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The colonial communities of eighteenth-century America were perhaps the most racially, ethnically, and religiously mixed societies on earth. Lutherans and Presbyterians, Quakers, Catholics, and Covenentors, the Irish, the German, the French, the Welsh--groups that rarely intermingled in Europe--were thrown together when they confronted the American countryside. Rather than embracing the inescapable and ever-increasing diversity, the European settler communities had their very existence threatened by the tensions and fears among their own groups. Only through Indian-hating--in both military and rhetorical forms--could the splintered colonists find a common ground.In potent, graceful prose that sensitively unearths the social complexity and tangled history of colonial relations, Peter Silver gives us an astonishingly vivid picture of eighteenth-century America. He straddles cultural history, political history, social history, and ethnohistory to offer groundbreaking insights into the seminal forces that continue to shape the United States today.