Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Willard Rollings

Number of Pages



This is an examination of the various cultural groups who have attempted to extend hegemony control over what is now the state of Arizona. Each chapter focuses on the ways different societies adapted to the region's challenging environment; paying particular attention to those that sought to integrate their neighbors into their own socioeconomic systems, whether by force or through negotiation. The rise and fall of the indigenous Hohokam civilization marks the first phase in this struggle for hegemony, while conflicts between Spaniards and Indians characterize the second. The third, and so far, final cycle concludes with Euro-Americans seizing the region from Arizona's Hispanic and Native Americans residents; A brief preface introduces this work's underlying, interdisciplinary methodology, while the body of the text proceeds chronologically from prehistory to 1886. The first chapter examines the various prehistoric people who took up residence in Arizona. It describes how the Hohokam Indians were able to adopt a sedentary lifestyle and then translate their Subsistence success into political power. The chapter concludes with the collapse of Arizona's prehistoric political economy due to climatic change. Chapter two then provides an overview of the conflicts, beginning in the seventeenth century and continuing into the early nineteenth century, between Athapascan Indians and Spanish colonists. Throughout this period, both groups endeavored to exert control over the Southwest's trade economy, yet each blocked the other's efforts; Chapter three analyzes the American ideology of Manifest Destiny and its role in westward migration: while the arrival of Americans in the Southwest and their successful quest to capture Arizona's resources is the focus of the remaining chapters. A brief summation then concludes this work.


Arizona; Biology; Culture; Environment; Hegemony; Native Americans; Struggle

Controlled Subject

Ethnology; Archaeology

File Format


File Size

5539.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit