Indian Voices from the New Nation
As American Patriots celebrated the victory that brought them independence from Britain, Native Americans braced themselves for the invasion of their lands that was sure to come. Faced with an empty treasury after a long war, the new government hoped to sell off Indian lands to pay its bills and looked to Indian lands as the basis of the new Republic’s empire. But state governments, land companies, and individual speculators also had their eyes on Indian lands. The years following the Revolution thus witnessed renewed competition for land. At first, the United States took the position that it had acquired the Indians’ territory from Britain by right of conquest. American commissioners dictated treaties, demanding that the tribes give up vast amounts of land as the price of peace. But the Indians soon recovered from their shock and began to unite in resistance to American demands. A new round of wars began in the late 1780s, although to many Indians the conflict was simply a continuation of their long struggle to defend their cultural and territorial boundaries.
KeywordsCorn Europe Fishing Settling Defend
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