Western Indians


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In the late nineteenth century the expansion to the west increased the American culture. Since population was growing they needed to satisfy demands equally for every person. The idea of Manifest Destiny was used as a justification for the expansion and westward movement. Natives Americans were against the thought Americans had about the West. As a result Americans put a number of policies that helped remove the Natives Americans of the West. Americans were trying to destroy the culture Natives had.
Thomas Fitzpatrick was an Indian agent that had convinced the Natives to move and live in the west side of the Mississippi River. Natives thought they would be safe there because it was illegal for Americans to go in their territory. Even with that protection of the land Americans will sneak in to find gold, which caused for the Indians to be displaced again. It made the Cheyenne and Arapaho move from the land that was once promised to them. Thus to find steady to the invasion, the government passed the "concentration" policy which stated that the Natives are to be paid to stay in general areas of land away from the major transportation routes. This policy didn't work as well as the government had thought so they implemented the "reservation" policy. The "reservation" policy was made so they could remove Native Americans from direct contact with the white migrants who were pressuring the governments for each territory that will ultimately destroy the Indians culture.

The "reservation" policy is said to be policy that shrunk Indian Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory and to Oklahoma. All of the Natives customs were threatened. "Indians used buffalo for food, clothing, fuel and even shelter" (Carnes and Garraty 456). As a result of the invasion Indians stopped hunting and many tribes became infuriated. Indian response classified them as either "treaty" Indians or "non-treaty" Indians. "Treaty" Indians were the ones that their chief agreed to comply with the "reservation" policy so they signed it and took it to its people. The "non- treaty" Indians were the ones who refused to sign the policy and as a result would go to war with the U.S Army. In order to protect the "treaty" Indians they created the Department of Interior which was responsible for keeping the national security. This Department includes what is called the Bureau of Indians that provides education services to Indians.

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These agencies became corrupted and instead of directing funds to Indians reservation they seize land and goods that were supposed to be for Indians reservations.
General Sheppard was in charge of the Indians territory. He was not in favor of the Indians. "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead".(Carnes and Garratty 459). Even though he didn't like them he knew why Indians had reacted the way they did when whites tried to take their land, SSsSHHGGFF Sheppard wanted Indians to have a reservation that will be control by the military army.

In 1874 they discovered gold in one of the Indians reservations called the Black hills. These made the territory be invaded by miners. The later event prompted the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad which was the first northern transcontinental railroad in the United States. Lincoln signed an Act of Congress that granted some 47,000,000 acres of land in exchange for building rail transportation in undeveloped territory. Now the Sioux were intimidated by the approach of laborers of the railroad company because each mile of track laid guaranteed 5 miles of land for the laborers thus the Sioux joined the "non treaty" tribes so they could go to the Big Horn Mountains. In an attempt to keep the Indians from escaping, the U.S. Army under the leadership of Colonel George A. Custer and with 264 men confronted 2500 Indians, who defeated the U.S. Army (Carnes and Garraty 460). The Americans were so angry at the Indians that they made them setback the Indians to the reservations.

The Americans were still not happy with the amount they had of the Natives land, so they conquered the remaining land. Americans had a new way of destroying the Native's wish and it was to eliminate the source of Indian lifestyle and destroy the remaining of the Indian culture. They killed the buffalos to can feed the railroad laborers or for other productions such as making rugs or more. Since the Americans destroyed the resources which of Indians these made them starve and be in a homeless condition made them soften and were in the border of surrendering.

After a while the U.S government realized that the whites were not going to stop making the Native's Americans life miserable. To make Indians contribute to the capitalist economy, the Government passed what is called the Dawes Act. The Dawes Act was an act that provided a share of lands to Indians. It also granted citizenship and 160 acres of land to those Native Americans who were willing to work the land and live there for 25 years. It also required "funds to be appropriated for educating and training Indians" (Carnes and Garraty 462).Even with this act the white Americans took advantage of the Indians by implementing a high tax on Indian lands. This act didn't help as the government thought; this act forced the natives to adapt to the American culture by leaving behind their own cultures. At the end Americans were able to have an economic growth due to the destructions they caused to Native American culture.


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