Essay on The Evolution Of Warfare During Colonial America

Essay on The Evolution Of Warfare During Colonial America

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Devin Andre Salcedo

Professor McKeehan

History 231 W2016

January 1, 2016

The Evolution of Warfare in Colonial America


At the heart of early American colonization two cultures collided. In that collision, two methods of warfare were put to the test. On one side there was the Native Americans whose tactics and ways of war had been rooted in deep feelings of honor and integrity. They stood on opposite terms with their new arrivals, English settlers from Europe whose motives were “The Three G’s” God, Glory, and Gold. From the moment they arrived in the Americas in 1492, after the exploration of Christopher Columbus, the Natives and Colonists engaged in many skirmishes. Before their arrival, the Native Indians would commonly wage wars against rivaling tribes either for secure hunting lands, settling disputes, prestige, or even revenge in some cases. The Natives didn’t see war as a need to exterminate their enemy, and because of that there were lower body counts than those in Europe. Native technology consisted of stone axes, bows and arrows, spears, and war canoes. They had a deep regard for nature and that same regard reflects on their tactics in battle. Stealth was their greatest weapon; using their terrain and the cover of night to camouflage themselves within their environment to gain the advantage over their opponents. Native tribes would form raiding parties and travel through enemy territory similar to a small conquest. Indian warfare was would later on be adapted into the colonial army in their fight for independence against Great Britain. Up till this time, European nations had already created its own style of war. European tactics were centered on crushing your enemy. Methods such as “Scorched earth”, also known as ...


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...unts were in such a grand scale that in even played a small role in the black plague since the dead corpse would harbor diseases. Years of adapting to these diseases had left the Europeans immune to most. But the Indians were never exposed to such atrocities and eventually were nearly eradicated do to the diseases brought by the Europeans. In the end it seems that calling Indian tactics and lifestyles barbaric is not only wrong, I would go as far as saying it 's the exact opposite. The Native population, although lacking in technology, were very advanced. Methods like stealth and camouflage are still used in the armed forces today, while volleys and closely pact marches are not. The Indians fought for honor and security, instead of power and treasure. The greatest mistake that most Indians made, especially in South America, was trusting the Europeans with open arms.

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