European used war as a weapon to enforce a particular a political stand or force them out of their land. For instance, in 1936, a violent clash between whites and Indians broke out in Connecticut after the whites attacked an Indian village where about 600 Indian lives were lost. This aggravated the zeal of the Indians to resist the white settlement. In 1675, a mass resistance was formed by a number of Indian tribes against the settlement of whites on their lands in New England. 4 Even though the settlers managed to overcome the resistance within a year, the Indians would not give up their struggle for their lost rights.
The struggle for Indian land rights was drawn into the French-England wars especially in the northern America. At the time of the American Revolutionary war, most of Indian tribes aided the Britons as they perceived them as the defenders of their land rights. Even though the government of the United States had vowed to protect the rights of Indians, the promise was never kept as the whites continued to expand their settlements on the Indian lands under the protection of the army.
In 1930, the then President of United States Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. 5 The Act gave the settlers the right to settle on the land previously reserved for Indians. The Europeans managed to suppress the native Indians due to their possession of sophisticated weapons such as guns. Their power and efficiency to kill could not be compared to the bows and arrows that were common weapons among the native Indians. One of the significant phases in the history of the Indian struggle towards recognition of their land and cultural rights was the formation of the PAN Indian Confederation.
This comprised of a movement which was led by an Indian Shawnee tribe warrior by the name of Tecumesh. 6 He was motivated by the need to retain identity by fighting off the foreigners. In his view, the new cultures were detrimental to the survival of their culture. Additionally, their inaction to resist foreign occupation on their land was making them being pushed from their natural habitat. Tecumesh played a leading role in his trial to unite all the Indian tribes in both North and South America for a common goal.
His political ideology of a united Indian community had all the possible potential of delivering change to the American continent. He knew very well that unity of his community was a key to the success of his goal. He also aimed at enlightening his community members of the political changes that were taking place around them.
Andrea. F. 2008. Invisible Indians: Native Americans in Pennsylvania. Human Organization, 67: 145-160.
Evira, P. 2003. Towards a Native American Critical Theory. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
Guisepi. R.A. (ed.). n.d. American Indians or Native Americans. Accessed November 8, 2011. http://history-world.org/american_indians_or_native_ameri.htm.
History of American Indians. n.d. History World. Online November 8, 2011. Accessed November 8, 2011. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=1099&HistoryID=ab05>rack=pthc.
James, C. 2006. Colonial America. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Lamphere, P. 2005, January-February. A Native War of Independence, The Life of Tecumseh, International Socialist Review, Issue 39, Online Edition. Accessed November 8, 2011. http://www.isreview.org/issues/39/tecumseh.shtml.
Smith, S.L. 2000. Remaining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes, 1880-1940. New York: Oxford University Press.