The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 12

The Issue of the Native Americans, 1791–1797

Almost from the moment of first contact, Europeans had trouble understanding the Native Americans. On the one hand, they admired and coveted the apparent freedom and flexibility of the American Indian lifestyle. But, on the other hand, they did not understand the Native American culture and society and, as a result, feared them greatly.

During the American Revolution, both the British and the Americans tried to get the Native Americans to side with them. The Iroquois Confederacy in New York sided with the British because of long-term economic ties, but most Native Americans tried to remain neutral until they saw who won the war.

The American victory in the Revolution probably sealed the doom of the Native Americans. The British might have set aside a large section of territory for the sole use of the American Indians. But American desire for land meant a steady push westward of settlers, which slowly drove the Native Americans into smaller and smaller pieces of land.

During the 1790s, conflicts with the Native Americans were centered in the Ohio Valley. On August 20, 1794, an American army under the command of General Anthony Wayne defeated a force of Miamis, Shawnees, Ottawas, Chippewas, Sauk, Fox, and some Iroquois at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in modern-day Ohio. Following this victory, Wayne dictated the Treaty of Greenville, signed on August 3, 1795, which opened the territory from the Ohio River north to present-day Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit. In exchange, the Native Americans would receive $10,000 a year. This opened up more territory for American settlement, but it also increased the tensions between the two competing cultures. Ultimately, Americans of European descent never did understand the Native Americans.

The first group of documents reflects the attitude that the Native Americans were human beings who could be dealt with fairly. The first selection

-181-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 359

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?