The Americas

Native Wars in North America

A Shoshone village, USA

The wars fought against the native peoples of the Americas were savage, unforgiving and lasted for centuries. The human cost in native lives prompted American scholar David Stannard to refer to their impacts as an ‘American Holocaust’. A concise narrative of these wars will be added here shortly.

The Literature

The literature on the native wars of America is, not surprisingly, huge. To attempt an historiography of these works from so far away (in New Zealand) is fraught with problems of course, much less attempting to appropriately weight this enormous body of research and published material.

The following texts however seem interesting and scholarly, providing important insights into this vast yet harrowing topic.

David Stannard,  American Holocaust. The Conquest of the New World, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992.

Richard Drinnon, Facing West. The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building,  Schocken Books, New York, 1980.

Robert M UtleyThe Indian Frontier of the American West 1846-1890, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1984.

Jason Hook and Martin PeglerTo Live and Die in the West. The American Indian Wars, Osprey Publishing, London, 1999.

Ned BlackhawkViolence Over the Land. Indians and Empires in the Early American West, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (USA), 2006.

Ralph K AndristThe Long Death. The Last Days of the Plains Indians, Collier Books, New York, 1964.