Native Americans and the American Revolution

This project focuses on the impact that Native Americans had on the Revolutionary war. Although many people may consider the war to have been a conflict primarily between Britain, and the American Colonists, the impact that Native Americans had on the war is often overlooked. Both sides in the war realized that there was great value in having alliances with the Native Americans, so both sides sought them out. 

In this project I will look at which tribes of Native Americans joined the side of the British, and which tribes joined the side of the Americans. It was somewhat split, with many of the tribes remaining neutral. However, many tribes decided to support the British. Perhaps the main reason for this goes back to the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation created a line that prohibited the colonists from expanding westward into newly acquired lands that they had just won from the French. In other words, many Natives believed that if they supported the British, that they would be at less risk of losing their land.

The decision to join either the Americans or the British was one that would prove very divisive for native American tribes. The most notable case of this was the separation of the Iroquois Confederacy. This confederacy was an alliance of initially five, but later, and at the time of the revolutionary war, six tribes. However, when it came time to choose sides, two of the tribes, the oneida and the Tuscarora, decided to support the Americans, while the other four, the Seneca, the Cayuga, the Onandaga, and the Mohawk decided to support the British.