Seminole Wars Help Establish American Counterrevolutionary Strategy. 4.5 Page Response To A Portion Of America's Forgotten Wars. Req Reading For A Low Intensity Conflict Course.

1190 words - 5 pages

Seminole Wars Help Establish American Counterrevolutionary StrategyAccording to Sarkesian, America experienced four distinct conflicts that helped shaped their present day participation and relations when dealing with revolutions/ counter-revolutions. One such conflict was the Seminole Wars, specifically, the Second Seminole War, that found America engaged with small guerrillas of the Seminole Nation in Florida from 1835-1842. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines revolution as "...the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed" and as "activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation." By Sarkesian's own admission, the Seminole Wars were not of a true revolution/counterrevolution nature (17); however, because the Seminole's did in fact present a force dedicated to renounce the Americans as their governing body--Spain ceded all claims to Florida to America in 1821 (http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/flafacts/semwar.html)--and since the Seminole's were determined to prevent the Americans from altering their way of life, they were in effect, attempting to preserve their own socioeconomic status while the white man continued their campaigns to snuff out all that remained of Indian resistance East of the Mississippi (Sarkesian 17).It is also important to note that America had just finished the War of 1812, in essence, finally shaking off the last shreds of British control in the American New World. Therefore, the internal dilemma of an America coping with its own aggressive posture, in regards to a newfound Nationalism, and the immediate encroachment of the Seminoles from the southern portion of the continent was a volatile mixture, all but guaranteeing the destruction of the Seminole Tribe. The hero of the first Seminole War (1817-1818), Andrew Jackson rode the coattails of War Hero status into the American Presidency. Although, the final treatment and dealings with the Seminoles came under President Van Buren's reign, it is without a doubt the Jacksonian Era's Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 (Sarkesian 30) that set in motion the attitude and feelings that the American government would embrace when dealing with their Seminole insurgents: "....The President views the Indians as the children of the Government. He sees [sic] what is best for them; and that perseverance in their refusal to fly dangers that surround them, must result in their misery, and final destruction" (Sarkesian 31).Naturally, the Seminoles were not the only Indian "revolutionaries" in the mid 1800's, several clashes with the Cherokees, and the Black Hawk War of 1832 (Sarkesian 32) were also prevalent. However, all these other skirmishes were dealt with rather quickly, and the Indians conceded or were defeated promptly. The Seminoles, on the other hand, refused to accept defeat, and proved their revolutionary intent when in 1832 they signed the...

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