The Native American West

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by barbozachen
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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The Native American West

The Native American West

The US government began the Indian reservation system with the Treaty of Medicine Lodge and the Treaty of Fort Laramie.

•Americans wanted Indian land•Railroad construction brought conflicts with the Indians•Whites spread diseases such as smallpox, cholera, and typhoid to the Indians•Whites hunted and decimated the bison•American government soon realized that it was cheaper to care for the Indians in the reservations than to fight them off

Ghost Dance

Nature of warfare on the Plains and the Far West•The Indians launched guerilla warfare against the American whites.•Rapid-fire rifles and Gatling guns outmatched the Indians' bow-and-arrows; although, some Indians did have rifles•Many of the Plains Indians fought on horseback; great cavalry forces•Brutal and bloody warfare•Both sides suffered heavy casualties.

Battle of Little Bighorn "Custer's Last Stand"•General Custer embarked on a "scientific" mission into Black Hills of SD in search of gold•Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians retaliated because US violated treaty agreements•Indian victory

Dawes Severalty Act of 1887•set up individual Indian families with 160 acres; wiped out tribal ownership of land•intent was to make Indians into "great white settlers"

Ghost Dance•Indians wanted to revamp their traditional culture and resist American oppression by practicing the Ghost Dance. Americans viewed the dance as a type of uprising. Americans felt threatened so the government outlawed it.

Battle of Wounded Knee•US government outlawed the sacred Ghost Dance•The reservation police sought to arrest Sitting Bull, a Sioux leader. He was captured and killed.•US Army stamped out the sacred Ghost Dance•US Army killed many women and children•This US massacre of Indians marked the end of the Indian wars.

•US government met the strongest resistance with the Indian tribes in Arizona and New Mexico


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