Indian Wars of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, 1812-1900

Indian Wars of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, 1812-1900

Indian Wars of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, 1812-1900

Indian Wars of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, 1812-1900

Synopsis

Drawing on anthropology and ethnohistory as well as the 'new military history' Indian Wars of Mexico, Canada and the United States, 1812-1900 interprets and compares the way Indians and European Americans waged wars in Canada, Mexico, the USA and Yucatan during the nineteenth century. Fully illustrated with sixteen maps, detailing key Indian settlements and crucial battles, Bruce Vandervort rescues the New World Indian Wars from their exclusion from mainstream military history, and reveals how they are an integral part of global history.Indian Wars of Mexico, Canada and the United States: provides a thorough examination of the strategies and tactics of resistance employed by Indian peoples of the USA, which contrasts practices of warfare with the Metis (the French Canadian-Indian peoples), their Canadian-Indian allies, and the Yaqui and Mayan Indians of Mexico and Yucatan;

Excerpt

In an earlier book I made a plea for more ‘cross-cultural comparative’ studies in military history and gave as an example of what might be done James O. Gump’s remarkable book The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of the Zulus and the Sioux (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994). In the book you have before you, I have tried to follow my own advice.

On one level I have undertaken to describe, interpret and compare the ways Indians and European Americans waged their nineteenth-century wars in the forests and swamps of the southeastern United States, on the plains and in the mountains of the American trans-Mississippi West, on the prairies of western Canada, in the mountain fastnesses and deserts of northern Mexico and, finally, in the semi-arid flatlands and rain forests of Yucatán.

Not only were the Indian wars of Canada, Mexico, the United States and Yucatán virtually simultaneous, linkages also existed between them. These manifested themselves in a number of concrete ways, all of which will be touched upon at some length in this book: (1) the importance to Indian insurgents throughout the 1815–90 period of cross-border sanctuaries (the Apaches in Mexico, the Sioux in Canada, the Yaquis in Arizona, the Mayas in British Honduras) and sources of supply; (2) fear on the part of the Canadians and Mexicans that the turmoil of Indian uprisings near their frontiers with the USA or use of those areas as sanctuaries by Indians might serve as a pretext for US invasion (the number one military priority for both countries during this period was defence against US attack); (3) growing realisation on the part of the three countries in the post-1865 era that international cooperation was required to bring the Indian wars to an end, by, for example, as far as the USA was concerned, getting Canadian authorities to discourage Indians from seeking asylum in Canada, gaining the right to cross the Mexican border in ‘hot pursuit’ of Apache raiders, and convincing the Mexican military to work closely with US troops in cornering and wiping out Apache war parties taking refuge in Mexico; (4) Mexican solicitation of US capital investment in development schemes in the state of Sonora intended to woo Yaqui dissidents into abandoning their demands for political autonomy and collective ownership of their land; (5) US mercenary involvement in the Caste War, the revolt of Mayan Indians in . . .

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