French and Indian War Cultural Term Paper

Pages: 13 (4779 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Native Americans  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] [11: Anderson, Fred (2000). Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. New York: Knopf]

The war is frequently seen as war that existed between France and Britain. However, Indian nations were also active participants of the War and hence, they had either sided with France or Britain. These tribes had played a dominant role in starting the war as well as the consequences of the war[footnoteRef:12]. To control the land, the fight was between the three nations and in late eighteenth century, it was not evident who would emerge as the dominant player. Iroquois, the five Indian tribes, had been successful at ensuring that French and British sides fight with one another in order to gain advantage over them. French and Indian War was also comprised of quick and surprise attacks as the both foreign nations were not familiar with the terrain as compared to the Native Americans[footnoteRef:13]. The involvement of Native American tribes as allies made a significant difference in war for both sides. Some of the historians assert that Indian nations had turned their back on French side and sided with the British. Because the alliances had ended between the French and Indians, therefore, French forces had no option but to leave territory[footnoteRef:14]. [12: Walter R. Borneman. The French & Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America.(Book review) (Michigan Historical Review] [13: Anderson, Fred (2005). The War that Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War. New York: Viking] [14: Anderson, Fred (2005). The War that Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War. New York: Viking]

Significance of Political Alliances

For both French and British side, alliances with Native Americans were important in order to fortify their position in North America. Iroquois and Huton, two Native American tribes, were of significant importance[footnoteRef:15]. The two tribes also held importance as they were engaged in fur trade and both were competitors of one another. During the sixteenth century, both tribes concentrated on creating confederacies. Huron consisted of Rock, Deer, Cord and Bear tribes. The Iroquois tribe comprised of Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and Seneca tribes. As compared to Huron, the Iroquois were more organized and skillful in combats. During 1648, Iroquois combatants had been successful in capturing and killing several Hurons and had been successful in gaining their territories and thus, driving the remaining Huron tribe towards Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. [15: Axtell, James. The Invasion Within. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005]

Because of their fierce battling skills, Iroquois held important place in North America and strategic alliance with them would have assisted both French and English side to gain control over the region. The territories of Iroquois tribe were between Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The French made alliances with the Huron tribe, who were the rivals of Iroquois. Because of this, the Iroquois League had made alliances with British side[footnoteRef:16]. From 1664, Iroquois tribe developed trade relationships with the British colonists of Albany[footnoteRef:17]. Diplomatic relationships were also maintained by the two sides. [16: Walter R. Borneman. The French & Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America.(Book review) (Michigan Historical Review] [17: Jennings, Francis. Empire of Fortune. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2008.]

Cultural Analysis of the French and Indian War

Religious Differences

French

During the seventeenth century, the primary religion followed by France was Catholicism. France was the main center of Roman Catholics and relationship between Pope and King of France were also present. Protestants were also present in France and hence they were in constant conflict with Catholics. Most of the Protestants were prosecuted in France by the Roman Catholics. Conflicts between the two sides increased further in 1527 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre[footnoteRef:18]. Edict of Nantes issued in 1598, opened the path of religious tolerance and secularism as Protestants were given the rights to practice their faith and furthermore, they were given the right to work in State. However, religious conflict between the two communities prevailed during the rule of Louis XIV[footnoteRef:19]. Protestants were persecuted by Dragnnades and forced Protestants to convert back to Catholicism. Consequently, Protestant population of France moved to England in order to seek asylum. King Louis XIV concentrated on wiping out the Protestant population in France. [18: Anderson, Fred (2005). The War that Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War. New York: Viking] [19: Jennings, Francis. Empire of Fortune. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2008.]

Britain

During the seventeenth century, Protestant continued to grow in Northern part of Europe. Majority of them lived in Germany, England, Scotland, Poland and Scandinavia. In Britain, during the seventeen century, England experienced Puritan movement, which concentrated on reforming of the Church of England and concentrated on ensuring that it was closely related to the Protest churches that were found in other regions of Europe. They did not believe in religious practices bur rather believed in spirituality. These movements also influenced colonies of England. Furthermore, in America, Puritanism influenced religion and Protestants became significant majority in the region. Furthermore, policies had been developed to conduct peaceful trade between England, North American colonies and Native Americans.

Indians

Native American religion is based on land they lived and supernatural. Religious practices may differ in accordance to the tribe but majority of the tribes had common supernatural beliefs: they believed in a deity, who is powerful, universal force that is invisible, the concept of three life crisis, birth, puberty and death, spirits, visions and ceremonies[footnoteRef:20]. Native American religion is based on spirituality and personal development and its connection with the world and connection between the existing and spiritual world. Their religion comprised of several religious ceremonies that were related to agriculture and hunting. Furthermore, they believed in spirituality and spiritual world and believed that spirits resided in living and non-living things. Furthermore, they concentrated on gaining spiritual powers in order to benefit man kinds. In terms of hunting, some of the hunters performed rituals in order pacify the spirits of the animals they had hunted and killed. The religion of North Americans were not based on institutions but rather was based on personal beliefs. Rituals also comprises of long ceremonies and dances. Furthermore, religions concentrated on relationship with the Creator and the land where they lived and with the living and nonliving things. Religion was never separated from daily and public life as compared to religions in the West, where, individuals practiced religion in churches only. For Native Americans, there religion was based on their relationship with the Creator and everything in the surroundings the lived. Rocks, trees, animals and trees, were all important and visible and were respected by them. Furthermore, historians assert that Native American religion did not have any difference between the living and the dead, past and present and spiritual and natural worlds. Most of Native American tribes believed that their religious beliefs were part of their culture and traditions and thus, spirituality was important for them. [20: Schwartz, Seymour. The French and Indian War 1754-1763. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.]

Cultural and Religious Factor Influencing French and Indian Wars

From historical perspective, the fight had been seen as a war and conflict between England and France. However, many Indian nations had played a vital role in influencing the war and starting it. From cultural perspective, the War was between three nations, Indians, French and British. The goal of all three was to ensure that they gain power and territories. In 1753, the French concentrated on consolidating their power in North America and for this purpose they built their ports in Ohio and invading the land that was previously claimed by Britain by Virginia[footnoteRef:21]. For this purpose, George Washington along with his men went to French Captain Legareur de Saint-Pieere to remove the French troops from the area that belonged to British. In order to deliver the message, Washington concentrated on getting help from Ohio Indians. However, he did not get help from them and French ignored the message and continued to violate the Virginia charter. French had a power presence in that region and therefore on British orders, Washington was not successful in establishing a fort near Pittsburgh. In 1754, a meager fort was made by Washington, which was seized by French. This act further had a negative impact on relationship between British and French[footnoteRef:22]. [21: Steele, Ian. Betrayals. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.] [22: Steele, Ian. Betrayals. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.]

Assassination of General Braddock

Fort Necessity was captured by French and for this purpose, Britain concentrated on allocating financial resources to the colonies in order to expand its military. Furthermore, British troops were also sent to England colonies. Edward Braddock initially arrived in Virginia in the year 1755. Being a trained general in European warfare but was not aware of the new territory. After his arrival, the first battle that had occurred between British and French side occurred when… [END OF PREVIEW]

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