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Natives in the American Revolution


The revolution that eventually secured the independence of the British colonies proved to be one of the most critical events in the second half of the XVIII century. The indigenous tribes also took part in the revolution, although many chose to support the British Empire. This essay will provide a short account of the natives in the American Revolution and explain their reasons for siding with either party.

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Most native American tribes decided to side with the British Empire. Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca, people of the Iroquois nation, were among the clans that proclaimed their support for the Crown (“Revolutionary War and American Indians”). The Mohawk tribe’s Brant family was especially prominent as they led the attacks against the settlers (“Revolutionary War and American Indians”). The tribes believed that if the colonies were to gain sovereignty, the Native Americans would lose theirs. Thus, the Natives had a compelling reason for cooperating with the Crown, as they supported the side that they believed would help them gain independence from the colonies.

Few tribes sided with the American colonies as they had previously established good relations with them. The Stockbridge tribe, for example, actively supported the American cause with their leader, Daniel Nimham, leading his people on scout missions (“Revolutionary War and American Indians”). Furthermore, two out of six tribes from the Iroquois Nation were recruited to the American cause (“Revolutionary War and American Indians”). Natives sided with the colonists because many of them were converted to Christianity, such as the Stockbridge tribe, while others counted on a trade deal with the States. Overall, the tribes that supported the colonies in their rebellion did not receive any benefits as their trade was interrupted, and they were forced to leave their lands (“Revolutionary War and American Indians”). The Natives that supported the British Empire also did not receive any benefits as the Crown lost the war.


In conclusion, it can be argued that the Revolutionary war that granted independence to the British colonies and allowed them to form a new country, did not benefit the Native Americans regardless of their affiliations. Although the tribes who took either the British or American side in the conflict had compelling reasons, neither party considered aiding the Natives to establish their independence after the war.

Work Cited

“The Revolutionary War and American Indians.” Native American Netroots, 2010, Web.

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