The impact of western expansion on native americans

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

This can also be observed in the film “Dance with Wolves” which presents the American history and the Native American way of life before they were displaced (Costner, 1:30:00-3:00:00). Some groups of the western Native Americans already had an account of contact with the white invaders which went back to several generations. The Indians of the southwest and California had been trying to cope with the Spanish, the Mexicans and the Americans who had settled in Texas. The other races had dealt with Russian, English and American explorers, trappers and traders which as a result of their first contact with the white invaders most of the western tribes had, by the middle of the nineteenth century, a great deal of time to make some changes and to acquire new tools, weapons and even specifically in the case of the Pueblo groups, new crops, and even livestock.

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However, while some Indians had gone through sufferings in the handling by the white invaders, on the other hand, others had an improvement of their standards of living since first coming in to contact with the invaders. In the late 1820s, the trappers were ascending Missouri river with whom the warriors occasionally clashed. In the 1830s the plains tribes were angrily reacting to the wagon train’s appearing on the Santa Fe Trail. In the next decade, thousands of whites crossed the plains En Croute to California and Oregon destroying scarce timber resources as they went. The plains tribes had maintained their hunting grounds against other Indians using the force of arms and therefore resulting in traditional enmities among the tribes.

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The plains warriors were readily prepared to retain and maintain their territory and not to stand meekly aside for the white invaders (Hoxie, Frederick & Peter, 270). The resulting treaties also usually provided for annual distributions of goods and government-issued annuities that would become such bones of contention. These were only equivalent to a few dollars’ worth shoddy merchandises per individual. By 1860s the fighting had intensified and almost considered to as wars. For the Indians it was simply the same, raiding parties usually as few as thirty to forty warriors would ride to from their camps seeking revenge for their loss in casualties. While plains warriors held their own initial skirmishing a new series with the United States in 1867 and 1868 provided the framework for their ultimate undoing.

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Slaughter of the buffalo in 1870 struck mainstay of the plains Indians existence since without buffalo the lifestyle of the Plains Indians was impossible. in a decade of fighting they had however scored some successes (Elk et al. The Sioux and the Cheyennes had able leaders like the crazy horse red cloud and two moons who forced the abandonment of the Bozeman trail forts in 1868 and 1876 they first drove the army soldiers from the fields in Rosebud and even killed over half of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment on Little Big Horn. The warriors demonstrated their ability to their own and outmaneuver the heavier armed enemies. The soldiers seldom were able to overtake the more Indians who were considered mobile.  Black Elk speaks: Being the life story of a holy man of the Oglala Sioux.

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