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Invasions of North America

Ian K. Steele

Publication Date - February 1995

ISBN: 9780195082234

304 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $84.99


In 1513, only a few years before Cortes conquered the Aztec empire, Juan Ponce de Leon and three shiploads of conquistadores landed just south of what is now St. Augustine, Florida. The Spanish adventurers, however, were quickly driven away by the Timucua people; further landings were similarly defeated by the extraordinary archers of the Calusa, who ultimately took the lives of Hernandez de Cordoba and Ponce de Leon himself. Clearly, the European experience in North America would be a far cry from their swift victories over the Aztecs and Incas.
A panoramic history of the numerous European invasions of North America, this book paints a dramatic new portrait of the centuries of warfare that shook the continent. From the defeat of Ponce de Leon in 1513 to a negotiated peace with the British in 1765, Steele's fascinating account destroys the old image of technologically advanced Europeans overrunning primitive savages, and reveals how Amerindians rose to the challenge of each successive invasion with martial and diplomatic skill. In war after war, the Amerindians and Europeans battled in a precarious balance, adapting each other's technology and tactics and seeking each other out as allies and supply sources for food and weapons. Steele follows the experience of the Spanish at San Agustín, the English at Jamestown and Plymouth, the French at Québec, and the Dutch at Albany, revealing the vast range of Amerindian strategies for coping with the invaders.
The conflicts that erupted with the European arrival have long been distorted by myth and self-congratulatory folklore. Warpaths offers students of American history and Native American studies a startling new look at this pivotal era, combining social, cultural, and military history to provide a more nuanced portrait of the violence that gave birth to modern North America.


"Warpaths is a considerable achievement. Scholars can admire its breadth of approach and its deft and unsentimental synthesis of a mass of specialized studies; teachers will value its clarity of presentation and its capacity to introduce students to a complex and grimly realistic multicultural world."--Richard R. Johnson, University of Washington

"[P]rovides a good introduction to both European and Native American warfare, and...clearly shows how various groups of colonists and Indians influenced each other's conduct of war, whether as allies or foes."--New York History

"Excellent overview! Very well written and with a clear perspective."--William Gilmore-Lehne, Richard Stockton College

"[R]emarkable book....Warpaths is an outstanding work of synthesis and innovation, certainly the most insightful book yet written about the clash of cultures in North America. From start to finish Steele demonstrates a masterly command of the subject and a rare ability to explain complicated matters deftly."--Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

"A focused study which does a fine job of pointing out the complexities of cross-cultural relationships in late Colonial America."--Paul Morton, Covenant College

Table of Contents

    1. Arms in Arcadia, 1513-1565
    I Bases for Invasion, 1565-1684
    2. Spanish San Agustin, 1565-1672
    3. English Jamestown and the Powhatan, 1607-1677
    4. French Quebec, 1608-1682
    5. Plymouth, New England, and the Wampanoag, 1620-1677
    6. Dutch Fort Orange(Albany) and the Five Nations, 1624-1684
    II Colonies and Tribes, 1687-1748
    7. Establishing Patterns, 1687-1701
    8. Recurring Patterns, 1702-1748
    III Empires, Colonies, and Tribes, 1748-1765
    9. Invading the Ohio, 1748-1755
    10. Vaudreuil's Offensive, 1756-1757
    11. The British Imperial Victory, 1758-1763
    12. Different Drummers, 1759-1765

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