What Role Did Native Americans Play In The Revolutionary War?
In the Revolutionary war, the Native Americans played a role based on which they hoped to protect their identity and homeland from the expropriation of European origin American colonists.
To make that happen, many of their groups fought from the British Crown’s side against patriots (or European origin American colonists).
But the question is, did it mean that they had a love for British rule?
The answer is no, absolutely not.
They did it only for their self-interests because in 1763 British authority declared a Royal Proclamation for native Americans’ land protection.
Through that proclamation, the British Parliament prevented colonists’ aggression towards Indians’ homelands.
The royal proclamation restricted colonial expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains.
Natives were quite happy with this decision of the British Crown.
Those native people had a fear that if the British rule was ended by the revolutionaries, then preventing colonists’ expansion towards their land would become impossible.
Although, they didn’t come to participate in the beginning part of the Revolutionary War.
They entered the war when there was some attack that started happening on them from the American revolutionaries’ side.
Although, as per some historical sources, a few Native Americans also joined the patriots’ side too.
What Was The Outcome of Their Joining In The War?
Till the end of the Revolutionary War, Great Britain had to face heavy defeat against American and French allied forces.
So, in this case, the Indians too faced defeat.
In 1783 treaty of Versailles was signed, under which, Britain had to leave the rule of the 13 North American colonies.
Once the British left the colonies, colonists formed a new nation (USA) with a new government of their own.
As soon as they came into power, started hostile actions against natives.
Especially, the new government drove them away from their old living compatible homelands to some bad, in-compatible areas.
Even the new government was so vindictive towards them that if Indians opposed any of their decisions, they were even killed.
All in all, we can say, Indians joining the war didn’t prove beneficial for them after the Revolutionary War.
Why British Authority Tried Benefiting Natives Via The Proclamation?
From the 16th century, Great Britain was the most clever nation in colonial expansion.
In most of their colonies, they used the method ‘Divide & Rule’ to run everything smoothly.
In the 13 colonies also, they used the same tactic.
They knew that the condition would get out of control if Indians and colonists come together and start a rebellion against them.
So, for them, it was quite necessary to keep these two groups separate as much as possible.
From the mid of the 18th century, the relationship between colonists and British authority started deteriorating due to the imposition of taxation acts.
The English authority realized that the situation would soon decline even more.
So, as a way of preparation, they brought the proclamation of natives’ land protection from colonists’ expansion.
This new regulation significantly increased the emotional distance between natives and colonists.