With the dominance of British power on a world scale, the European struggle for hegemony in the Americas was nearing its end. Subsequently, the 18th and 19th centuries were to be a period of wars for independence that would force the European states out of the Americas. Foremost among these wars was the independence struggle that would lead to the birth of the United States.Emerging from the `Great War for Empire', Britain found itself victorious but also heavily in debt. To defray the cost of maintaining and defending the colonies, Britain substantially changed its colonial policies. Large portions of the financial costs of the colonies were placed directly on the colonies themselves through a series of taxes. The imposition of the taxes incited the settlers to demand taxes be imposed only with their consent. In fact, the question of taxes was part of a wider debate; who should control and profit from colonialism, the colonies or the colonial centres.
By 1775, settler protests and revolts had culminated into a general war for independence that continued until 1783, when the British capitulated and ceded large portions of its territories along the Atlantic.
That the British colonial forces did not lose more territory can be attributed much to the participation of numerous First Nations on the side of the British; the Royal Proclamation was thus a strategy to dampen Native resistance to British colonialism (as in the eruption of King George's War in 1744 when Micmacs allied themselves with the French and, following the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, continued fighting the British, who then concluded a treaty of "Peace and Friendship" with the Micmacs), as well as a method of forming military alliances with First Nations, if not at least their neutrality in European conflicts.
As in previous European struggles, Indigenous peoples were used as expendable troops, and the extensive militarization further consolidated settler control,
"The end of the war saw thousands of Whites, United Empire Loyalists, flock to Nova Scotia. They came in such numbers and spread so widely over the Maritime region that it was considered necessary to divide Nova Scotia into three provinces to ease administrative problems; New Brunswick, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia...and Ile St.-Jean, soon to be renamed Prince Edward Island" .
To the south, the rebellious settlers were establishing their newly-created United States. For the First Nations in this region, the war had been particularly destructive; the colonial rebels had carried out scorched-earth campaigns against the Shawnee, Delaware, Cherokee, and the Haudenosaunee (which had suffered a split with the Oneidas and Tuscaroras allying themselves with the revolutionaries).
Here again the Royal Proclamation remained a useful tool in re-enforcing the British colonial frontier and retaining Native allies,
"Adherence to the principles of the...Proclamation...remained the basis of Britain's Indian policy for more than half a century, and explains the success of the British in maintaining the Indians as allies in Britain's wars in North America... Even when Britain lost much of its North American territory after 1781, and its Indian allies lost their traditional lands as a result of their British alliance, the Crown purchased land from the Indians living within British territory and gave it to their allies who moved north..." .
Having consolidated the Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, the independent United States quickly set about expanding westward, launching military campaigns to extend the frontiers of settlement.
One of the first of these campaigns began in 1790 under the order of President George Washington. Consisting of about 1,100 Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky militiamen led by Brigadier General Josiah Harmar, the force was quickly defeated by a confederacy of Miami, Shawnee, Ojibway, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Ottawa warriors led by the Miami chief Michikinikwa (Little Turtle). A second force was dispatched and defeated in November, 1791. Finally, in 1794, a large force led by General Anthony Wayne defeated the confederacy, now led by Turkey Foot, near the shores of Lake Erie. Warriors who survived made their way to the British Fort Miami garrison. But the British -- former allies of many of the First Nations in the confederacy during the revolutionary war -- refused them shelter, and hundreds were slaughtered at the gates by Wayne's soldiers. Although the confederacy was essentially broken, the Miami would continue armed resistance up to 1840.The `Indian Wars' launched by the US continued for the next 100 years, following an exterminationist policy that was aimed at destroying Native nations and securing those remnants who survived in (what was then believed) barren and desolate reserves. Once the People were contained in these Bantustans, the next step was the destruction of Native culture under the auspices of then-emerging governmental agencies.
As the US moved to a higher level of war against First Nations, it also began moving against competing European powers still present in the Americas.
In 1812, using the pretext of Native raids along its northern frontier from British territories, US forces attempted to invade British North America. Here again, Britain's colonial policies proved effective; an alliance of Native nations (who had their own interests in full implementation of the 1763 Proclamation) and European settlers succeeded in repulsing the US expansion. Among those who fought against the US invasion were the Native leaders Tecumseh -- a Shawnee chief who worked to form a Native confederacy against the Europeans (and who argued that no one individual or grouping could sell the lands, as it belonged to all the Native peoples); Black Hawk -- a leader of the Sauk who would also lead future Native insurgencies; and Joseph Brant -- a leader in the Haudenosaunee who was rewarded with a large territory by the British and promptly began selling off partitions to European settlers (in history, he is regarded as a "hero" by Euro-Americans but a traitor by his people). Tecumseh was killed in battle in the Battle of Moraviantown in Ontario in 1813.
In 1815, hostilities between Britain and the US were formally ended in the Treaty of Ghent, though neither the US war on Natives, or Native resistance, subsided.