Power Struggle in the Old Northwest: Why the United States Won and the Indians Lost the Indian War, 1786-1795

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After the American Revolution, an influx of white settlers into the Old Northwest threatened to upset the balance of power that had existed in the region for decades. Various Indian tribes, frontiersmen, the United States government, and the British in Canada all sought to exercise military, economic, and political control over the Old Northwest. Flawed connections within and between groups who lacked the ability or willingness to compromise, shaped the brutal nature of the war and posed an obstacle to peace negotiations. Over the course of the conflict, internal power struggles weakened the western Indian confederacy and their British "allies." Contrarily, the ability of the federal government to improve relations with the frontier militias paved the way for an American victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, ensuring U.S. control of the region. After the Treaty of Greeneville, the inability of Indians and Americans to overcome their differences hampered assimilation, resulting in further native resistance and their forced removal westward. Studying the Indian War in terms of power shifts and relationships offers a thorough picture of this seminal conflict, while identifying how factors such as race, culture, and politics affected the war and its aftermath.



Little Turtle, St. Clair, Wayne, Indian War, Old Northwest, power struggle, United States, Indian confederacy, Harmar, Blue Jacket