Towards a post-foundational history of the Treaty

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A post-foundational history of the Treaty reveals that both its making in 1840 and the significance it came to acquire in the years that followed was highly contingent upon particular historical circumstances. The principal reason why so much of the historical work done on the Treaty fails to maintain that razor-thin line between political advocacy and scholarly objectivity can be said to lie in the fact that it amounts to foundational history. Historians try to discern in a particular historical event, in this case the Treaty of Waitangi, some norm or another that they believe created, or should have created, or could still create, the foundations of the nation. For some time, the norms that historians espied in the Treaty were moral. Keith Sinclair argued that the British approach to the Treaty had been honest and honourable since it sought to lay the basis for a just society in which Maori and Pakeha could live together in peace and harmony.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndigenous Peoples and the State
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi
EditorsMark Hickford, Carwyn James
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351240376
ISBN (Print)9780815375278
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameIndigenous Peoples and the Law

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