By John Stewart Bowman
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The only way in which the Indian nations could survive was by forming a single, strong alliance and resisting the white man’s encroachment on their land. “The Great Spirit gave this great land to his red children,” Tecumseh argued. “He placed the whites on the other side of the big water. They were not contented with their own, but came to take ours from us. They have driven us from the sea to the lakes. ” It was Tecumseh’s contention that no single Indian chief, or even any single Indian nation, had the right to sell land to the whites.
When he spoke, his eloquence and clarity riveted the attention of Indian and white audiences alike. Tecumseh’s message was simple. The only way in which the Indian nations could survive was by forming a single, strong alliance and resisting the white man’s encroachment on their land. “The Great Spirit gave this great land to his red children,” Tecumseh argued. “He placed the whites on the other side of the big water. They were not contented with their own, but came to take ours from us. They have driven us from the sea to the lakes.
Americans saw the renewed conflict as a chance to expand their European markets. With French and English farmers leaving the land to serve in their country’s army and navy, it was a golden opportunity for Americans to export the production of their own soil and industry. France and Britain looked at the situation differently. Each wanted to prevent the other from obtaining supplies, and each claimed the right to seize neutral ships bound for the other’s ports. This left the United States in a quandary.