What are the main points of Native American role in the American Revolution?

Writing a paper on this top don't know where to start. Need some topics to start researching on any help would be appreciated.

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    During the American War for Independence, many Native Americans sided with the Americans, but a majority supported the British. The crown promised to protect native lands from encroaching American settlers. Many Native Americans were partially assimilated into the American colonies

    One of the most well prominent was Thayendanegea, or Joseph Brant, a leader of the Mohawk tribe. He was educated at the Moor's Indian Charity School (predecessor of Dartmouth) in 1761 where he learned to speak write and read English. He worked for the British as a translator and fought with British forces during the war.

    Initially both sides in the war urged the Native Americans to stay out of the conflict. But by 1776 both sides courted the Iroquois Confederacy. Brant succeeded in getting 4 of the 6 Iroquois tribes (Mohawks, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Senecas) to fight for the British, and warriors from the other two tribes, the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, fought with the Americans. This forever dissolved the Confederacy which had kept the tribes a strong force in the north. Other Native tribes in the south also took sides.

    Most fought with the British, but all lost in the Peace which followed. The Preliminary Articles of Peace of 1782 did not mention the Native Americans at all. Brant was outraged that the British were selling out the tribes.The British failed to set aside areas which were promised by Treaties they had made with the tribes.

    The British views were mixed. "It might have been easily reserved and inserted that those lands the Crown relinquished to all the Indn. Nations as their Right and property were out of its power to treat for, which would have saved the Honor of Government with respect to that Treaty," Daniel Claus, the British agent for the Six Nations in Canada write concerning the boundaries of the Indian country established by the Fort Stanwix treaty line of 1768. "Our treaties with them were solemn," Lord Walsingham stated, "and ought to have been binding on our honour." Lord Shelburne, on the other hand, defended the Preliminary Articles, asserting that "in the present treaty with America, the Indian nations were not abandoned to their enemies; they were remitted to the care of neighbours."

    In 1783, under the terms of the Peace of Paris, without regard to its Indian allies, Britain handed over to the new United States all its territory east of the Mississippi, south of the Great Lakes, and north of Florida even though much of that land was not British according to its treaties with native tribes.

  • 9 years ago

    Different tribes had different attitudes and involvement. A lot of the tribes preferred to stay out of the conflict entirely. Many viewed it as none of their business, and as a squabble between parent and child, with King George being "the great Father" and the rebellious colonists being the unruly children. However,a number of others saw that the colonists were likely to continue to expand their settlements and felt that the British would be more likely to restrain colonial expansion, and preferred the British. Also, remember that the basic way of winning tribal support was to cultivate good relations with the tribes and to give gifts - and the rebellious colonists were both broke (too many demands for supplies and not enough money), and cheap, so a lot of the tribes (I'd say most) preferred the British where they had a preference.

    The relations with the French, mentioned by the other commenter, really aren't relevant because that was an issue from the *previous* war (French & Indian) - that issue was already put to rest, and in truth, any tribal alliances with the European nations were pretty fluid; in fact, the British were making strong inroads into French trading territory shortly before that war, because they did some skillful outreach. Read Scott Wiedensaul's excellent new book, "The First Frontier." Tribes made alliances based on what made sense to them at the time, at any given time, and it could and did easily shift.

    Read, "Forgotten Allies" by Glattharr and Martin. It tells the story of the Iroquois Confederacy, and how the Revolution ended up dividing the tribal unity. The Oneida, who were in the middle geographically, ended up going with the Americans, and suffered at the hands of the other tribes.

    It's a good topic.

  • tuffy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The Native Americans fought as allies of the British during the American Revolution.

  • 9 years ago

    Native Americans were more likely to side with the French against the British. There were several reasons for this alliance. One being that the French did not wish to take the Native Americans land from them but were content to share the land with them because they had similar interests (fur trapping mostly). Another reason that the Indians were more likely to side with the French was because they had been led to believe that the French would keep the British and the Americans from taking more of their land. The French were willing, for the most part, to share the land with the Indians, the British and the Americans were not. Does this help you?

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