War in the West

The Revolutionary War in the West was fought primarily between civilian settlers and American Indians allied with the British. In 1775, the Ohio River made a tenuous border between the American colonies and the American Indians of the Ohio Country. Ohio Indians were divided on how to respond to the war. Some Native Americans were on friendly terms with settlers, yet many viewed the United States as a threat to their territory. Approximately 13,000 Native Americans representing several Indian nations, fought for the British

Most of the action in the West consisted of escalating series of retaliations between frontier settlers and local Indian populations. Land disputes were common as territorial boundaries established by treaty were frequently not honored by either side.

The British began recruiting and arming American Indian war parties to raid American settlements. In 1778, settlers decided that offensive operations were necessary to secure their western border. The next several years of the war, both sides launched raids against each other, usually targeting settlements.

The war in the Northwest was essentially a draw. Settlements were destroyed on both sides, but territory could not be held once claimed. Although American Indians had been pushed back from the Ohio River, settlers could not occupy the abandoned lands for fear of further raids. In the final treaty between Great Britain and the United States, the Ohio Country was granted to the United States. Great Britain did not consult American Indians during the peace process, and local tribes were not mentioned in the treaty's terms.

Source: War in the West
Boundless Learning, Inc., CC BY-SA 4.0

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