In an epic achievement, Shawnee chief Tecumseh (1768–1813) brought together warring Native American tribes to stand up against the European settlers as they were pushing further West. His strategy included coalitions and the mobilisation of society as America had never seen before.
In this episode, Beatrice and Paul are joined by Dr Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defence Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Tecumseh, initially just the younger brother of a Shawnee chief, rose to fame along with his younger brother Tenskwatawa, a shamanic figure. Together they launched a movement that bridged age-old divisions among the Native American tribes. Social reforms – the repudiation of European imports such as alcohol, and a return to native customs – went hand in hand with political mobilisation and then military operations to roll back the encroachment of European settlements on Native American territory.
Dr Schake has developed a passion for the Shawnee chief. She is a practitioner of strategy, having served in several high positions in the US Defense and State Departments and on the National Security Council. She was a foreign policy adviser to the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign and has previously held the Distinguished Chair of International Security Studies at West Point.
The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.
Kori Schake, ‘Strategic Excellence: Tecumseh and the Shawnee Confederacy’, in Hal Brands, ed., The New Makers of Modern Strategy: From the Ancient World to the Digital Age, Princeton University Press, 2023.
Peter Cozzens, Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation, Knopf, 2020.
Daniel K Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of North America, Harvard University Press, 2001
Wayne E Lee, Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865, Oxford University Press, 2014.
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Former Director of Military Sciences
Senior Associate Fellow