The Indian neutral barrier state project: British policy towards the Indians south and southeast of the Great Lakes, 1783-1796

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Virginia Tech

Great Britain's policy towards British North America between 1783 and 1796 reflected the confusion caused by the loss of the thirteen Atlantic seaboard colonies. Britain proposed the Indian neutral barrier state project in an attempt to solve post-American Revolution British imperial and Anglo-American problems. According to the plan the American 'Old Northwest' would have become an Indian neutral barrier state between Canada and the United States. With the barrier state project, Great Britain hoped to regain limited control over the vast territory she had ceded to the United States in the Peace Treaty of 1783. Britain desired control over this region for two main reasons: 1) the protection of Canada from both Indian and American raids, and 2) control over the fur trade. This work traces the development of the barrier state project from the conclusion of the American Revolution until the end of the British presence in that region in 1796.