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Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815

This is an original and imperative analysis done by Gregory Evans contention that the ethno historians would be willing to take us through the history of Indian resistance from 1745 to 1815. This book therefore discerns a clear and persistent movement towards pan-Indian unity. This process was notably lead by chief warriors and religious prophets. Gregory Dowd Evans ha therefore attempted to achieve breath as well as synthesis in such a study pertaining to the era and the aspect of the history of Indians. Here we find the theme of Indians' search for unity. This paper thus discusses how Gregory D. E. (1956) recounts the struggle for resistance of few American tribes against the British - American expansion. This paper is of the opinion that Dowd provides a unique and very interesting interpretation of the events as they occurred during the middle of the eighteenth century.

The book depict the information in the early 1800s, when once - a powerful North American Indian people were being driven west across the Mississippi. It takes as through a painful story of a Shawnee prophet who collapsed while in a deep sleep. Upon the time this prophet waking up, he told the friends and family of his ascension to Indian heaven, where we are informed that his grandfather gave him a warning saying "Beware of the religion of a white man's heaven. Yet again, no red man is allowed entry to this place, but has to wander about for a very long time without finding a resting place."

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The ideas that led to the vision are the subject concerning "A Spirited Resistance," this was a poignant story of the Indian movement that was aimed at challenging Anglo - American expansionism.

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Moving from the confines of tradition in connection to the history American Indians, the author of the book thus takes us through an ethnographic sources in recapturing the thoughts, ideas, beliefs, action and the four principles that are stipulated in the Indian nation such as Creek, Cherokee, Delaware, and Shawnee. These people combined form the militant Indians who are usually headed by prophets. These people after coming together they then went ahead and conceived themselves a more united nation. They later became to launch an intertribal campaign in resisting the forces that were meant to push them apart known as Anglo-American.

 

The author of this book also reveals that this group of people who were united; Native Americans who were against the movement which was aimed at uniting. Such opposition marks the wake of division among these communities rather than the assumed intercultural rivalries. In this book we also find that Dowd argues that intercultural or intertribal disagreements were not as a contributing factor to the failure of the struggle of the Indian society. The result was due to the division which was evident in the community itself, the colonial influence among the government of Indians, and lastly the campaign of the Anglo-American which later brought the Indian resistance movement to an end (1).

Generally, this was a history of evocative long frustration accompanied by ultimate failure that is in this case referred to as "A Spirited Resistance" which shows a picture of more creative personalities whose insights, rituals, and magic contributed to a much required dimension in creating the understanding the people of Indian Americans.

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This book by Dowd is one of the best books that take us through path-breaking histories which were published in order to aid in reshaping the notion held by the people of North American Indians in the past. The victory of the Americans of the revolution and the successive withdrawal of British power aided in turning the trickle of American pioneers into a flood through the presentation of Indian by the whites who were occupying the region by then. Increasingly, outnumbered by the whites in the region of the ration of more than 7:1by 1815 gave the whites better chances of acquiring weapons which were then used in the Napoleonic wars in Europe. The resistance by the Indians later was forced to come to an end as we are told in this book by Dowd. The book also takes us through the process of the surviving trans-Appalachian Indians who later became the Indians of Mississippi. This group was later moved out of the home land during the removal process which we are informed that was a tragic move (2).

Gregory, E. D. (1956) affirms that the book focuses on the manner in which Indians throughout the region sought in the process of strengthening the resistance process by employing unity tactics. Dowd uses this approach to create an understanding that the unity was based on the vision of the common religion. He further traces the influence of the prophets of Indians. This was not an adventurous idea even though it draws through traditional religious moves struck an accord as Indian homeland became under pressure. The writer in his thoughts takes us through an evolutionary process that swings over a period of time. The book is written depicting the degree of conflict and cooperation between the people who the author refers to as accomodationists or those people who advocate for cooperation with the whites even though not submission. Also on the other hand there are the navists which have been used in referring to the people who applied religious notions in promoting an ideological basis of resistance to encroachment caused by the whites.

The book indicates a sign of failure and therefore suggests that it wasn't the best move that could have been taken by the Indian community in resisting this encroachment of the whites. This is used indicating a period of increasingly overwhelming American military and economic power. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)

The book is very easy to follow and therefore does not take you out of what you earlier had understood in relation to the book. In accordance to the book, there is one lesson that the reader acquires; that of getting the historical understanding of the trends that the process of resistance went through. This is also an insightful book as it is full of moments of insights. One also gets to know that in resisting you simply don't need to be involved in a fight but can apply the use of religion and also employ unity as a measure in fighting the opponent.

In this book we find a striking accomplishment which has been massively researched and beautifully written, (Dowd, 1956)uses the book to demolish old stereotypes of Pontiac as some crazed, if nobly doomed, genius resisting the inevitable achievement of the civilization of the European. Just as effectively as the book is, it challenges recent scholars to squabble that the aggravations for 'the war called Pontiac's' were not the result of sheer lack of knowledge but instead the author skillfully used the book to reveal the elementary tendencies of British policy (3).

 

Finally we appreciate the writing of this book as done by Dowd since he uses a more straightforward style in drawing the records of time in creating understanding concerning his assertions. This does not look like a narrative history, the story line has been necessarily disjointed; this is seen as the author jumps forward and in time between regions in creating illustration construction. According to this book, it is clear that the reader is acquainted with the knowledge concerning the main historical trends in the early republic of American Indians. This book is easy to follow and is fully rewarded with insights about the settling of the trans-Appalachian West.   

 


(1) Gregory E. D. (1956). "A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815." Baltimore, London: Johns Hopkins University Press

(2) War under Heaven: Pontiac, The Indian Nations, and the British Empire Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (2000)

 (3) War under Heaven: Pontiac, The Indian Nations, and the British Empire Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (2000)

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