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In 1776 a group of American colonists signed the Declaration of Independence which condemned King George III for preventing the colonists from appropriating western lands which belong to Indian nations. Among the allegations against the English is the charge that King George has not helped the colonists against the "savages of the interior" (referring to their conflicts with Indian nations.)  From the perspective of American Indian nations these were uncomfortable words: if these rebellious British colonies prevailed, Indian nations would have to defend their homelands against an invasion of settlers.

James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, felt that Indians must give way to progress.

"The whole earth is allotted for the nourishment of its inhabitants, but it is not sufficient for this purpose, unless they aid it by labor and culture. The cultivation of the earth, therefore, is a duty incumbent on man by the order of nature."

The Revolutionary War divided the Indian nations as both the British and the newly formed United States tried to obtain Indian allies. Most of the Indian nations east of the Mississippi River sided with the British. Those who favored neutrality and those who sided with the colonists often found themselves at odds with the countrymen.

In Massachusetts, the Stockbridge, a Christian composite tribe, formed an entire company for the American Revolutionary Army. They were placed under the command of Captain Daniel Nimham and often acted as scouts for other units. They were issued red and blue caps so that they could be distinguished from enemy Indians. They fought against the British under General Howe at the Battle of White Plains. Several Stockbridge warriors were killed in this battle.

The American forces asked a number of different Indian nations for their support in the war effort. General George Washington asked the Passamaquoddy of Maine to send him warriors. Massachusetts passed a resolution calling for 500 Micmac and Maliseet Indians to be employed in the Continental Army. While Maliseet chiefs Ambrose St. Aubin and Pierre Tomah supported the American cause, many Indians avoided the recruiting efforts.

Both sides wanted the support of the powerful  Iroquois Confederacy. In New York, the Sons of Liberty sent a wampum belt to the Iroquois and asked them to intercept British troops coming down the Hudson River from Canada. On the other hand, the British met with the Iroquois in New York to gain their allegiance against the rebellious colonists. Some of the observers noted that the women, and particularly the Mohawk Molly Brant, were the power behind the scenes.

In 1777, the British met with many of the Iroquois nations at Oswego, New York and formally asked them to go to war against the rebellious colonies. In the Iroquois warriors’ council, Joseph Brant argued in favor of going to war, while Red Jacket, Handsome Lake, and Cornplanter felt that this was a family quarrel among the Europeans and Iroquois interference would be a mistake.

One of the basic foundations of the Iroquois Confederacy was that no Iroquois nation should ever fight another Iroquois nation. Four of the six nations—Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Mohawk—openly declared their support for the British and their willingness to fight for the British. As a result of this division, the council fire for the Iroquois League of Six Nations at Onondaga was ceremonially covered, symbolically suspending the League. Each of the nations was now free to go their own way with regard to the war between the colonists and English.

The Oneida, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy,  were divided over the Revolutionary War. The sachems (chiefs) tended to be pro-British, but there was a strong contingent of pro-American warriors led by Shenandoah. Tuscarora (another member tribe of the Confederacy) leader Nicholas Cusick recruited both Tuscarora and Oneida warriors to fight for the Americans.

For the Iroquois nations, the Revolutionary War was a situation in which, in some cases literally, brother killed brother. At the 1777 Battle of Oriskany, for example, the pro-British Iroquois under the leadership of Joseph Brant (Mohawk) and Chainbreaker (Seneca) fought against the pro-patriot Iroquois under the leadership of Nonyery Tewahangaraghkan (Oneida).

There is an interesting religious side note to the Battle of Oriskany. Fighting for the Americans were the Oneida and Tuscarora who had been converted to Christianity by Samuel Kirkland, a strong supporter of American independence. On the British side, the Mohawk had been converted to Christianity by John Stuart, an Anglican and supporter of England.

