Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Donald Fixico

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda Borish

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Native American resistance to American expansion during the War of 1812 occurred in the wake of a significant spiritual revitalization movement in the Native community. The extent to which this spiritual movement prompted Native resistance has never been fully explored or developed. Traditional theories maintain that once the revitalization ended, a secular resistance movement began -one that was fueled by British support. The objective in this thesis is not only to establish the connection between the Natives' religion and their efforts to resist, but it is also to determine what factors initially gave rise to the revitalization movement.

My findings indicate that no dichotomy existed between the Indians' spiritual goals and their war effort. Moreover, this revitalization movement came about from Native opposition to the spiritual teachings of white missionaries. The revitalization movement provided the basis for the pan-Indian alliance, and the confederacy viewed the War of 1812 as a holy war, one fought for spiritual goals and under supernatural guidance.

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