The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), also known as the Ohio War, Little Turtle's War, and by other names, was a war between the United States and a confederation of numerous Native American tribes, with support from the British, for control of the Northwest Territory. It followed centuries of conflict over this territory, first among Native American tribes, and then with the added shifting alliances among the tribes and the European powers of France and Great Britain, and their colonials.
Under the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded to the U.S. "control" of the Northwest Territory, which was occupied by numerous Native American peoples. Despite the treaty, the British kept forts there and continued policies that supported the Native Americans in the Northwest Territories. In 1787, there were 45,000 Native Americans in the territory, and 2,000 French. President George Washington directed the United States Army to enforce U.S. sovereignty over the territory. The U.S. Army, consisting of mostly untrained recruits supported by equally untrained militiamen, suffered a series of major defeats, including the Harmar Campaign (1790) and St. Clair's Defeat (1791), which were resounding Native American victories. About 1,000 soldiers and militiamen were killed and the United States forces suffered many more casualties than their opponents.
After St. Clair's disaster, Washington ordered Revolutionary War hero, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, to organize and train a proper fighting force. Wayne took command of the new Legion of the United States late in 1793. He led his men to a decisive victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The defeated tribes were forced to cede extensive territory, including much of present-day Ohio, in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.
In 1608, French explorer and founder of Quebec City Samuel Champlain sided with the Wabanaki Confederacy and their allies the Huron people living along the St. Lawrence River against the Haudenosaunee Confederacy ("Five Nations") living in what is now upper and western New York state. The result was a lasting enmity by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy towards the French, which caused them to side with the Dutch fur traders coming up the Hudson River in about 1626. The Dutch offered better prices than the French and traded firearms, hatchets and knives to the Iroquois in exchange for furs.