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Native American Relations During The Seven Years War

1641 words - 7 pages

The Seven Years War was the first international conflict dealing with all major world powers. The majority of the issue was due to “real estate” speculation and territories surrounding the Ohio Valley (Ohio Valley, 156). Native American’s used furs and traded goods to play each power against each other ultimately resulting in war. The powers that were involved in the war fought for the support of the Native Americans in order to gain favorable lands and goods and the upper hand above the other powers. Ultimately, Native Americans were the most influential power during the war, and the relations held with them not only had affect during the war, but also had influence and led to post war struggles.
As the war was under the works of being officially initiated, the strengths and weaknesses of the powers were under scrutiny in deciding whether they should participate. The powers at hand had to decided whether the lands and goods that were at stake was worth the risk of going to war. The European powers, particularly England, risked the possibility of receiving more war taxes, and losing the lands they held in North America. Looking at the sides prior to the war, “the British colonies, were militarily unprepared”, which would surface as a large problem once the opposing troops reached their lands. The French side had many reasons to hesitate, but, “above all there was the ominous fact of relative naval weakness”. Even due to these limitations, when these groups were presented with an opportunity, “to negotiate a settlements of the Ohio Valley disputes neither side would yield”. The war was inevitable, and the groups began the war in May 1756.
Of all parties involved, the Native American’s were the most influential piece during the Seven Years War. Prior to the war, many Native tribes were isolated from the colonies in form of alliances or rivalries. The Virginia colony, “never had any war or league of peace” with the later influential Cherokee, but,” trade [had] been carried on with them for many years” (Taking of American Lands, Pg. 16). However, during the war each party sought Native American support in order to gain troops, land and traded goods. Certain nations had influence throughout different areas of the colonies, and often times the more powerful nations were sought after by other tribes in addition to the European powers. In the southeast, “the Creeks were important not only to the white men… but also to other Indian tribes” (Indian Affairs in GA, p. 97). During the beginning of the war, the English had the upper hand with Indian Affairs in the Eastern area of North America. Many groups in the South East were able to work with the Creeks and other large tribes, and in the Central area, Cherokee’s “supported the English during the early years of the French and Indian War” (Taking of American Lands, Pg. 17). The ability to earn the support of certain Native American tribes helped later on when Natives began fighting, however, keeping...

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