Euro-American Indian Conflicts

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espite the diversity of Euro‐American and American Indian societies, wars between the two have shared certain features. In most eras of conflict, Euro‐Americans had Indian allies; Euro‐American citizen soldiers tended toward greater brutality and less military discipline than professional soldiers; nomadic groups of Indians usually waged war more tenaciously than the more sedentary ones; and the eruption and expansion of war usually stemmed from a Euro‐American drive to acquire Indian land. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European powers established military presences in North America from which they could make and defend claims—by right of discovery, settlement, or conquest—to vast portions of a continent already inhabited…show more content…
With the French defeat in the French and Indian War (1754–63), Indians west of the Appalachians found their survival threatened because they could no longer play off the French against the English. Aware that the presence of only one European power in their vicinity meant that the old trade system had broken down, in 1763 the Ottawa Chief Pontiac rallied many groups formerly allied with the French in an effort to oust the English from the Ohio Valley. Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–66), although relatively successful in cementing a pan‐Indian alliance, ultimately failed. The English government tried to achieve peace in 1763 by a royal proclamation separating Indians and English settlers at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. While the proclamation's promise that all land west of he Appalachians would be reserved for the Indians weakened Pontiac's alliance, it did nothing to lessen Euro‐American pressures on Indian land, as American traders, squatters, and speculators flowed unchecked into the Ohio…show more content…
For example, during King William's (1689–97), Queen Anne's (1702–13), and King George's (1744–48) Wars, the French supported Algonquian raids against the English colonies, while New England's domesticated Indians and certain Iroquoian allies aided the English. In the French and Indian War, the French and their mostly Algonquian allies initially made impressive strides toward controlling the Ohio Valley, beginning with Braddock's Defeat (1755), only to be overcome by the more numerous English and their Iroquoian supporters. Indians fought as European allies in these wars to advance their own perceived interests in acquiring weapons and other trade goods and captives for adoption, status, or revenge. Until the end of the French and Indian War, Indians succeeded in using these imperial contests to preserve their freedom of
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