Confrontations and conflicts between White American and Native American during the late eighteen hundreds become increasingly one sided. From ritual practices and beliefs to land ownership and government policy; Native Americans and there white contour parts differed greatly. Between 1865 to 1900 the “White man” and Native American relationships in western United States could be characterized as a horrible and miss leading rampage of white man destroying foreign customs and peoples.
In 1862 Congress had granted western settlers their two greatest wishes, the Home Stead Act, promising ownership of 160 acre tract of public land to a citizen or head of a family who had resided on/ or cultivated the land for five years after initial claim and the transcontinental railroad. Bringing the developed east coast to the Wild West, was the catalyst to end of the Native American. Contributing factors for the demise of the Native American relationship between the “White Man” are shown through blood shed and tears.
With new white settlers coming to the west, Native American lands shrunk significantly. In 1862 the lands of the Santee Sioux, near the Minnesota River had been whittled down so drastically, the Sioux decided to retaliate. The Sioux frustrations over lands lead to the one of the first of many large Native American wars with the White man. The Sioux War ended in 1868 with the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, Which established two large Native American reservations. The Reservations where located in Oklahoma and Dakota Badlands.
Only six years later Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Scared Black Hills of the Sioux. Like many U. S. government treaty’s to Native American, Custer violated of the treaty of 1868 and started the uproar and killings for the next ten years. After the effects of Custer’s Last Stand, the Native American resistance to the “White Man” came to a halt. By 1886 reformers recognized that the policy of containing Indians on reservations was not in the best interest. With good intentions congress upheld the Dawes Severalty act in 1887.
It ended the reservation policy and encouraged Native Americans to intergrade into white society, as farmers and property owners. One of the major reasons why “The Dawes Act” did not with stand was due to the Native American concept of property. In many way the Native American and the “White Man” carry different moral and cultural beliefs. One of the more interesting concepts that Native Americans with held during early American years was the idea of landowner ship. Native American tribes where scattered all along the, now united stated and often reaching beyond present borders.
Native American tribes also survived on migrating animals in the surrounding areas. Buffalo In the western United States was a food staple for many Native American tribes. Buffalo being a migrating animal, had to have been followed to be hunted. Leading most of Native Americans to be nomadic tribes following the buffalo herd. When the white settles came to Native Americans with the idea of land ownership many of the Native American tribes didn’t agree with this new foreign concept. Native Americans thought that everyone should share land, and a single person cannot and should not own land.
In 1879, the federal government attempted to “Americanize” Native Americans once again. This time through a more dramatic approach. Estimating around one thousand Native American youth where forced to study at one of the one hundred and fifty boarding schools around the United States. These schools taught Native American youth how to become socially accepted in white American. By changing culture styles with white American, and totally disregarding Native American life style. Not surprisingly most of the school did not last, due to the strict, “internment camp” Like conditions.
Another advocator for peaceful integration among Native Americans into white society was a man named Richard Pratt. Pratt was famous for his idea of seeing Native Americans as, what one would call a “blank slate. ” Meaning, just as everyone else, human. His ideas consist of full assimilation of white culture and disregarding years of Native American culture, for the betterment of the people. ” Kill the Indian, And Save the Man. ” This is one of his most famous piece on Native Americans assimilation.
In 1890 the last great hope, the emergence of “The Ghost Dance” was a depiction from a medicine man, that all the dead Native American soldiers will come back to life and take vengeance on the new settled Americans. This “Ghost Dance” is the symbol for the end of the fight for the west. By the 1890 the Native American had to adapt to life within the boundaries set by white culture despite their valiant efforts of resistance. Bibliography Davidson, James West. Us: A Narrative History, Volume 2. 6th ed. Vol. 2. [S. l. ]: Mcgraw Hill Higher Educat, 2011. Print.
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