This dissertation analyzes the United States relationship with the Cherokee nation as foundational to the development American continental and extraterritorial imperialism. Using the records of Supreme Court decisions and case briefs, U.S. Congressional debates and reports, Cherokee memorials and declarations, and works of European and American international jurists, I show the central role that indigenous polities—the Cherokee nation in particular—played in shaping the United States as an imperial nation-state into the twentieth century. I also demonstrate through this investigation the significance of U.S.-Cherokee relations to history of international law in the context of nineteenth and twentieth century Euro- American Empire.