“During the second half of the 19th century, the United States Government took all appropriate actions to maintain peace with Native American tribes. Furthermore the United States was justified in its aggressive measures used to seize land from unruly Native American tribes during the era. ” There little validity in this statement. During this time period American troops were interloping on Native American territory, starting violence, and forcing them out of their homes.
The hostility of American Soldiers toward these people led to several tragedies, such as the Sand Creek Massacre, The Battle of Little Bighorn, and The Battle at Wounded Knee. It can be observed that the United States was clearly not, in any way, shape, or form, attempting to maintain peace. Insensitivities on behalf of the United States led to several tragedies, the Sand Creek Massacre being a major event. On November 29, 1864, General John Chivington ordered troops to attack Chief Black Kettle and his people, after the chief and his people did everything in their power to keep peace between the opposing sides.
To top it all off, most of the warriors in this tribe were off hunting buffalo, and the tribe was left undefended. Between seventy and eighty Natives were killed. The fighting didn’t end there. Several years later, on December 29, 1890, a great disaster occurred at nearby Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. James W. Forsyth and his men massacred the people of Chief Spotted Elk. Around 300 casualties were suffered. The Natives, however, hadn’t always suffered such devastating losses.
Between the Sand Creek Massacre and Wounded Knee, at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Colonel George Custer was one of the leaders of the American soldiers who attacked Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and their people. On June 25-26, 1876, American Soldiers fought the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, suffering a severe loss. Although it may seem as though the Native Americans were ruthless savages, this proves how persistent they were and their ability to overcome. The persistence of these people was also proven by a single man.
In 1876, the United States Government was beginning to force Chiricahua from their reservation in New Mexico. A man named Geronimo fueled the fire of the Native Americans against the American forces. Over a period of ten years, Geronimo aided his people in many raids on white settlements, to prove their unwillingness to leave their home. Geronimo may have surrendered, but his bravery Although many may view these as acts of violence, in reality, US Soldiers were no better. The slaughter and removal of hundreds of Native Americans caused them to react in such a violent way.
In other words, America brought this upon itself. The Dawes Act was a set of laws enacted to assist Native Americans in their land disputes with American settlers. These laws gave the president the right to survey Indian land and distribute it to individual Natives. The Dawes Act was detrimental to Native Americans because those who weren’t awarded land became homeless, unlike the previous tribal community they had lived in, where every person had shelter, but no single person owned the land.
The president also had the right to purchase land he had allotted to be used for white settlers. Assimilation also played a large role in whether Natives would be forced out of their homes. If the Natives would “Americanize” (so to speak) everything about their lifestyle, they would be permitted to stay on US soil. In conclusion, it can be observed that Native Americans were truly the victim in this situation. They were slaughtered mercilessly, forced out of their homes, made to change their lifestyles, and even considered to be the cause of the violence.
Any person who claims Native Americans during this time period as savage murderers would be completely incorrect. These people were merely reacting out of defense and retaliation for what Americans had done to them. Americans frequently like to believe that the US is always justified in what they are doing; they are always the good guy. In this case Americans stooped to a low level to suggest that Indians were to blame for the violence.
Courtney from Study Moose
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