There is another interesting side note with regard to the Iroquois involvement in the war. In New York, a small party of Mohawk under the leadership of Joseph Brant together with a few of their British allies attacked the settlement of Minisink to obtain provisions. One of the Americans, Captain John Wood, was about to be killed when he inadvertently gave the Master Mason’s sign of distress. Brant, a Mason, saw the sign, pushed the warrior aside, and gave Wood the Master Mason’s grip. The following day, Wood confessed to Brant that he was not a Mason. When Wood returned from captivity many years later, one of his first acts was to apply for membership in the Masonic lodge.

In 1778, the newly formed United States negotiated its first Indian treaty with the Delaware. The treaty allowed troops to pass through Delaware territory. In addition, the Delaware agreed to sell corn, meat, horses and other supplies to the United States and to allow their men to enlist in the U.S. army. The treaty also stated that if the Delaware do decide, they might form a state and have a representative in Congress. The idea of statehood for the Delaware was suggested by Chief White Eyes

Emissaries from the Iroquois, Shawnee, Delaware, and Ottawa traveled to the Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee River to meet with the Cherokee in an attempt to persuade them to form an alliance against the American revolutionaries. Shawnee leader Cornstalk told them:

"It is better for the red men to die like warriors than to diminish away by inches. Now is the time to begin. If we fight like men, we may hope to enlarge our bounds."

The Shawnee produced a War Belt, made of wampum which was about nine feet long. Cherokee war leader Dragging Canoe accepted the belt and the warriors joined him in singing a war song.  

In spite of the persuasive words of the northern Indians, the Cherokee remained divided on this issue. The older Cherokee, such as Attakullakulla and Oconostota, objected to the war, but some of the younger warriors, such as Dragging Canoe, Doublehead, Young Tassel, and Bloody Fellow, sided with Cornstalk.

For many Indian communities, the Revolutionary War interrupted the fur and hide trade. Indian nations at this time had been incorporated into a globalized economy and had come to depend on many European trade goods. Thus one of the most pressing questions posed by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War for many Indians was not who should govern in America but who would supply the trade goods on which they had come to depend.

While many Indians, both individual warriors and Indian nations, supported the American cause during the war, this did not give them any advantages following the war. In fact Indian support for the new nation did not even earn Indian people a place in the nation they helped to create. For Native Americans, it seemed the American Revolution was truly a no-win situation.

Native American Netroots Web BadgeCross Posted at Native American Netroots

 An ongoing series sponsored by the Native American Netroots team focusing on the current issues faced by American Indian Tribes and current solutions to those issues.

                red_black_rug_design2

Originally posted to Ojibwa on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 09:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this informative series! (14+ / 0-)

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 09:55:42 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, dear Ojibwa (16+ / 0-)

    for your amazing histories -- the histories never taught to folks of my age when we were in K-college.  I guess I should say that students 55 years later are still as ignorant as I was.

    Blessings on your ancestors.

    "We think the truth is bad enough. It obviously is." -- Fishgrease

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 09:57:21 AM PDT

  •  Thank you!! (14+ / 0-)

    Just like the Native tribes, Americans, in general, were not united for or against Mother England during the war.  

    Many of the loyalist (roughly 1/3 of the 5 million total colonists) were forced to flee their homes and farms and head for Canada, the Bahamas or even back to England.

    This Machine Kills Fascists

    by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:00:58 AM PDT

  •  Boujou, cousin - (12+ / 0-)

    sorry to hear you're not making it to NN10, either.  Maybe next year we'll both get there.

    Anyway, tipped/rec'd/tweeted/posted to NAN.

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:04:11 AM PDT

  •  thanks for your effort (9+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the coherent storyline as so much of what I know about American Indian history is fragmented and from lots of random sources.

  •  Miigwetch Ojibwa. (7+ / 0-)

    tipped/rec'd/tweeted

    "The devil made me buy this dress!" Geraldine Jones/ Flip Wilson https://twitter.com/BlueJessamine

    by BlueJessamine on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

  •  It reminds me of how the Boers (13+ / 0-)

    in South Africa split over "native policy" because Britain had some very slight limits on oppression of Afrians (among which was to end slavery).

    Native Americans might have been better off had Britain won.  The Crown might have created Native American coloniees.  Look at Mosheshwe in South Africa:

    King Moshoeshoe I

    In 1820 Moshoeshoe succeeded his father, Mokhacane, as the chief of the Bamokoteli. His first settlement was at Butha Buthe, but he later built his stronghold at Thaba Bosiu (Mountain of the Night). He united various groups of refugees during Shaka’s wars, a period known as the ‘mfecane’ or difaqane (1813-1830), into the Basotho nation. From his capital at Thaba Bosiu , he warded off attacks from many enemies, including Shaka’s Zulus and Mzilikazi’s Ndebele.

    In 1833 he encouraged missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society to come to his kingdom, and so brought the Basotho in contact with Christianity. Moshoeshoe himself is said to have converted to the faith at the end of his life.

    From 1836 he came into contact with the Voortrekkers who settled in what is today known as the Free State, and then reached several territorial agreements with the British, who had taken over possession of the Free State territory in 1848. Border disputes nevertheless led to battles between the Basotho and British forces in 1851 and 1852, both of which were won by the Basotho.

    In 1854 the Orange Free State (OFS) became an independent Boer republic. As with the British, border conflict broke out soon afterwards. After a Basotho defeat in 1868, Moshoeshoe asked the British for protection. Basotholand became British territory, but Moshoeshoe still managed to preserve his kingdom and his people’s existence. After the British signed the Treaty of Aliwal North with the OFS, the border dispute was settled. Moshoeshoe died in 1870 and a year later Basotholand was integrated with the Cape Colony. However, in 1884, it became a separate British Protectorate.

    In 1966, Basotholand gained its independence and was renamed Lesotho.

    There were many strategies by indigenous people to try to survive the European settler invasions both in Africa and America.  LeSotho avoided apartheid.  I do not write to praise Britain, which was an imperialist nation and did much evil, such as in India and Kenya (concentration camps in the 1950s).  Nonetheless, indigenous people sometimes survived better with a far away colonial rule than in dealing with settler societies.

    Looking forward from the Revolution to Andrew jackson, the white supremacist and implementer of "Indian removal," it might have been better for Native Americans had Britain won.

    Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

    by TomP on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:18:33 AM PDT

    •  Forgot the link. (11+ / 0-)

      Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

      by TomP on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same can be said for African Americans (9+ / 0-)

      during the Revolution.

      Great Britain outlawed slavery BEFORE the United States.

      And since, the American Civil War was a direct result of the unsettled matter of slavery after the war, that war may have never happened.

      History may have been kinder to both Native and African Americans if the Revolution failed.

      This Machine Kills Fascists

      by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:24:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Many enslaved Africans fled to (10+ / 0-)

        Canada because the British promised them freedom.  Then in 1833, I think, GB outlawed slavery.

        Good points.

        History may have been kinder to both Native and African Americans if the Revolution failed.

        Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

        by TomP on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:27:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't count on it... (4+ / 0-)

        History may have been kinder to both Native and African Americans if the Revolution failed.

        We do not yet know the full results of the revolution. The revolution was not the end product but the beginning; the foundation of a new nation to be built on that foundation.

        The construction continues full speed as we speak. Sure, it has not been an easy construction; there have been many setbacks, wrong material and tears on the way...and there will be more

        But I put my bet on a better tomorrow which is built by all the inhabitants of this land, the white, the negro, the indian, the spanish, the turk and the asian...

        All of us must add into the dough....because all are needed.

        •  I'm talking about (8+ / 0-)

          in the 18th and 19th century.

          As for the revolution and democracy, Britain also is democratic.  So is Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Kenya, and Nigeria.  There is no reason to think that home rule under Britain would not have evolved like Canada.  American exceptionalism likes to ignore its crimes and claim democracy.  

          Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

          by TomP on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:55:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, Ojibwa

            ...but I don't care much about being the "subject" of his/her majesty...

            Democratic or not...I don't trust empires

            Besides, the idea is that a perfect America must exist and when it is not then it must be seen as the paroah is wrong. America is not the only nation that comitted "crimes." America has done more good for the world in its short history than any other nation in recent times. Acceptance of this fact is not claiming "exceptionalism." It is an imperfect, young nation, struggling to realize the meaning of its profound founding creed. Not fully grown yet. As I said in my previous post, America is all that walks and eats and sleeps on and is nurtured by its land. The puzzle will be revealed in time.

            Britain has no crimes in its history? It's democracy is perfect?

            •  I may have found myself (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, TomP, zenox

              siding with the loyalists in 1776 because of slavery and the treatment of the native Americans

              This Machine Kills Fascists

              by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:43:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The events and the realities of 1776 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aaraujo

                ...were far more complex than our judgments reveals us from the distance of time. I too am not thrilled about the revolution's blindness to the humanness of the Native Americans and the African blacks and their consequent treatment of them but I know a thing or two about the collective development and the evolution of human mind to damn them all to hell. I certainly understand your anger and frustration aaraujo and wish that the human kind could evolve without being imbeciles first but the history tells me otherwise. We are not really that smart most of the time and I wonder sometimes how in the world we haven't blown ourselves to the kingdom come, yet. Then I realize that there is more to us than the "imbecil." That part, "the more than the imbecile" part, is what I am putting my bets on. Siding with the loyalists could sound attractive when we judge by the Britain being first abolishing slavery but again when one reads the "Declaration of Independence" one sees a king George who is nowhere near intending to be fair and just for even the "whites" of his own brethren, forget the blacks and the Natives. Deceptive George much?

                I wouldn't buy completely into that "abolishment of slavery" from a society that is class conscious still today (who was it that made "small people" comment, speaking for BP?). They may even have believed that they "abolished slavery" before they fully acknowledged it in their collective unconscious. But I doubt if they saw the African black and the Native American as their equal.

                The Civil War was however a tangible, living breathing action revealing the battle within the people scarcely a century after the writing of the "Decleration of Independence." The hearts and the minds of the people were evolved and ready for the battle to make it more of a reality...yet it was not perfect. It took another century for the Civil Rights movement and the battles and the bloodshed again for the collective to evolve further so that the black and the brown and the white could materialize their connections as one people.

                Perfection achieved during Civil Rights movement?
                Hell no. Evolution towards it but not perfection. It was a big step though. It brought us a black president.

                What now? More battles... What else? We have to keep moving...since we got to evolve more.

                For a more perfect Union (but never the perfect), we will keep on battling

                I hope it'll be bloodless this time. I hope we have evolved enough to make it without bloodshed.

                Not being quick to judge and the realization of the fact that we don't know how we ourselves would act if we had lived in 1776, with the 200+ less evolved mind, should help to keep us more grounded and less angry.

                I admire the hell out of what the founders accomplished in 1776 even though they were faulty, fallible men.

                •  Well, I'm an Anglophile (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zenox

                  my wife is English and I am Episcopalian so I may be biased towards our British cousins.

                  The BP exec who used the term "small people" was a Swede and not a Brit.

                  The British are very proud to have been the first to outlaw slavery, one of the oldest and most stable democracies in the world, and the first to have healthcare for all.

                  Their conservatives are more progressive than our Democrats and their liberals tend to be real socialists.

                  BBC is, really, the only trusted news service in the English-speaking world.

                  The "historical crimes" comes with the legacy of the global British Empire and how they have treated the Scots and Irish at home.

                  This Machine Kills Fascists

                  by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:56:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'll drink to that... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aaraujo

                    LOL! I think the British deserves all the greatness they have contributed to and continues to contribute to the human history and development. Lately, they are really looking better than we do, considering the shape of our woeful politics and the shameful media (rags)...

                    I think all nations have this duality. The good side and the bad side. You'll see either, depending on the angle you are looking from.

                    I too am biased of course. Quite fond of my defiant America. I sure am.

                    LOL!

                    Give my best to your wife. Tell her that although I don't care much for King George, my favorite historical character in the world is Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen.

                    She was a blessing.

            •  Huh? (5+ / 0-)

              Where on earth did I say this:

              Besides, the idea is that a perfect America must exist and when it is not then it must be seen as the pariah is wrong

              Strawman much?  I never said anything of the sort.

              You are lost in Ameircan exceptionalism and the ened to play July 4th.  A mature and intellectually honest view sees the good and bad in the Revolution and the story of America.

              This is way too spooky for me:

              America is all that walks and eats and sleeps on and is nurtured by its land. The puzzle will be revealed in time.

              The democratic experiment in Ameirca was built on the backs of enslaved Africans and dispossed Native Americans.  I firmly reject a herrenvolk democracy, while recognizing the good in the ideals of democracy and the "perfection" of certain ideals in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

              Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

              by TomP on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:15:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The limits of human language... (0+ / 0-)

                Dear TomP

                I realized that it would not be possible for me to fully explain my meaning to you, even if I wrote a book here...human language is unfortunately, limited...

                ...but, some readers will understand what I am talking about. It works when we really intend to understand.

                Thanks for the discussion which I value very much.

          •  Besides... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, Ojibwa

            Britain also is democratic.  So is Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Kenya, and Nigeria

            All of these democracies are at least in part influenced by the American democracy (even if it is imperfect by your standards). I know Mahatma Ghandi was.

            We cannot say that if there was no American revolution, we would have the rest of the world as it is today. America has influenced these democracies. Without American revolution, the world would certainly be a different place although I wouldn't claim to know what it would be like.

            I think it is more realistic to say we don't know how the world would be without the American revolution than saying we do...

            •  The French Revolution (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, algebrateacher, TomP

              did more to shape the modern world than the American War of Independence.

              Great Britian, Canada, Australia, etc did not look to the Americans as an example to follow.

              This Machine Kills Fascists

              by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:45:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And would not have happened (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zenox

                without the American revolution.

                And ours was far less bloody.  No reign of terror happened for quite a while after we were established.

                My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

                by trumpeter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't think being tarred and feathered (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aaraujo, TomP

                  was a terrorist attack?

                  You don't think Tories fleeing for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs as their homes were burnt out weren't fleeing acts of terrorism?

                  Freedom without responsibility is license and not liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  by Bionic on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:07:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am not going to refight the 1776 with you... (0+ / 0-)

                    Tories ran with their clothes on their backs as their homes were "burnt out"?

                    Gee I didn't know. Poor "Tories."

                    What was happening to the terrorist "whigs" at that time, I wonder?

                    Having picnic under the peach trees?

                    •  New Brunswick, Canada (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bionic

                      Just norh of the Maine border was the place that many of the Loyalist refugees fled to.

                      White and black, alike, with nothing but the clothes are their backs and angry American Patriots on their heels.

                      http://www.jstor.org/...

                      This Machine Kills Fascists

                      by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:05:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It was a war, aaraujo (0+ / 0-)

                        I am not happy that people suffered but it was a war...and the loyalists were not the only ones who suffered.

                        That's the point.

                        "The angry American Patriots" too suffered. Did you hear about the bare footed teenagers in George Washington's army? Fighting in the middle of winter without proper clothing or food? And the amputations without anesthesia because there was none?

                        It was a war, and like all wars, it was not a picnic for either side.

                        Blaming does not teach us anything. Understanding does.

                    •  Just your comparison to the French revolution (0+ / 0-)

                      You don't think there was terror on both sides there?
                      According to you the American Revolution didn't involve/devolve into terror.

                      They don't say "war is hell" for nothing but you don't seem to care to acknowledge that the losers of your Revolutionary War suffered terribly just like in France or anywhere else a war has been fought.
                      It wasn't all stirring moments of fife and drum.

                      And oh yes, you can thank the first Lt governor of Upper Canada (now Ontario) for George Washington's life. He stopped British soldiers from shooting him when he was running away at Brandywine (IIRC).

                      So there were heinous actions and heroic ones on both sides, all of which affected the outcome.

                      Freedom without responsibility is license and not liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      by Bionic on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 08:44:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Apologise (0+ / 0-)

                      You weren't the author of the parent comment of this thread.

                      The point the original author made was

                      And ours was far less bloody.  No reign of terror happened for quite a while after we were established.

                      It was bloody and there was terror. Different from the French Revolution but the same.

                      Freedom without responsibility is license and not liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      by Bionic on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 08:48:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But markedly less. (0+ / 0-)

                        Our cities were not places where guillotines were set up and the crowds/mobs cheered as people were tortured to death.  The Tories were not rounded up methodically and sent to prison or executed.  People suspected of collaborating with the revolutionaries were also not systematically rounded up and executed.

                        My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

                        by trumpeter on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 10:10:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  No? (0+ / 0-)

                Great Britian, Canada, Australia, etc did not look to the Americans as an example to follow.

                Are you sure?

                Tony Blair would disagree with you...

                LOL!

    •  Washington wanted to treat the tribes like (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo, TomP, QuestionAuthority, Ojibwa

      separate nations, which would have placed "Indian Affairs" in the federal government's realm.  There was even talk of granting statehood.

      It was Jefferson who let the state governments loose.  It was Jefferson who could not see how the white and red races could live next to each other.  

      The relationship between white and red in American history is still a fresh area for historians, particularly if researchers are digging into where white and red intermarried, which occurred quite often in the frontiers between British and French settlements.  From Pennsylvania to Maine, tribes would exploit family relationships as much as the grand diplomatic, economic and political competition between France and Britain.

      In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

      by algebrateacher on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:34:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Benjamin Franklin (9+ / 0-)

    borrowed the Great Law of the Iroquois to set up the bicameral system of government for the new country,.

    •  Some of it (8+ / 0-)

      there were plenty of European Enlightment ideas floating around.

      The Dutch were the first to have a modern republic and economy in the 1500s.

      This Machine Kills Fascists

      by aaraujo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:30:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Franklin borrowed the Iroquois Confederation (6+ / 0-)

      concept for his Albany Plan of Union for the colonies.  Separate tribes (states) uniting for a common purpose and all that.

      In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

      by algebrateacher on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:44:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sort of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        algebrateacher, Ojibwa

        This was hotly disputed in the 1990s after an article by some scholars at William and Mary.  However, by the time of the Constitutional Convention, every state except PA had a bicameral legislature and the Founders were much more likely to be influenced by European and Classical models than the Iroquois.

        Roger Sherman was the one who proposed it to the Convention and it became the Great (or Connecticut) Compromise.  Franklin did admire the Iroquois Confederation's system, and it might have influenced his thoughts in some ways, but to say that it was the source of bicameralism is going much too far.

        To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires. W.E.B. DuBois

        by dizzydean on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Albany Plan was, first and foremost, an alliance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          walkshills, Ojibwa

          for military and economic purposes.  Yes, whether Franklin was influenced by the Iroquois is controversial; he may have been just as inspired by other historical confederations.

          Bicameralism, as an historical issue, is separate from the Albany Plan.  If anything, the Albany Plan inspired the Articles of Confederation, which had a unicameral legislature.

          In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

          by algebrateacher on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:41:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is was always about land, not taxes (15+ / 0-)

    As a Canadian with an American wife and many close American friends I was always amazed how differently we are taught history.

    My understanding of the American Revolution was that it was always about Indian Land.  (Specifically the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774).  Britain had preserved lands for the First Nations but the colonists wanted to expand indefinitely.

    All in all it seems a much more plausible explanation for revolution than the conventional explanation taught in America:  thwarted territorial expansion into the rest of the continent seems far more important than a small increase in a few taxes.

    We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    by RageKage on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:45:38 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely. The tax whining was a cover (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, aaraujo, RageKage, Ojibwa

      for the insatiable appetite of the empire builders, G Washington & Co., for the lands west of the Alleghenies forbidden the colonists by the Crown.

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:14:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  American history is way oversimplified and often (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, aaraujo, vadasz, Ojibwa

      for political and philosophical reasons.  The whole taxes-caused-it is a turd blossom; there's a flower of truth and there's the rest of it.

      Find any American high school history textbook and you probably won't know anything about how often the British government stepped in to run colonies before 1763.  You probably won't know anything about the French-British dynastic wars except for maybe a paragraph about the French and Indian War.  This lack of information contributes to the non-military American mystique essential for glorifying the revolutionary generation.  Ignored is high-degree of organization and cooperation it took to send a colonial army to conquer Louisburg (and the Nova Scotia coast) in 1745.  Also ignored is how the British government took this success away from the colonies, denied the pillaging that many colonials expected as their due (as well as captured ship money, kept by the few British navy ships involved) and, in the end, left the colonial army to starve and die in droves over a winter.  Sam Adams began his publishing and activist career during this episode in American history.  American textbooks ignore this.

      In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

      by algebrateacher on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:15:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My ancestors have a mixed record (6+ / 0-)

    Some lived peacefully with Native Americans, defending their rights.  Others fought (and died) in battle with them.  Today, there is greater tolerance, but tolerance is not enough. I pray for a bright future for immigrant and native Americans, where their relationship is characterized by mutual respect and sharing.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:01:18 AM PDT

  •  Oh, such sorry, damned if you do, damned if you.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa
  •  Your work here is invaluable Ojibwa. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, bobdevo, blueoregon, vadasz, Ojibwa

                                gratitude

    Emptiness ... is always bigger ... than you remembered.

    by abarefootboy on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:09:39 AM PDT

  •  I think we also need to look at the French and (8+ / 0-)

    Indian War, fomented at least in part by an ambitious young gentleman named George Washington.  In 1754 his men ambushed and killed a French scouting party, inflaming the region surrounding the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers.

    Following the defeat of the French, King George III's prohibition of settlement west of the Alleghenies - agreed to by the King and various tribes - was the underlying cause of the Revolutionary War, in which land owned by the Indians in the West - such as the Western Reserve - were promised to those who would commit treason against the Crown.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:12:05 AM PDT

    •  Washington stood much to gain (6+ / 0-)

      from the freeing up of the land west of the Alleghenies. He was one of the largest landholders in the Ohio territory, which was of no use to him so long as it couldn't be settled by whites. I'm amazed that the real causes of the revolution and the motivates of the men who started it are still shrouded by centuries of propaganda. Most people still appear to believe that it was about "freedom" or unfair taxes.

      Teabaggers across the ages haven't changed much.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:22:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not blame George too much (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bionic, walkshills, bobdevo, Ojibwa

      He was indeed ambitious and he messed up the expedition in so many ways (he was an international villain before he was a hero...), but he was carrying out Virginia's colonial policy.  Virginia claimed the Ohio Valley and his military expedition was funded and supplied by Virginia.

      In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

      by algebrateacher on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:47:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh . . . . . (0+ / 0-)

        sorry, Washington is still a weasel:

        In 1754, Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie issued a proclamation designed to encourage enlistment in the local militia for the war against the French.

        In addition to their pay, those who enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel George Washington's fledgling Virginia Regiment were offered a share in two hundred thousand acres west of the Ohio River. Unfortunately for the men who fought under Washington in the Braddock and Forbes expeditions against the enemy at Fort Duquesne, they were not to see these bounty lands until more than twenty years had passed, during which time Washington led the struggle to secure their title.

