Friends like these: the United States' Indian allies in the Black Hawk War, 1832 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Hall, John William
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • “Friends Like These” examines the decision by elements of the Menominee, Dakota, Potawatomi, and Ho Chunk tribes to ally with the United States government during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Because this conflict is usually depicted as a landgrab by ravenous settlers and the war occurred within two years of the passage of the Indian Removal Act, the military participation of these tribes seems incongruous. This work seeks to determine why various bands of these tribes cooperated with the U.S. Army when such alliance seemed inimical to the interests of their respective tribes. Moreover, it explores the extent to which the Americans conceived of themselves as allies to the Indians while assessing the consequences of this alliance for each of the tribes involved. This study finds that the Indians participated in the Black Hawk War to fulfill their own wartime objectives, and that in so doing they sought to apply familiar forms to the new situation that unfolded in the years after the War of 1812. Seeking to strike traditional tribal enemies, extract political advantage and material gain from the Americans, and fulfill important male gender expectations, the Indians generally achieved their objectives—but they also helped create conditions that wrought permanent change on the world in which they lived.
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  • In Copyright
  • Higginbotham, Don
  • Open access

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