Haudenosaunee Case Analysis

770 Words 4 Pages
As the gifts declined, so did the Confederacy’s power. Without the rivalry between the French and British, the Haudenosaunee lost their vital place as intermediaries between the two superpowers, forcing them to adopt a new strategy to survive. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix signified a shift in Haudenosaunee strategy from mediating between rivals to fraudulently selling land belonging to other Indians. By 1768, the British were attempting to complete their proclamation line issued in 1763, which was to be the new frontier border. Their new desired line ran through Cherokee and Shawnee territory, so Sir William Johnson employed the traditional British strategy of persuading another Indian nation to sell the land on the other tribes’ behalf. …show more content…
At first, the Confederacy looked towards the war as a new opportunity to play both sides off of each other. In some cases, this worked, as British and Patriots once again showered the Haudenosaunee with gifts in an attempt to persuade them to join their cause. However, internal divisions arose between the Six Nations which were much deeper than in previous wars. Material dependence on European goods had greatly increased since the French and Indian War 20 years prior, and growing colonial speculation on Mohawk territory caused some to favor the British against the Americans. To add to the disarray, Molly Brandt, Johnson’s widowed wife and acculturated Mohawk, and Joseph Brant, an acculturated Mohawk war chief, began recruiting Haudenosaunee to fight for the British. These two represented the differences between the Eastern Tribes, which had over time adopted British culture, and the Western Tribes, who resisted acculturation. However, the final blow to the Confederacy’s Unity came when a plague at the Oneida Capitol of Onondaga killed several leading chiefs. The Haudenosaunee council fire was extinguished, symbolically weakening the Confederacy’s unity. This made it easier for tribes to fight each other, and the Nations were plunged into the Revolutionary war. Other the course of the 18th century, the Six Nation’s unity allowed them to remain powerful, as it helped them retain control over their domain and helped them maintain the same diplomatic agenda during negotiations. Without their unity, Haudenosaunee no longer intimidated the British and Americans, and this lead to devastating raids of Confederacy-controlled towns. This, combined with dependence on European goods, led to a state of economic and political decline for the Six

Related Documents