapted colonial political institutions to their own ends. Indigenous responses to political incorporation varied, but...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| January 01 2021
These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the US-Mexico Borderlands, 1598–1912
These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the US-Mexico Borderlands, 1598–1912. By Crandall, Maurice S. (
University of North Carolina Press,
2019. x + 372 pp., acknowledgments, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95 paperback; $90.00 hardcover; $22.99 e-book.)
Ethnohistory (2021) 68 (1): 165–166.
Katherine M. B. Osburn; These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the US-Mexico Borderlands, 1598–1912. Ethnohistory 1 January 2021; 68 (1): 165–166. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-8702558
Download citation file: