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Warring for AmericaCultural Contests in the Era of 1812$
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Nicole Eustace and Fredrika J. Teute

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631516

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631516.001.0001

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Widening The Scope on the Indians’ Old Northwest

Widening The Scope on the Indians’ Old Northwest

(p.359) Widening The Scope on the Indians’ Old Northwest
Warring for America

Jonathan Todd Hancock

University of North Carolina Press

The northwestern theater of the War of 1812 brought the complex nature of tribal politics and diplomacy into full relief. While the militant, inter-tribal coalition led by Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa was one Indian strategy for reckoning with U.S. territorial expansion, the historiographical focus on the Shawnee brothers and their movement has obscured a range of shifting Indian objectives and strategies for negotiating the wartime upheaval. By closely examining inter-tribal rivalries and coalitions, as well as tensions within Indian polities, we see a broader spectrum of Indian agendas in action during the War of 1812. Those agendas included neutrality, spying for or outright alliance with the United States, and situational Indian participation in the conflict when the British made gains early in the war. Well after Tecumseh’s death, we also see the geopolitical influence of western Indian forces, particularly the Potawatomis, Sauks, and the Sioux, on the conflict. For an era so closely associated with Indian prophecy and millenarianism, pragmatism most often reigned.

Keywords:   Red Wing, Black Hawk, Shawnee, Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, Potawatomis, Sauks, Sioux, intertribal resistance, Indian prophecy, millenarianism

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