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The Erie tribe inhabited the location of its modern-day derivative, until they were wiped out by whites and the Iroquois. The French and the Iroquois participated in cooperative commerce, though the startling increase in settlements and many years of skirmishes with the English over land strained relations, commercial and otherwise.
American independence further complicated land ownership issues, as the British maintenance of a garrison at Presque Isle violated the terms of colonial independence. In the eighties, native tribes signed away their rights to the land, though the hardly agreeable terms precipitated more fighting.
This growing arsenal of broken and non-enforced agreements in the Erie region exploded as
one site of the War of 1812
. Eventually, both British and Native Americans were expelled.
An oil boom hit the city in the 1860’s at the same time Erie was quickly transforming into the country’s fishing capital. With the advent of the canal and the railroad of Monopoly fame, the city thrived as one of the most populous of Pennsylvania. Today the city is the fourth most inhabited in
, exporting electrical products and grapes along with fish and livestock produce.