THIS PERIOD OF INDIAN RESISTANCE ENDED AS THE UNITED STATES signed treaties with European nations as well as with Native Americans. The Treaty of Commerce and Amity signed with Britain in 1794 and the Treaty of San Lorenzo with Spain in 1795 settled issues left unresolved by the peace treaties of 1783. The intervening years had been marked by international antagonism and domestic unrest. Native Americans' activity and their relationship with both American citizens and foreign governments brought them into the center of this turbulence. They used their physical strength and political leverage to effective advantage, and by both responding to and stimulating developments within the United States, they compounded the problems that threatened to obstruct the growth of a secure and durable American union.
The assertion of Native American power in all its diverse forms during this period—within communities, between groups, and against white encroachment and domination—underlined the fact that the Indians were a highly differentiated peoples. The fundamental principle of autonomy, which underpinned Indian culture, lay at the heart of Indian relationships with all outsiders, be they white or Native American. Each group had its own perception of its place in the changing environment and how to adjust to it. The Indians' experience of white contact, the consequent interference in tribal relationships, and the extent to which their economic and cultural life had become entwined with their new neighbors determined their approach toward the postrevolutionary world.
Historical animosities and traditional friendships between groups influenced their relationships with whites, for good or bad. Old hostilities between the Upper Lake and Wabash Indians, for instance, were disastrous to their offensive campaign, and widespread resentment toward the Iroquois nations was a severe hindrance to Indian unity. On the other hand, long-established connections between northern and southern tribes, such as the Shawnee and Creek, helped to facilitate the communication of groups north and south of the Ohio. The confrontation with the new white government pro