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Portrait of the Shawnee military and political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He worked with his brothers Tenskwatawa, known as "The Prophet," to unite American Indian people in the Northwest territory to protect themselves versus white settlers.

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During the early on 1800s, Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, attempted to hold together American Indian people west of the Appalachian Mountains into a confederation. Tecumseh believed that the floor did no belong to a solitary tribe. In reality, nobody owned the land other than for the master of Life, the Shawnees" major god. Tecumseh thought that the only means that American Indians can transfer land come the Americans was if every people agreed come it. Tecumseh wanted to force the americans to attend to all the the people in unison. Separately, the individual tribes did not have much power. Together, Tecumseh hoped, they would be a significant deterrent to white expansion.

Tecumseh described his views in a letter to wilhelm Henry Harrison in 1810:

. . .the only way to protect against this angry , is for every the red males to hold together in explain a common and equal best in the land as it was at first, and also should be currently - for it never was divided, however belongs come all. . . .Sell a country! Why not offer the air, the clouds and the good sea, and the earth? Did not the good Spirit make them all for the usage of his children?

In his quest, Tecumseh received help from his younger brothers Tenskwatawa. Recognized as the Prophet, Tenskwatawa believed that the American Indians had actually to finish their reliance on American goods, such as alcohol, steel cookware, and also guns. The Indians had angered the understand of Life by coming to be dependent on this items. If the American indians forsook them, the grasp of Life would reward his pendant by control the american from your land. Numerous Indians found the Prophet"s blog post appealing and also began to congregate in ~ his village, Prophetstown, in the Indiana Territory.

Tecumseh offered his brother"s influence to to convince the American ind to placed aside their timeless differences and unite together against the whites. He likewise visited numerous tribes west the the Appalachian Mountains and east the the Mississippi river seeking added support because that his confederation. Tecumseh to be a for sure believer that an ext people translated into an ext power. While most tribes listened come Tecumseh"s proposal, numerous rejected his ideas. This was particularly true of ind in contemporary Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi. Many of the Prophet"s followers taken on white products and customs. They walk not desire to lose access to these goods. Tecumseh had an ext success in Ohio, Kentucky, and the Indiana Territory, locations that whites had actually been attempting come settle since before the French and Indian War.

Unfortunately for the American ind in the region, Tecumseh"s Confederacy failed. Countless American indians refused to relinquish your white ways and end your friendships through the Americans. The Anglo-American settlers also greatly surcharge the American Indians and had greater accessibility to firearms and ammunition. As Tecumseh"s followers started to converge at Prophetstown, he also could not administer them with adequate food and shelter. To gain white goods, American Indians involved in the hair trade with the Americans. This profession greatly diminished the animal populace in Ohio, Kentucky, and also the Indiana Territory, leave the indians with much less to eat.

In 1811, wilhelm Henry Harrison led an American army against Prophetstown. Tecumseh to be seeking allies in the southern part of the unified States. Although Tecumseh had actually asked his brother not to strike the american in his absence, the Prophet did attack. Once Tecumseh returned, Prophetstown no longer existed. The natives had abandoned it, and also Harrison had actually then damaged it. Countless of his followers, hungry and also defeated, returned to their former villages. They to be unwilling to assist Tecumseh in forming his confederation. Tecumseh did shot to recreate his confederacy, but he had only restricted success. Tecumseh"s quest formally ended in 1813, with his fatality at the battle of the Thames in the battle of 1812.

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See Also


Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible that the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana college Press, 1996.
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