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The Journal of American History


Exercise 4: Native Illinois Warfare

The Illinois went to war for distinctive reasons and with distinctive motives.

In the Classroom

Use "The Power of the Ecotone" and the other sources to answer the following questions:

  1. What was the logic of warfare in Illinois society?
  2. Were they motivated by notions of conquest and domination, or something different?
  3. What do you make of the practice of captivity in Illinois society?
  4. Where did Illinois war parties typically go to make their raids?
  5. Whom did they usually keep as captives? Why is this significant?
  6. How different or similar were the Illinois' motivations when compared to those of European colonial powers, who often engaged in warfare as a means of territorial competition over resources?

Sources