Native American Expansion

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Expansion of America at Native Americans Expense

The decades preceding the Civil War were consumed by the pursuit of empire in the American West by the United States. Indians who inhabited immense part of the territory, fought to defend and conserve their cultural identity. Native Americans opposed as a flood of settlers and the conversion of their environment confronted them. Ultimately, extension in the American West comprised of conquering, displacement, and the ruling over Native Americans. The American West and Indian wars continued until 1890, and severely depleted the Native American population (Roark, 491).

The Indian removal policy allowed the army to push Indians off their land to territory west of Mississippi. In the 1830’s, the
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The Cheyenne and the Sioux allied to defend their hunting ground on the northern plains. Captain Fetterman and his man were killed in an Indian attack while trying to seize Sioux territory; this led to the second Treaty of Fort Laramie. This agreement assured the control of the Black Hills by the Indians, but by the same token, the treaty was forcing Indians to surrender all land outside of Black Hills. With extinction of the buffalo, mostly due to the white settlers and their transformation of the land by industrial expansion, it was impossible for the Indians to feed their people within those limits. Although some tribes accepted the treaty, Crazy Horse and several other Sioux chiefs turned it down. When gold was discovered on the Black Hills, the U.S. government broke their promise, and the sacred land of the Sioux was snatched. The army ordered the tribes onto reservations, threatening to kill Indians who declined. In 1923, the Sioux filed suit against land illegally taken from them. It took nearly 60 years for the U.S. to offer $122.5 million in compensation; still the Sioux refused the offer and pressured for the return of the Black Hills (Roark, …show more content…
The white settlers imperialistic view towards Indians, regarded the reservations as a route to civilization. On the contrary, the Indians felt their way of life was assaulted and actively resisted change. They were trained to honor a Christian god, abandon hunting for farming, and renounce their tribal ways. There were many Indian schools located on the reservations; white settlers believed it was a lower cost to educate Indians than to exterminate them. Some childrem were also sent to schools off reservations, many Indian parents resisted this action, and at times the army kidnapped the children. Native Americans did all they could so their children would not be sent off to schools, some even ordered their children to the mountains (Roark,

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