If the war between the French, English and Indians started because of land disputes in the Ohio River area, it soon degenerated into a national conflict in which England and France were at war in other locations before the Seven Years’ War between the two countries in 1756 broke out.
In America itself, the English settlers finally succeeded in asserting themselves against the French and Indians. In the end, the victims were the natives, who were now sure of the open hostility of the English. Even the Iroquois Association was condemned by the English settlers for its neutrality during the war, interpreted as indifference.
Immediately after the end of the war in 1763, English settlers in their endeavor to conquer new land continued to advance into what had been Indian territory in the upper Ohio Valley. The indigenous people living here resisted under the leadership of Chief PONTIAC. In order to avoid further bloody clashes, the English government initially forbade the settlers from advancing further. However, these did not adhere to the specifications. And so the Indian revolt was only effective for a short time.
The scalp premiums that are being advertised in more and more colonies can be better read than from many battle reconstructions, what the attitude of the white settlers was towards the Native Americans. “Indian hunting” became a lucrative opportunity to earn additional income. In Virginia in 1770, for example, 100 pounds sterling was paid out for each scalp of a killed Indian.
In 1775 the American Revolution broke out. The Thirteen Founding Colonies were united in anger against England and focused their concentrated attention on the struggle against the motherland, disputes with the Indians faded into the background during this time. No sooner had America become officially independent, however, and was somewhat organized as a nation in its own right, when the greed for more land was awakened to new life. And with her further, ever worse arguments.
Indian Wars in Young America
The settlers’ urge to penetrate the west of the country increased after independence from England was achieved. In order to avoid problems with the Indians, the government negotiated numerous contracts with the Iroquois, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee, among others. The tribes agreed to leave their land to the settlers. But as early as 1786 the chiefs rejected these contracts and threatened attacks in the event of white settlement. On the frontier, which was constantly advancing westward, encounters between settlers and indigenous people became increasingly bloody, and American troops intervened.
In 1790 warriors of the Shawnee and other tribes led by the chief LITTLE TURTLE made several successful attacks against the settlers. In 1791, 630 American soldiers were killed in a bloody battle on the western border of Ohio. The settlers showed a willingness to negotiate, but the Indians insisted on their rights to land. In 1794 the Battle of Fallen Timbers finally took place , in which the settlers defeated the Indians.
The westward movement of the Frontier continued. The tribes continued to defend themselves, for example under the leadership of the charismatic chief TECUMSEH in 1811 , who endeavored to unite the numerous Indian tribes in order to be more effective Uniting Indian Nation and leading its highly motivated warriors into a huge bloodbath on the frontier.
TECUMSEH (1768 to 1813)
TECUMSEH was born in 1768 in Old Piqua, a small village on the Mad River in Ohio. The name TECUMSEH means mountain lion who is about to jump (to the south) .
Very early on, he proved himself to be a skilled hunter and knew how to draw attention to himself through words rather than fights. He rejected the agonizing brutality of his tribe.
After white soldiers under GENERAL ARTHUR ST. CLAIR had invaded the Ohio area and innumerable Shawnee were killed, the idea matured in TECUMSEH to face the intruders with united forces. An Indian state was his vision, an alliance of all tribes in order to be able to offer a successful resistance against the whites.
TECUMSEH traveled across the country, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, to present his plan. As a brilliant rhetorician, he emphasized the freedom that had given way to enslavement by the whites and led to the comparison with the blacks on. He underlined the size and strength of the Indian tribes and, last but not least, appealed to his Indian brothers to uphold the honor of their ancestors.
Eventually he managed to unite Shawnee, Miami, Delawaren, Chippewas and Potawatomis. The tribes of the southeast (Cherokee, Chickaswas, Choctaws, Creek and Seminoles), however, opposed such an alliance.