Indian Culture

Improved Essays
American expansion into Indian territory came with many challenges and oppositions for the native people. More than anything, the Indians wanted to coexist with the white man in one shared country. Most of Indian culture seemed to favor peace in times of conflict. The Indians trusted the federal government, the treaties, and new U.S. policies but these were worthless in saving their lands. They were promised justice but repeatedly ended up being impacted negatively by something they perceived as positive. They were clearly taken advantage of and were completely deceived. After so many false hopes, trust was lost. Chief Joseph who led the Nez Percé claimed that he heard talk and talk from plenty of U.S. officials yet nothing was being done …show more content…
Chief Joseph did not ask for trouble, he simply wanted all men to be treated alike, with the same law, an even chance, equal rights, and to live peacefully with each other if the white man wanted to do so. (15.10) Violence and warfare were not in their playbook, but after pressure and threat from the white man, they had no other choice but to rebel in order to protect their family, culture, and land. It was the only opportunity for survival. Cavanaugh states Indians were pure evil and always “upon the war path”, similar to wild animals that could never be tamed; that civilizing them could not be possible. This is ironic because it is visible in Chief Joseph’s letter that they were passive people. They were interested in negotiating, sharing, and searching for compromise. Although they were far from an industrialized city, this attitude seems more civil-like than the Western settlers. The whites were eager to exterminate them, excited to resort to warfare, which is not civil at all. It was hypocritical of the settlers to call them in such a …show more content…
They managed to acquire land all the way to Pacific, running down several native groups. The U.S. had a pressure to expand to keep up with industrial and population growth, but had a moral and political problem in achieving this. The U.S. in this century was a brand new nation, just barely declaring freedom over an oppressive country. They battled and discussed meticulously to form the Declaration of Independence. America well knew what it was like to be ruled and practically dictated by another entity. The foundation of America’s constitution lies on liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. A moral question is raised in how the citizens of America were so cruel and brutal to such native tribes than England possibly ever was to the colonies. The claim that “all men were created equal” clearly had loopholes because it did not include Native men. It was appalling to see a nation founded on liberty to act in such phony behavior. In the end, the U.S. excelled in obtaining western land, but failed in the morality issues with the natives. The balance between continental expansion and coexisting with the natives largely favored the whites. The proof was shown in the population of the natives which plundered downwards along with the reduction of their lands. The settlement of the west left natives “psychologically demoralized, culturally endangered,

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