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Which group, the English or the French, created a strong alliance with Native Americans?

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user4486016 | eNoter

Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:03 AM via web

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Which group, the English or the French, created a strong alliance with Native Americans?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:15 AM (Answer #1)

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Although it may be stretching things a little to say that either group of Europeans had a very strong relationship with the Native Americans, we can say that the French generally had a better relationship with Native Americans than the English did.

When the English settled America, they did so in very large numbers.  Many English and other Europeans (and eventually African slaves who were forcibly brought) came to America to settle.  They built many towns and they took large areas of land for farming.  This made it difficult to have good relations with the Native Americans.  The British way of colonization ensured that the Natives would be pushed off their land.

By contrast, the French came in much smaller numbers.  The French did not bring enough settlers to encroach on Indian lands in the same way that the British did.  Instead, they came in smaller numbers and made much of their wealth through trade with the Native Americans.  The French needed the Native Americans to trap the furs that were the basis of the French colonial economy.  Therefore, they tended to try harder to keep the Indians happy than the British did.

While neither side had wonderful relations with the Native Americans, the French relationship was better than that of the English.

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