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Native Americans played a central role in the imperial conflicts of the eighteenth century from Queen Anne's War at the beginning of the century to the American Revolution. Various Indian groups formed alliances, mostly based on trade with the British, the French and the Spanish. They became quite skillful at "playing off" the sides against each other in order to secure favorable trade, help in fighting against other Indian tribes, and other motives. Indian alliances were especially crucial in the Seven Years' War (known in the colonies as the French and Indian War) from 1754-1761. Most of the Iroquois Confederacy fought on the side of the British and the colonies, while the Huron, Algonquian and other powerful groups fought with the French. When the American Revolution broke out, most Indian tribes, with a few notable exceptions (the Catawba in North and South Carolina being the largest) fought on the side of the British, whose Proclamation of 1763 had forbidden colonial expansion over the Appalachians. The point is that Indians were not passive victims of the conflicts. They helped to shape them and to determine who won and lost them.
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