The History of the American Bottom

The History of the American Bottom

Two of the nations largest rivers meet in the American Bottom. The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers served as channels of change to the area, bringing outside influences of many different peoples to an Indian-inhabited land. Like the constant flow of the rivers, there was a constant change in the American Bottom. The progress eventually developed the area into a center of economic activity and gateway to the west, but also excluded native and long-time residents. The Illinois Indians long dominated the American Bottom. They were a unique and special tribe, who were complex politically, religiously, and socially. They were also an independent people ...

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location between the two great rivers made it the ideal location for a center of economic growth.

Prior to the contact period, or the time when the Illinois first came into contact with Europeans, the Illinois were a great and influential tribe. They were a very interesting tribe who had a culture all their own. They were also a very autonomous bunch never having to rely on anyone but themselves for survival. This was all to change with the introduction of European missionaries and traders. The Illinois were dwelling in territory that was in heavy demand by those who wished to exploit these Indians and their land in order to turn over a dollar. The frontier was moving farther west and the Illinois eventually fell into the chaos that followed. War, disease, alcohol, and new ways of life eventually exterminated the Illinois. Although the Illinois were not to make it through the development of the American Bottom, they played a crucial and fascinating role in its history.

The ...

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that land was to colonial success. This was likely the reason that the English supplied weapons and supplies to the Iroquois during the war with the Illinois. Although the intention of the Jesuit missionaries was just, the French traders rarely cared for the Illinois. In fact, it was the exploitation of their people and their land that ended with the eventual fall of the Illinois Confederacy. How did this happen though? What specific factors contributed to this decline and eventual end of Illinois culture?

As stated before, the Illinois were a very autonomous and strong tribe. In other words, the Illinois had always been able to provide for themselves and what they did provide was ...

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The History of the American Bottom. (2011, April 4). Retrieved October 21, 2018, from
"The History of the American Bottom.", 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2018. <>
"The History of the American Bottom." April 4, 2011. Accessed October 21, 2018.
"The History of the American Bottom." April 4, 2011. Accessed October 21, 2018.
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Added: 4/4/2011 03:45:52 PM
Submitted By: pinkyprincess84
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3534
Pages: 13

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