        The Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade colonial governors from issuing land grants west of the Allegheny Mountains. Yet Washington chose to forge ahead, as evinced by a September 1767 letter to William Crawford, a Pennsylvania surveyor:

        . . . I can never look upon the Proclamation in any other light (but this I say between ourselves) than as a temporary expedient to quiet the minds of the Indians.

        He was planning to steal those lands 13 years before the Declaration of Independence.

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:27:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some much-needed perspective (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Bionic, Ojibwa

    on an era and movement that wasn't anywhere near as noble and pure as many continue to believe that it was. Also to be noted was that the British freed thousands of slaves during the war, to disrupt the rebels' activites, whom at the war's conclusion the US demanded be returned to their masters. Thankfully, the British refused to do this, not wanting to be or be seen as disloyal to their supporters.

    It should also be remembered that the putative cause of the war, allegedly unfair taxes, were actually quite reasonable, and only levied to help pay for the French and Indian War, which the colonists started and mostly benefitted from. The colonists didn't want to pay these taxes, making them more like today's teabaggers than we care to admit (racist, anti-government, hate taxes, in favor of "freedom" for the well-off).

    It's our job to complete the revolution according to its stated justifications and goals, since those who waged it often failed to do so themselves.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:18:46 AM PDT

  •  The Conestoga Massacre (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Ojibwa

    I lived in Lancaster, PA for awhile and my in-laws are all there...creating a bit of a stir is a recent book out on the Conestoga Massacre of 1763.  The book is Kevin Kenny, Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment (Oxford, 2009).  Kenny is a professor of history at Boston College.

    To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires. W.E.B. DuBois

    by dizzydean on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:20:19 AM PDT

  •  OT a bit: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Ojibwa

    My Red Rock Canyon diary has some photos of an Anasazi camp site.

  •  Thanks for the dairy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, vadasz, Ojibwa

    "It is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize" - Henry David Thoreau

    by blueoregon on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:24:28 AM PDT

  •  Rutherford Trace (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa

    There are historical markers throughout Western North Carolina that mark the route followed by Gen Griffith Rutherford in his brutal campaign against the Cherokee in 1776.

    To some, it was a crucial military campaign early in the Revolutionary War, an unprecedented patriot force that crushed a potential British ally and paved the way for American independence and inevitable white settlements in Western North Carolina.

    To others, it was a brutal terror raid that killed and starved innocent Cherokee civilians — a Colonial version of Gen. William Sherman’s Civil War march through the South.

    Rutherford Trace

    There should never be a tax benefit for companies that screw over American workers.

    by bear83 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:06:06 PM PDT

  •  I think this period needs more spotlighting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa

    Interestingly, in current discussions it seems popular to cite Revolutionary era history without actually knowing any.  

    Thanks, Ojibwa, for delving into this.

    A huge area of misunderstanding seems to be about the relationship between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Founding Fathers, particularly in regard to various inspirations for founding a government that departs from European conventional wisdoms.

    That deserves quite a bit of discussion.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:06:55 PM PDT

  •  Great history. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Ojibwa

    But how much of the ambivalence between America and Britain was the result of the defeat of the French?  I gather that the tribes did not see the French as so very avaricious.  Then after turnover of the territories to the British they observed an influx of settlers.  The proclamation by the British shutting down settlement only came after the Ottowa overran forts like Michilimackinac.  So there was otherwise no love lost between the native tribes and the British.

    Whatever any of us see as the thread of connections, it is great that you bring up the complexities about our long history together.

    How about a history of those who fought to stem the tide of abusive settlement; Pontiac, Tecumseh and the Prophet, and others, until at last there was only what I think of as the forlorn wish of the ghost dance (but then perhaps I am misreading the meaning of that last hope).

    I have got so much more to learn and you are helping keep that alive, Ojibwa.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:31:44 PM PDT

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