Description The American Indian Wars, or Indian Wars, were the multiple armed conflicts between European governments and colonists, and later American settlers or the United States government, and the native peoples of North America. These conflicts occurred across the North American continent from the time of earliest colonial settlements until 1924. In many cases, wars resulted from competition for resources and land ownership as Europeans and later Americans encroached onto territory which had been inhabited by Native Americans for the previous centuries. There was population pressure as settlers expanded their territory, generally pushing indigenous people northward and westward. Warfare and raiding also took place as a result of wars between European powers; in North America, these enlisted their Native American allies to help them conduct warfare against each other's settlements.
Many conflicts were local, involving disputes over land use, and some entailed cycles of reprisal. Particularly in later years, conflicts were spurred by ideologies such as Manifest Destiny, which held that the United States was destined to expand from coast to coast on the North American continent. In the 1830s, the United States had a policy of Indian removal east of the Mississippi River, which was a planned, large-scale removal of indigenous peoples from the areas where Americans were settling. Particularly in the years leading up to Congressional passage of the related act, there was armed conflict between settlers and Native Americans; some removal was achieved through sale or exchange of territory through treaties.