September 28th, 2017
Exploring the War Museum’s website provided an enlightening perspective on how the War of 1812 effected the Native American population. More specifically, in order to illustrate their argument the website begins by explaining why Native Americans would even want to fight in this war. War Museum’s proposal is that Native Americans aligned themselves with British forces in order to regain that which was taken from them, primarily land, by the colonists turned Americans. After the motive has been established, the website progresses the Native American perspective by emphasizing the long-term consequences that stemmed directly from the War of 1812. For instance, in 1830 President Jackson (a hero of the war) issued the Indian Removal Act which subjugated the Native Americans that fought against the US in the War of 1812 to relocate West of the Mississippi- an event later titled the Trail of Tears.
This approach has significantly expanded my understanding of the War of 1812. The ‘typical narrative’ is that Impressment of US ships by the British Royal Navy forced tensions until the two nations fought again. However, by illuminating the conflict from the perspective of Native Americans, War Museum opens an avenue that is often left unexplored from this event. For although events such as the Trail of Tears is relatively well-known in history, the fact that the event stems from Native American participation in the War of 1812 is severely overlooked. The website also conjures an impactful perspective, for the Native Americans the War of 1812, the Seven Years’ War, and even the Revolutionary War were all extensions of the same attempt to defend their lands from increasing encroachment. Needless to say, the War Museum has lead me to the realization that Native Americans have been an overlooked losing side in the War of 1812 and a plethora of other colonial wars.
Word Count: 297
“Getting into War.” 1812 Virtual Exhibition Getting into War Comments. Accessed September 28, 2017. http://www.warmuseum.ca/war-of-1812/explore-history/the-native-american-war/getting-into-war/.