Dominance of the Ohio Valley Region Essay

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Dominance of the Ohio Valley Region

The Ohio Valley Region was known as the American frontier during the time period from 1760 to 1813. The white expansion into the Ohio Valley Region brought about the decline and the eventual dissolution of the Native American way of life. The struggles of the French and English in the north and the westward push of American settlers in the south were met with unified pro-nativist resistance. The individual struggles of three men characterize the turmoil between whites and Native Americans. Pontiac’s war against the English, Tecumseh’s organization of a unified Indian Confederation, and Daniel Boone’s leadership in the western migration into Kentucky demonstrate the fight for control in the Ohio
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In turn, the French protected the Indians and supplied them with guns, gunpowder, ammunition for hunting, and with provisions during harsh winters (Hough, xii). This European influence had radically changed the lives of the Great Lakes tribes. By the time of Pontiac’s boyhood, the stone and bone tools of his people had been replaced by steel axes, knives, and traps (Hough, viii).

In the 1740s, commercial competition between France and Great Britain had intensified, and war broke out in 1744. Ottawa warriors fought on the side of the French, as they did in all four major wars from 1689-1763 (Eckert, 127).

British forces under British Commander-in-chief Sir Jeffrey Amherst swept through the Great Lakes region, seizing control of most of the French forts by 1760. Amherst was well known to be arrogant and contemptuous of the Indians. He insisted that the good behavior of the natives should be bought with fear.

Under British occupation, unrest grew among the tribes (Hough,xii0). Pontiac called a meeting of Ottawa, Chippewa, Huron, Potawatomi and other Lake tribes. Pontiac was a powerful orator as well as warrior, and possessed a keen intelligence and skill as a strategist. He spoke to the council of the wrongs they had suffered under the British and spoke of the Master of Life and his urging for the Indians to turn back to their old ways. The warriors
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