American History: Exploration and Settlement
Lesson Eight: Conflict and Cooperation
Conflicts and cooperation between the Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans influenced life in America.
At first, Native Americans helped the colonists in Virginia and Plymouth to survive the first years and taught them to plant crops that would grow in the New World such as tobacco and corn. As more settlers came to the New World for land, the Native Americans resisted the new settlers. Many wars were fought between the colonists and the Native Americans.
With Robert La Salle’s claim, the French had moved into the Ohio River Valley and claimed this land for France. The English colonists and their mother country together went to war with their traditional enemy - the French and their colonists - to protect their claims. Many Native American tribes fought on the side of the French against the English/colonists. In America, this war is called The French and Indian War, naming the two opponents of the English. In Europe this final conflict was called the Seven Years War because of the length of time it was fought.
Why did the Native Americans fight alongside the French? The French had established good working relationships with the natives because of their fur trading. Few French settlers came to the New World and the ones who came did not take much land for families or settlement. In other words, the French did not threaten the Native Americans’ way of life as the American colonists did. Most of the Native American groups allied with the French were hoping that a French victory would limit the expansion of the English colonies to the Appalachian Mountains.
However, some Native Americans fought with the English because of their rivalries with other tribes. The Iroquois Confederation, the Catawba and the Cherokee, all helped the British side to win the French and Indian War. This forced the French to lose control of their North American land claims. Many...