British victory in 1763 gave control of the entire area to Great Britain. In the same year, a confederation of tribes resentful to the shift of power launched a series of attacks against British Forts which became known as ‘Pontiac’s Rebellion.’ Hostilities ended after the British Army expeditions of 1764 and peace negotiations over the next two years established a new relationship.
The European view of land ownership and settlement was always at odds with Native views resulting in uneasy peace punctuated violence. Warfare on the North American frontier was brutal, and the killing of prisoners, the targeting of civilians and other atrocities were widespread. The ruthlessness and treachery of these conflicts was a reflection of a growing divide between the separate populations of the British colonists and the Native Americans.
The American War of Independence further aggravated the situation, and with the 1783 Treaty of Paris the territory again changed hands, this time to the young United States. Despite the treaty, the British kept forts and supported policies of native resistance to further settlement in the territories.
President George Washington directed the United States Army to halt the hostilities between the natives and settlers and to enforce U.S. sovereignty over the territory. The small U.S. Army was ill equipped for the task and suffered a series of defeats, including the Harmer Campaign of 1790 and St. Clair’s Campaign in 1791.
These humiliating defeats prompted Washington to appoint Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne to reorganize the Army to deal with the escalating situation. In 1793 Wayne took command of the new ‘Legion of the United States’ and led his men to a decisive victory over the confederation of tribes at the battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, With the treaty of Greenville in 1795, the Native leaders agreed to give up their lands and move to Indiana where in 1811, tensions would again erupt into open warfare on the frontier.