What was Tecumseh's family life as a child?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems as if one can gain a large amount of insight into Tecumseh's political views when examining his personal life.  He and his family were constantly under siege from White settlers.  As a youth, Tecumseh had to move with his family from town to town, home to home, in order to escape the encroachment of White settlers into both their lives and their land.  Tecumseh experienced this from an early age, unable to really enjoy any type of calm and tranquil family setting.  Tecumseh did not internalize these experiences and retreat into silence.  Rather, he internalized these experiences and externalized them by joining his brother, Tenskatawa, as a teenager committed to fighting White settlers that advanced onto Native American land.  This resistance has its roots in his personal experience, one in which death, destruction, and mayhem was caused by the hands of White settlers.  In this, Tecumseh's political life as an adult is strongly influenced by his personal experiences as a youth.  Tecumseh's distrust of treaties offered by the White government is a reflection of his fundamental lack of trust regarding the authority that did so much damage to his life as a youth.

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