American Indian Wars

The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, and the Indian Wars, were fought by European governments and colonists in North America, and later by the United States and Canadian governments and American and Canadian settlers, against various American Indian and First Nation tribes. These conflicts occurred in North America from the time of the earliest colonial settlements in the 17th century until the early 20th century. The various wars resulted from a wide variety of factors, the most common being the desire of settlers and governments for Indian tribes' lands. The European powers and their colonies also enlisted allied Indian tribes to help them conduct warfare against each other's colonial settlements. After the American Revolution, many conflicts were local to specific states or regions and frequently involved disputes over land use; some entailed cycles of violent reprisal.

American Indian Wars
Part of the European colonization of the Americas, the expansion of Canada and the expansion of the United States

An 1899 chromolithograph of U.S. Cavalrymen pursuing American Indians
Date1609 – June 2, 1924 (intermittent)
North America
American Indians, including the tribes: Cherokee, Creek (Muscogee) and Creek Red Sticks,
Lakota, Meskwaki, Miami, Odawa, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Seminole, Wampanoag, Wyandot and including the confederacies: Tecumseh's confederacy and the Northwestern Confederacy
First Nations, including: Blackfoot, Cree,
Peguis First Nation
State of Muskogee
Provisional Government of Saskatchewan
Colonists, Viceroyalty and Europeans:
British Empire:
 United Kingdom
 Kingdom of England
 Kingdom of Scotland
British America
New England Colonies
British North America
 Dominion of Canada
Dominion of Newfoundland
 Kingdom of France
First French Empire:
New France
French Louisiana
 Spanish Empire:
Viceroyalty of New Spain
Council of the Indies:
 United States
Dutch Empire:
New Netherland
Swedish Empire:
New Sweden
Danish Empire
 Russian Empire:
Russian America
 Vermont Republic
 Republic of Texas
 Confederate States[lower-alpha 1]
Commanders and leaders
Joseph Brant
John Smoke Johnson
Crazy Horse
Red Cloud
William Weatherford
Little Turtle
Henri Membertou
Francis Peck
Michael Tooma
Frank Tooma Jr.
William Augustus Bowles
Louis Riel
William III
George III
John A. Macdonald
Henry IV
Louis XIII
Louis XIV
Louis XV
Louis XVI
Philip V
Louis I
Ferdinand VI
Charles III
Charles IV
Ferdinand VII
George Washington
Anthony Wayne
James Madison
William Henry Harrison
Christian IX
Alexander II
Santa Anna
Jefferson Davis
Casualties and losses
 United States ~ 1,000 soldiers[1]
 Canada ~ 39[2][3]

As settlers spread westward across North America after 1780, armed conflicts increased in size, duration, and intensity between settlers and various Indian and First Nation tribes. The climax came in the War of 1812, when major Indian coalitions in the Midwest and the South fought against the United States and lost. Conflict with settlers became less common and was usually resolved by treaties between the federal government and specific tribes. The treaties often required the tribes to sell or surrender land to the United States. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized the American government to force Indian tribes to move from east of the Mississippi River to the west on the American frontier, especially to Indian Territory which became Oklahoma. As American settlers expanded their settlement onto the Great Plains and the Western United States and Canada, the nomadic and semi-nomadic Indian tribes of those regions were forced to relocate to reservations.

Indian and First Nation tribes and coalitions often won battles with the encroaching settlers and soldiers, but their numbers were too few and their resources too limited to win more than temporary victories and concessions from the U.S. and Canadian governments. First Nation wars in Canada were much less frequent than in the United States.

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