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Uncommon defense [electronic resource] : Indian allies in the Black Hawk War /
John W. Hall.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2009.
description
367 p. : maps ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0674035186 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780674035188 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2009.
isbn
0674035186 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780674035188 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Roots of conflict -- A new Onontio -- A mounting storm -- Crisis on the upper Mississippi -- Everything to lose -- Warpath -- Final blows -- Losing the peace -- An Indian war.
catalogue key
11954938
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [265]-345) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-08-01:
The Black Hawk War of 1832 was a three-month conflict that resulted in the expulsion of the Sauk nation from Illinois. The war has often been viewed as a decisive victory by U.S. military forces, resulting in the seizure of Native American lands for white settlers. Hall (history, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) revises that view by examining the military's native allies in the conflict, namely, the Dakota, Ho Chunk, Menominee, and Potawatomi, who saw the conflict as an opportunity to inflict harm on their traditional enemy, the Sauk. Thus, they allied themselves to the United States, using diplomatic protocols that dated to the arrival of the French and English in the Great Lakes region of North America. While the native warriors were looking to the past for established methods of accommodation to shape their relationship with the U.S. military, they unwittingly aided the United States in securing a future for Illinois that excluded all native peoples. Verdict This highly recommended work should be read alongside Kerry A. Trask's Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America.-John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2010-07-01:
During the spring and summer of 1832, more than 700 Menominee, Dakota, Ho Chunk, and Potawatomi warriors allied with federal and state military forces against a small band of Sauk Indians seeking to reclaim lands in Illinois ceded in 1804. Hall (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) seeks to explain why four distinct Indian nations from the Old Northwest chose to ally with the US rather than with a neighboring tribe fighting for its homeland. Utilizing a wide selection of primary and secondary sources, he argues persuasively that the various bands of the four tribes allied with the US to serve the best interests of their people. The Rock River Ho Chunks and Potawatomis sympathized with Black Hawk but understood that assisting the Sauks would give US officials a good reason to call for their removal as well. The Dakotas and Menominees, meanwhile, had been at odds with the Sauks for over a century, and the lure of political advantage and material gain helps explain their decision. Black Hawk's defeat ushered in a period of peace in the region, which in turn triggered increased migration and a growing demographic imbalance in favor of non-Indians, thus calling into question the tribal decisions made on the eve of the Black Hawk War. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. T. A. Britten University of Texas at Brownsville
Reviews
Review Quotes
The Black Hawk War of 1832 was a three-month conflict that resulted in the expulsion of the Sauk nation from Illinois. The war has often been viewed as a decisive victory by U.S. military forces, resulting in the seizure of Native American lands for white settlers. Hall revises that view by examining the military's native allies in the conflict, namely, the Dakota, Ho Chunk, Menominee, and Potawatomi, who saw the conflict as an opportunity to inflict harm on their traditional enemy, the Sauk. Thus, they allied themselves to the United States, using diplomatic protocols that dated to the arrival of the French and English in the Great Lakes region of North America. While the native warriors were looking to the past for established methods of accommodation to shape their relationship with the U.S. military, they unwittingly aided the United States in securing a future for Illinois that excluded all native peoples...[A] highly recommended work.
Far from the standard account, this sophisticated analysis of the Black Hawk War illustrates that the conflict was a many-sided affair with tribal people pursuing their own agendas. Well researched - engagingly written.
John Hall's splendid book is a balanced and comprehensive account of the complex interrelations of the Indian tribes, Army, and settlers in the era of the Black Hawk War. Particularly significant is Hall's analysis of the reasons why the other tribes allied with the Army rather than Black Hawk.
This exceptionally well-researched and elegantly written book is a must-read for those who want to understand better the history of the American frontier and the complexity of wars fought amongst indigenous peoples.... John Hall's compelling analysis of the U.S.-Indian diplomacy during the Black Hawk War is instructive as the United States and its allies confront tribal societies in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan while endeavoring to defeat transnational enemies and shape the course of local conflicts that predated our involvement there and are almost certain to continue long after we are gone.
Uncommon Defense shows that the conflict between Black Hawk and the United States was also an 'Indian war' in which Menominees, Dakotas, Ho Chunks, and Potawatomis sided with the Americans against the Sauks, and different tribes had their own agendas, strategies, and experiences. A refreshing look at a story we thought we knew well.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, August 2009
Choice, July 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In the spring of 1832, when the Indian warrior Black Hawk and a thousand followers marched into Illinois to reoccupy lands earlier ceded to American settlers, the U.S. Army turned to rival tribes for military support. Elements of the Menominee, Dakota, Potawatomi, and Ho Chunk tribes willingly allied themselves with the United States government against their fellow Native Americans in an uncommon defense of their diverse interests. As the Black Hawk War came only two years after the passage of the Indian Removal Act and is widely viewed as a land grab by ravenous settlers, the military participation of these tribes seems bizarre. What explains this alliance? In order to grasp Indian motives, John Hall explores their alliances in earlier wars with colonial powers as well as in intertribal antagonisms and conflicts. In the crisis of 1832, Indians acted as they had traditionally, leveraging their relationship with a powerful ally to strike tribal enemies, fulfill important male warrior expectations, and pursue political advantage and material gain. However, times had changed and, although the Indians achieved short-term objectives, they helped create conditions that permanently changed their world. Providing a rare view of Indian attitudes and strategies in war and peace, Hall deepens our understanding of Native Americans and the complex roles they played in the nation’s history. More broadly, he demonstrates the risks and lessons of small wars that entail an “uncommon defense” by unlikely allies in pursuit of diverse, even conflicting, goals.
Main Description
In the spring of 1832, when the Indian warrior Black Hawk and a thousand followers marched into Illinois to reoccupy lands earlier ceded to American settlers, the U.S. Army turned to rival tribes for military support. Elements of the Menominee, Dakota, Potawatomi, and Ho Chunk tribes willingly allied themselves with the United States government against their fellow Native Americans in an uncommon defense of their diverse interests. As the Black Hawk War came only two years after the passage of the Indian Removal Act and is widely viewed as a land grab by ravenous settlers, the military participation of these tribes seems bizarre. What explains this alliance?In order to grasp Indian motives, John Hall explores their alliances in earlier wars with colonial powers as well as in intertribal antagonisms and conflicts. In the crisis of 1832, Indians acted as they had traditionally, leveraging their relationship with a powerful ally to strike tribal enemies, fulfill important male warrior expectations, and pursue political advantage and material gain. However, times had changed and, although the Indians achieved short-term objectives, they helped create conditions that permanently changed their world.Providing a rare view of Indian attitudes and strategies in war and peace, Hall deepens our understanding of Native Americans and the complex roles they played in the nation's history. More broadly, he demonstrates the risks and lessons of small wars that entail an "uncommon defense" by unlikely allies in pursuit of diverse, even conflicting, goals.
Table of Contents
American occupation of the pays d'en haut, 1796-1831
Distribution of Indian villages on the eve of war and selected battles
Introduction
Roots of Conflict
A New Onontio
A Mounting Storm
Crisis on the Upper Mississippi
Everything to Lose
Warpath
Final Blows
Losing the Peace
An Indian War
Epilogue
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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