How American Revolution Affected Natives Essay

Submitted By jherrick1
Words: 1249
Pages: 5

Jonathan Herrick
TR 11 am homework assignment
The impact of the American Revolution on the Native Americans The American Revolutionary War did not begin with the "Shot Heard 'Round the World". It had its roots in the very first settlements in North America.The American Revolution divided the Iroquois Confederation and brought a miasma of death and destruction into the heart of a union and the newly formed Americas. The Iroquois were a large indian tribe that had relations with the Mohawk, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations which during the seventeenth century which inhabited New York and Ontario. During the colonial period, the Iroquois tribe was the among the largest and most proficient. "The Iroquois were questionably one of the strongest Indian tribes during that time. Sir William Johnson managed to get the Iroquois to side with British troops during the Seven Year War and worked to avoid being involved in a conflict between the colonies and the natives. In 1775 a meeting was held, the Iroquois decided to announce itself neutral in the oncoming war (Indians and american Revolution)" . I would like to note that the Iroquois never violated its original promise to remain neutral. The Iroquois tribe required unanimous consent in order to declare war and therefor remained neutral due to the ability to agree unanimously. This gave the independent Iroquois tribes autonomy over their course of action pertaining to the war. Ultimately this bred conflict and turmoil between neighboring tribes which resulted in the birth of division within the tribe. By 1778, 4 of the indian tribes would side with the British while too would continue to support the American rebels (choosing sides)". The aftermath of this separation would prove to cause a civil war between the Iroquois and in some areas invasion by Continental Army. Two important people who had a large influence on the choice of sides among the divided were Chief Joseph Brant from tribe of the Mohawk's Nation Samuel Kirkland who was a missionary from the colonies. Chief Brant was a revered by William Johnson and throughout his career rose to prestige within the British society. Brant believed the British would protect the Iroquois from the spreading American colonies and that an alliance with them meant advantage for the Confederation. He witnessed the power of the British empire and anticipated a partnership in North America that would allow the Iroquois to thrive. He believed the colonists were unruly and were not to be trusted. The constant push into Iroqouis territory caused countless conflicts and wars before the American Revolution officially began. The rebellion had already begun by the time Brant arrived back to the America's from a visit to England in 1776. "Brant first landed in New York City just as rebel troops being lead by George Washington began their attack, Brant entered right into the chaos of the war. Managing to slip through the American lines, Chief Brant returned home to the Iroquois and began a mission to convince the rest of the tribes to agree to side with the British(Indians and american Revolultion)". As Chief Brant spent time traveling throughout the confederation, Brant managed to establish common grounds with the leaders of the Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawk, and Onondaga nations convincing them to fight with the british. "Brant was consequently made the Chief of War for the engagement. By 1777, Brant was leading an army of over 800 Iroquois warriors, helping the British troops (over 900) in an attempt to take on Fort Stanwix. Even though unable to bring down the fort, Brant and his regiment showed their power and ferociousness against the colonists(the native americans)". As Chief Brant was strengthening his alliance with the british, the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes struggled remain neutral. However, missionary Samuel Kirkland saw the possibility of a different relationship between the Iroqoius and the settlers. Having lived among the Oneida for