Unconquered: The Iroquois League at War in Colonial America
Unconquered explores the complex world of Iroquois warfare, providing a narrative overview of nearly two hundred years of Iroquois conflict during the colonial era of North America. Detailing Iroquois wars against the French, English, Americans, and a host of Indian enemies, Unconquered builds upon decades of modern scholarship to reveal the vital importance of warfare in Iroquois society and culture, at the same time exploring the diverse motivations that guided Iroquois warfare. Economic competition and rivalry for trade were important factors in Iroquois warfare, but they often provided less motivation for waging war than Iroquoian spiritual and cultural beliefs, including the important tradition of the "mourning war." Nor were European agendas particularly important to Iroquois warfare, except in that they occasionally coincided with Iroquois designs. Europeans influenced and incited, both directly and indirectly, conflict within the Iroquois League and with other Indian nations, but the peoples of the Iroquois League waged war according to their own cultural beliefs and by their own rules. In reality, the Iroquoi League rarely waged war against anyone. Rather its individual member nations drove the warfare often attributed to the whole, creating a shifting, amorphous political and military position that allowed member nations to pursue separate policies of war and peace against common foes and multiple enemies. Unconquered also seeks to dispel longstanding beliefs about the invincible Iroquois "empire," myths that have been dispelled by focused academic studies, but still retain a powerful resonance among popular conceptions of the Iroquois League. While the Iroquois created far-reaching networks of trade and destroyed or dispersed Indian peoples along their borders, they created no expansive territorial empires. Nor were Iroquois warriors unequaled in battle. Europeans, Americans, and Indians defeated Iroquois warriors and burned Iroquois villages as often as they tasted defeat, and on more than one occasion they brought the Iroquois League to the brink of utter ruin. Yet the Iroquois were never completely destroyed. Because they waged war as individual members of a loosely united, voluntary league, rather than as a unified political state, they remained unconquered, retaining influence and power longer than any other native nation in North America, and providing for their exulted status in the history of American Indian peoples during the age of European colonization.
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Albany Algonquins alliance allowed Ambiguous Iroquois Empire ambush American Colonies Andros Aquila army battle Brandao British burned campaign Canada captives captured Catawbas Catholic Iroquois Cayugas Champlain colonists Confederacy conflict Covenant Chain Delawares destroyed Dutch enemies England English European Fenton fight firearms five Iroquois nations Five Nations force Fort Niagara Fort Orange forts France French French-allied Indians fur trade fyre shall burnno Graymont hunting Hurons Indian allies Indian nations Iroquois attacks Iroquois leaders Iroquois League Iroquois Restoration Iroquois villages Iroquois warfare Iroquois warriors Jennings Jesuit Relations Joseph Brant killed Lake Ontario lands large numbers Lawrence River Longhouse loyalists Mahicans Merrell Midwestern Indians military militia Mintz Mohawk warriors Montagnais Montreal mourning neutrality Niagara North America NYCD Ohio Country Oneidas Onondagas Ordeal party peace Pennsylvania political prisoners pro-French raids refugees Richter Sayenqueraghta Seeds of Empire Senecas settlements Six Nations southern Indians Steele Susquehannocks territory Theyanoguin Tuscaroras Valley Warpaths wars western York