“Plan for Detroit”


Cadillac didn’t have much respect for the Native Americans. He considered himself of higher power and very modest. He couldn’t gain power over the French government so by betraying the Natives; Cadillac traded women to other tribes to combine different tribes to make his colony bigger.  He lied to the Native Americans by trying to convince them that they need to buy his brandy to kill the bacteria of fish in their system.  He also tried to use his power to lay down rules and to try to earn respect of the government minister back in France and did so by over powering the Native Americans. Because the French religion were highly Catholic, he brought the Jesuits in to convince them there is a God, which the Natives believed objects of nature where their God.  Again to gain power and dictate this colony that he can say he developed.

Cadillac wrote the “Plan for Detroit” because he tried to convince the King of France that he can take ownership of Detroit since he failed at becoming a ruler in France. He tried suggesting his proposal hoping to persuade the French minister whom was in charge that he can dictate over the Native Americans by setting these rules. He betrayed Native Americans against themselves to try to make his colony bigger, one by allowing women from different tribes marrying into different tribes to bring them together.  Because the fur trade was getting over populated he wanted to use the Native American “goods” as trade to bring more money to his what he called a colony to prove to the French Minister he can gain his own power.

In the eyes of the European observer watching the Native Americans, they saw men sitting around the village smoking and making or fixing weapons while the women were out working the fields, sewing, cooking, trading goods while taking care of the children. It seemed to them that the men had the power and the women did all the work. In contrary, both Native American men and women had equally responsibilities and were respected for their jobs. Europeans men and women were treated differently and had distinct jobs. The men were taught to have power and be master of the household. The women were to take care of their children and obey the man, prepare food and maintain the home.  The Europeans had no respect for their women.

Women were used as political pawns in this piece “The Great Water”, by convincing the Native Americans to go past their belief and marry into different tribes to strengthen the friendship of the tribes.  Native men respected their women and tried to play equal roles. Unlike the European women, which majority were married were sent to the Native Americans as slaves or baby makers. It was not un-heard of, of a European women getting raped. The European girls were to be married by 16 years of age. The European women were not respected by the European men. They were pretty much an object for them.

7 thoughts on ““Plan for Detroit”

  1. This was a very well typed up blog entry! I can’t help but think how terrible it would be to be a women back then.. To be used as a pawn in a semi-evil game. From the sounds of it, European men weren’t really men to me. The women being sent off for slavery and to be impregnated.. It’s sickening. Cadillac was searching for power from the sounds of it. When he got denied his power by the French, he went to seek it from here. However, he did it in the not-so-best way. Overall, this was a very informing blog and very well written out!

    1. I can’t imagine living back in the 1700’s on how some men try to obtain power and what they would do to go about it to get it. Unfortunately, other countries are still at war and still fight for power by lies and use women as their source to get what they want but I think now their source is more for drugs and here in the U.S there is a lot of human trafficking. Reading about Cadillac and other Europeans and Natives make you think about what era we live in now and it really is not so bad.

  2. You bring up a lot of good points about how he had failed as a leader in France, which may have heavily fueled his need to control the new land and the Native Americans. Bringing up a lot of good points about how they were trading woman in the tribes which was against their beliefs is also a great point. I think its outrageous that they thought it was okay to move on the land and try to not only take control of the area but their personal family lives as well. Sending them to live with foreign men that don’t have obligations to treat them right or with the equality they are used to within their own tribe.

  3. The idea of Cadillac believing the French way was far and superior to the Natives was his biggest down fall. Even though he may have been right as the French were far more advanced. His tactics for gaining the trust for the Savages was flawed as he made false promises and commitments. I like your description of how he used women as a pawn in his quest for power in the new world as he had failed to gain any respect in his homeland. It was clear that he and many men of his day had no respect for females and used them for his own personal gain.

  4. I thought your analysis was very well written and thought out. You brought out a really good point that I had not considered: the equality that existed between the native men and women. I can’t imagine that Cadillac’s plan to marry the native women to adopt more European roles would go over well. These natives were accustomed to hard work and being quite dependable, so taking those rights away would most likely cause more harm than good.

  5. I like the way that you wrote this. It’s weird to think that the men, who are portrayed as “Leaders” in most aspects of society at this time just sat around while the women did all of the work around the house, showing ultimately, as you said, no respect for women.

  6. Well this certainly isn’t a surprise for the era we’re discussing. The timing fits everything and so does the evil. Remember outside of Michigan everyone was going absolutely bananas. Let’s remember when the America’s were first being explored by columbus, he murdered thousands, some say millions. a little while later as the slave trade expanded how the slaves, indentured servants and women were treated. This is nothing new. Women were absolutely brutalized for a very long time in all the colonies, and even as america expanded. A famous quote from Abigail Adams in 1776, as John Adams was leaving to go draft a “new code of laws”, was “remember the ladies”. This quote can show both sides of the coin. the need for change culturally for the women of the new country, and the line in the sand from women who were treated like objects and the women of high class, but yet still treated less than men. In terms of what was happening with Cadillac, he did pretty much what every general, king, or leader did or said to the native Americans, but he never followed through, feeding them lies to win them over and or to keep them at bay. We can see the utter failure of this over and over again but clearly as most are even now a days he was uninterested in the lessons that could have been learn and applied from history even as somewhat recent as it may have been.

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