Many Native Americans stayed neutral in the American Revolution, because they disliked both the English and the American colonists rebelling against them.
However, some groups, such as the six Iroquois tribes, took sides. When the war began in 1776, the influential Mohawk chief Joseph Brant allied his people with the English.
The Onondaga, Seneca, and Cayuga followed his lead, but the Oneida and Tuscarora decided to fight on the side of the Americans. For the first time in the history of the Iroquois Confederacy, Iroquois of one tribe were fighting those of another.
In addition to nearly destroying the confederacy, the war caused the Iroquois to lose large amounts of land. Soon after the revolution ended in 1783 with an American victory, the United States took over much of their territory in what is now New York State.
It even confiscated land from the Oneida and Tuscarora, who had helped the new country win the war.