Struggle for Dominance in the Ohio River Valley

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Struggle for Dominance in the Ohio River Valley

The struggle for dominance in the Ohio River Valley spanned a time from the late 1740s to the 1850s. This century of turbulence is characterized by Native American and Anglo-American conflict. It pitted each side against each other in a battle for supremacy of the land, economics and culture. On one hand, the expansion of the Western frontier would provide for economic development and the increase of the United States as a legitimate world power. In contrast, from the perspective of Native American tribes, the Ohio River Valley was their homeland and had been for many generations. If the expansion continued it would harm their way of life, encroach upon their homeland, and make their resources scarcer. The battle for dominance is a good representation of how continuity and change help determine the outcome of the Western frontier.

Anglo-Americans that will be examined as influential in the formation of the Ohio River Valley are Daniel Boone, Henry Clay, and William Harrison. In a rapidly developing society these men represented, in different ways, the forces of continuity and change. In their quest to expand and "civilize" the west, these men were forced into a struggle for dominance in the Ohio River Valley. The Native American movement in the Ohio River Valley during this time is represented through the Shawnee, lead by Tecumseh. The Shawnee also battle with conflicts of continuity and change in the hope of keeping their homeland, culture, and economic sustenance. Hence, Americans represented by Boone, Clay and Harrison, and Native Americans represented by the Shawnee and Tecumseh, both represent change and continuity in their struggle for dominance of the Ohio River Val...

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...terized by a struggle for culture, economics, and land. The relevance of this struggle in American history is that it allows the present to examine what the forces for change and continuity were and how they relate to contemporary issues. Today we still see some members of society ignorant and afraid of those who are different. We also see the Indians struggle for a voice in our democracy. They represent a group of persons depleted of resources and removed from their land. As the Americans continued to push further west after the Ohio River Valley victories, they continued to displace more and more Native Americans. But Americans

couldn't entirely remove them from existence, and today we are starting to realize the implications of our lust for land. The United States has received its status as a world power and is economically and culturally rich, but at what cost?

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