Colonial North America was not only a battleground for furs and land, but for allegiances as well. While the colonial French and English were locked in heated competition for the most native allies, the Indians sought to preserve their own independence, alighning themselves only when necessary with the colonial group that offered the best material and spiritual wares. Here, ethnohistorian James Axtell takes a fresh look at this contest of cultures to reveal why and how the French and Indians were able to rise so effectively to the challenge posed by English imperial design. Although the English offered better trade goods, they were ultimately defeated by their own stubborn need to impose their way of life on the reluctant native Americans. The French Jesuits, on the other hand, managed to keep the English at bay for a century and a half by adapting themselves to native life and so converting thousands of Indians to Catholicism. this is the first of three volumes in James Axtell's new series, THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF NORTH AMERICA. The series is designed to provide an overview of the realtions between the three separate cultures that together formed America's roots, and offers a new perspective on America's colonial past.