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The American Indian Wars (or Indian Wars) is the collective name for the various armed conflicts fought by European governments and colonists, and later the United States government and American settlers, against various American Indian tribes. These conflicts occurred within the United States and Canada from the time of the earliest colonial settlements in the 17th century until the 1920s. The Indian Wars resulted from a wide variety of sources, including cultural clashes, land disputes, and criminal acts committed on both sides. European powers and the colonies also enlisted Indian tribes to help them conduct warfare against one other's colonial settlements. After the American Revolution, many conflicts were local to specific states or regions and frequently involved disputes over land use; some entailed cycles of violent reprisal. The British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included in the Constitution of Canada prohibited white settlers from taking the lands of Indigenous peoples in Canada without signing a treaty with them. In Canada, it continues to be the law today, and 11 Numbered Treaties covering most of the Indian lands limited the number of such conflicts. In the United States in the 19th century, conflicts were spurred by ideologies such as Manifest Destiny, which held that the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent from coast to coast. As white settlers spread westward, the size, duration, and intensity of armed conflicts increased between settlers and Indians. Some were resolved by treaty, often through sale or exchange of territory between the federal government and specific tribes; others only ended with the death or surrender of important leaders.
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