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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 2 months ago

Why were the American Indian people so lousy at fighting?

Was there any particular reason why the indigenous people of North America were so awful at fighting battles and wars?  Pretty much every major war against the Europeans they got wrecked.  At the beginning there were many millions of them but maybe a couple thousand Europeans.  Even if they were behind technologically why did they always lose with superior numbers?

26 Answers

  • Aspen
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    European people’s exposed indigenous people to diseases that cut the population dramatically. Indigenous people were not unified or authoritarian (lacked a kingdoms) so a lack of leadership and coordination was a problem ( which by the way was a better way to live. It’s called freedom). They didn’t have the weapon technology (you don’t need a canon to hunt deer or a Man-of-War warship to go fishing). There was no currency to fund or drive wars (they didn’t go batsh*t crazy when they found a yellow rock on the ground the way Europeans did). And while they may have raided occasionally, they didn’t do war, not the kind of warfare  Europeans did. Everything Europeans did was a crusade for god, king, and country, and for empire and conquest, and for treasure, and for glory. Europeans were constantly at war with each other and with other global regions. Peace was nothing more than a short interlude between wars of conquest. And so Europeans got really good at warfare, misery and killing. 

  • 2 months ago

    Unintentional bioweaponry and time. The First People were unaccustomed to warfare. Thousands of years after the dawn of civilization, the First People traveled across the Bering Strait to North America. The Europeans had literally thousands of years more experience in warfare, and time to establish their technologies and societies.

  • 2 months ago

    I know that the natives weren't one big group of people in terms of organization and culture. There were numerous tribes and villages that often spoke different languages. So, when the colonizers fought against the Seminoles, the Seminoles were outnumbered vastly. When they fought the Creeks, the Creeks were outnumbered, when they fought the Mohawks, Shawnees, etc, each of the tribes was outnumbered. The natives had a hard time getting along with each other. I think I read somewhere in the books that the Cherokees made a good portion of the soldiers that fought alongside the Europeans against the Creeks(i may be very wrong here, but what I'm trying to say is that sometimes natives fought other natives sometimes collaborating with the Europeans. Some tribes like the Cherokee traded with and even emulated the lifestyle of some Europeans. The closest thing that the natives had to a unified organization was the Haudenosaunee and this was somewhere in the 1800s. It only included 5 or 6 tribes in the northeast.

    Also, they didn't have any formal military training and probably fought without proper order and coordination.

    Source(s): I've taken one early American history class in my entire life. So, some of what I have written may be incorrect.
  • 2 months ago

    Bows and arrows were no match to rifles .

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  • garry
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    its a bit hard if you have a gun pointed at you , or the cavalry comes to your village when your sleeping isnt it . see you with a tomahawk take on a gun carrying soldier .

  • 2 months ago

    Superior technology. The Europeans started coming over in large numbers. And what wipped out the natives was germ warfare, though unintentioned.

    But it sf till took hundreds of years to conquer the two continents. Colonial powers have a hard time ime fighting far from home. Look at the Vietnamese and the Americans.

    Source(s): 'Guns, Germs and Steel'.---Gerard Diamond's Book
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Read "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond. Pulitzer Prize winner.

  • 2 months ago

    Smallpox and Salmonella.  

    No, seriously - the main reason Cortes wrecked the Aztecs who outnumbered them massively is that early contact with the Spanish.  While they were astonished by the Spanish on their horses and with their guns, they have enough numbers to SWAMP the Spanish.  

    But before the wars started, plague swept across the Aztec empire and decimated them.

  • 2 months ago

    maybe they dont like to fight

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Very Difficult to fight with Bows and arrows against Gatlin Guns

    But to their credit they did exterminate custer

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