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SS 9 - Revolutions -The American Revolution Aboriginal Involvement
Transcript of SS 9 - Revolutions -The American Revolution Aboriginal Involvement
for Aboriginal Peoples
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence accused King George III of unleashing "merciless Indian Savages" against innocent men, women, and children.
This is how "Americans" came to think of Aboriginal peoples due in part to the Declartion of Independence.
And, it becomes justification for how they have been treated since...
The Truth is out There...
But many "Indian" nations tried to stay out of the conflict, some sided with the Americans, and those who fought with the British were not the king's pawns:
they allied with the Crown as the best hope of protecting their homelands from the encroachments of American colonists and land speculators
The British government had even provided the "Indian" lands some protection by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which had attempted to restrict European settlement beyond the Appalachian Mountains.
Aboriginal Peoples knew that the Revolution was a contest for their land as well as for "american" liberty.
Entering the war
We cannot think of Aborignal Peoples or Indians or First Nations as ONE people group.
Aboriginal Peoples by Langauges
Different people groups of east and west coasts
We cannot think of the aboriginal "War effort" as unified.
Cherokee warriors, frustrated by land losses attacked frontier settlements, only to be soundly defeated by expeditions from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas
On the other hand, some Aboriginals from the mission town at Stockbridge in western Massachusetts, like most New England Indians, supported their colonial neighbours.
The Revolution became a civil war for the Iroquois, as Oneidas clashed with Senecas
Some pledged allegiance to the "Americans" only to be betrayed.
Ohio Aboriginal Groups made common cause with the British. They won victories in the West long after Cornwallis had surrendered in the East, and continued to resist American expansion for a dozen years after the Revolution.
Treaty of Paris for who...?
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
The United States proceeded to expand westward, acquiring Indian lands by treaty and by force.
The Sad Truth
Indians/Aboriginals fought in the Revolution for Indian liberties and Indian homelands, not for the British empire.
But the image of Indian/Aboriginal participation presented in the Declaration of Independence prevailed:
most Americans believed that "Indians" had backed monarchy and tyranny.
A Justified View?
A nation conceived in liberty need feel no remorse about dispossessing and expelling those who had fought against its birth.