• Bombs bursting in air over Baltimore in 1813

    War of 1812

Native Nations

Native nations from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico experienced the War of 1812 as but a chapter in a much longer struggle to defend their homelands against European encroachment and settlement. The "New World" that Europeans encountered beginning in the 1400s was home to Native civilizations compelled increasingly to adjust to life on a continent becoming dominated by European, then American settlement. As empires moved westward into Native territory, new Native alliances brought together coalitions of nations. Spiritual and cultural renewal combined with military resistance as Native communities attempted to stem the tide of American expansion and maintain independence and autonomy.

Showing results 1-5 of 14

  • "Civilizing" Native Peoples: American Policies to Remake Tribal Worlds

    American Policies to Remake Tribal Worlds

    After the American Revolution, the Washington administration embraced a program to “civilize” native peoples, transforming Indians from tribal peoples into individuals who could be easily assimilated into American society. Read more

  • A Price to Pay to Stay Home

    Colorful map showing Indian land cessation in Michigan

    Immediately the Michigan tribes had to enter into treaty negotiations with the United States in order to stay in their homelands. For the tribes, this meant ceding away millions of acres of ancestral homelands to avoid removal to Kansas and Oklahoma. Read more

  • Aftermath of War: The Treaty of Fort Jackson

    A map of the Creek nation after the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson

    The Treaty of Fort Jackson ended the fighting of the Creek War, but began a series of negotiations between the Creek community and the U.S. Government for land, property, and monetary resources. Read more

  • Aligning Mind, Body and Spirit: How Native Warriors Prepared for Battle

    Skeches of Odawa warriors preparing for battle

    The decision for a tribal warrior to strike out on the war path was a decision that rested entirely with the individual. It was an exercise in complete freedom of the warrior. He had no obligation to fight for his tribe, villages or family. Read more

  • Behind the Sharp Knife: Cherokee Indians in the Creek War

    Drawing depicting the death of Major Montgomery at the Battle of Tohopeka

    The Cherokee, whose traditional lands bordered the Creek’s, were acutely aware that the conflict between the two Creek factions could spill into their own towns. The fear of encroaching violence coupled with a desire to separate themselves, in the eyes of the United States and its citizenry, from the actions of the Red Sticks led Cherokee leaders to accept the request for military assistance against the Upper Creeks issued by the United States. Read more