Beaver Wars – French and Iroquois Wars – 1640 – 1701 AD

Beaver Wars – French and Iroquois Wars – 1640 – 1701 AD

The French and Iroquois Wars were series of battles fought between the strongest Native American tribe Iroquois and the French colonial power. The wars were mainly fought in the North Eastern America, near the present day Great Lake regions. The primary cause for the war was to gain monopoly over the fur trade. Therefore this war is also referred as Beaver Wars.

Native Americans bringing Beaver to European Traders

Native Americans bringing Beaver to European Traders

The Iroquois were supported by colonial powers like English and Dutch. French supported another tribe namely Algonquian. The wars were fought between Iroquois and Algonquian tribe. The outcome of the war was disastrous for both the tribe. They had to lose a lot of man power, the biggest beneficiary were the Europe colonial power that acted as the catalyst the war and took all the profit from Beaver’s fur trade. The Algonquian was destroyed after the war.

The Iroquois also defeated tribes like Huron, Neutral, Erie, and Susquehannock. All these tribes traditionally lived on the eastern side of Mississippi river or in the southern state region. They were dragged to the western side and most of them never recovered the damages of the war.

Great Peace of Montreal 1701 – Treaty between Iroquois and French

By the end of the 17th century the Iroquois tribe realized that there were two major colonial powers left in America, English and French. It was necessary to establish peaceful ties with both the powers. The French also thought that Iroquois were having dominant role in fur trade and they did not see them as their enemy any more. In 1701 Iroquois held a treaty with the French and came to a consensus that the tribe that had been dragged away shall be allowed to settle down in their native lands. Shawnee, Miami tribe came back to their native regions on the Eastern side of Mississippi.

Area affected by Fur Trade and Beaver Wars

Area affected by Fur Trade and Beaver Wars

Nanfan Treaty 1701 – Treaty between Iroquois and English

The Iroquois were aware of the power of the English people. They did a treaty with the English people and returned their Ohio county hunting grounds of beaver to them. This was seen as a positive move by the British who established fur trade link with the Iroquois.

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