Wounded Knee Massacre Summary

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TLAH 1: Native American Indians
Early in the 19th century, the U.S. was rapidly growing. The only thing standing in their way of further expansion were the Native American tribes living in the area. The U.S. government felt the American Indians interfered with progress and should be pushed aside. The Plains Indians soon were dominated by the Anglo Americans. Their land had been taken away from them, and they were pushes in to reservations with force from the white settlers. There were some Natives who fiercely rejected the reservation system.
The Native Americans faced harsh health conditions in the reservations. There is an excerpt from “Ghost Dance of 1890, the: Implications for the Wounded Knee Massacre”, describing the living conditions
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The laws enforced by the U.S. government had prohibited the Indians from continuing their way of life. In “Ghost Dance of 1890, the: Implications for the Wounded Knee Massacre”, there is a good description of this. It states, “In a remarkably short period of time the Native American had to surrender most of his customs on which the old life had focused. Warfare was an activity no longer possible, therefore the principle means of attaining prestige, wealth, and high rank vanished the moment they arrived at the reservations... Politically the Indian had to adopt the white man’s ways. The war council no longer could function and the white man did not honor the medicine men as they did. In the place of these traditional institutions the white man raised up an indigenous police force to rule. The Indian agents systematically stripped the powers of the recognized chiefs and replaced those powers with the police force.” The Americans made no attempt to understand the Indian culture. Ultimately, reservations became an area where Indians were to remain isolated from the Anglo American communities until they surrendered their old ways and became more civilized. They were a place where none of the Native American culture could survive and the American culture could easily infiltrate. And because the Indians were non-white and non-Christians, they were seen as

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