The first Pontiac refers to the Ottawa chief whose influence is said to have extended to as far as Seneca, Shawnee and Delaware at a period of 1763- 1766. At the time of the French Indian war, a lot of land recessions were wrung from the English in the form of treaties that neither of the sides lacked the goodwill to adhere to. This was clearly proven when there was the permanent desisting from the side of the Amherst from the buying of the peace through the use of gifts back in 1760.
On the other hand, Tecumseh (1768- 1813), otherwise known as Tekamthi or Tecumtha was a famous leaders to the American natives known as the Shawnee. A great fraction of Tecumseh’s life was spent on rallying diverse Indian tribes so that they could defend their land. This led to Tecumseh’s death in 1812 (in the War of 1812).
MotivationsThere are several reasons that acted as motivations behind the War of 1812. The most important of all these is the issue of land.
With the incursion of the white race into the American soil, land for the indigenous American Indians started to diminish as the invaders also started to take up land progressively, both for settlement and commercialism.
O’Brien (2001 p 451) postulates that with this state of affair persisting, the new settlers did not only take interests in taking massive tracts of land, but land that was accredited for its fertility in agriculture and richness in mineral materials. This condition led to the indigenous Indian communities to be contained in smaller areas. At the same time, land that was unproductive, barren and unresourceful became a preserve for the aboriginal Amerindian communities. All the above happened merely because the new invaders had superior caches of weapons, skilled and seasoned military skills and superior animals such as horses.
This development led to the formation of groups that wanted to reverse the situation- groups that were merely military rag tags. All of the groups were quasi- social and religious groups such as the Tenskwatawa, a group that had been known as the Lowawluwaysica.
Indeed, it is also imperative to note that there were also reasons that led to the war, though these reasons still are pegged on the land issue. For instance, the Tenskwatawa were against the inculcation of the culture of the white man and thus, opposed
Conversely, there are other social ills that Tecumseh and his group, the Tenskwatawa were up against. For instance, the massive cases of raping of the indigenous women by the white masters were rife. With the surge in a number of cases touching on human rights abuses, nothing much could be done to placate the anger of the Amerindians, save justice- an element that the new invader, the white man was not interested in delivering.
According to Cook (2004 p 90), the War of 1812 is known to have taken place in 1812, under the enablement of the religious movement, Tenskwatawa who were interested in disbanding the cultural cords of the white men. However, this was an artifice to ensure that the aboriginals did not cede more land to the whites. However, a Shawnee leader known as Black Hoof posed an antithetical stance to Tenskwatawa, being interested in the forging of the diplomatic relations with the whites.
Real trouble started when in 1809, Governor William H. Harrison who was in charge of Indian Territory formed the Treaty of Fort Wayne with a delegation of partially starved Indians so that the latter could cede 12,000 kilometers squared land. After enacting this treaty, William Harrison did not honor the Indians, a development that was vehemently opposed by Tecumseh.
After trying in vain in 1811 to resolve the situation by talking to Harrison at Grouseland, Tecumseh was sent 1,000 soldiers in an attempt by Harrison to frighten him. However, Tenskwatawa instead ordered the attack of this contingency in the Battle of Tippecanoe which saw Harrison’s men retreat. Nevertheless, the war severed Tenskwatawa, making him to forfeit confidence and the prestige of his brother who secretly build an alliance with the British later. It is by this virtue that in the War of 1812, America finds herself, not just at war with the aboriginal Amerindians, but with the British as well.
There were massive cases of properties and lives being lost as the British supply systems were extirpated. On the other hand, the British incinerated all the public buildings in Detroit as they themselves retreated to Thames valley that is adjacent to Apart from the conclusive defeat of the Tenskwatawa army, Tecumseh lost his life. This defeat was mainly due to the poor communication, organization and logistics that had been set in place by the rather new British Commander, Henry Proctor as the Major General.
This same general did not have enough skills and as such, differed with Tecumseh over tactics that were to be employed. This failure was brought into its sad and tragic conclusion when Procter failed to show up in Ontario at Chatham as previously agreed upon between him and Tecumseh. This gave Harrison an easy ride to victory (Hatch 2003 p 199).
Having seen that American history is seriously pegged on massive cases of human rights abuses, it is therefore incumbent that debates on making the reparations to the ethno linguistic groups that had been shortchanged at the time be revisited anew. This demands intellectualism from all disciplines and spheres of development. It is only through this that internal acrimony will be eradicated for the realization of national cohesion.
Cook, Darius. The Amerindians. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 2004.
Hatch, William. Embracing the past: A history of the 1812 War. New York: Prentice Hall. 2003.
O’Brien, Sharon. Governments of the American Indian Tribes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001.