Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Essay

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Essay

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Since the first Europeans landed their ships on North American soil, the Indians have been a present people in our history. The peaceful beginnings of relations with the Indians soon turn hostile as greed overtook the genuine humanity of the settlers, causing them to eventually destroy the Indian way of life. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee depicts the relationships between European Americans and Indians from 1492 to 1890 from the perspective of the Indian people.
Pilgrims that landed on the Massachusetts shore in 1492 encountered the Wampanog people, marking the introduction of the two people groups. Without the Indian’s help, the Pilgrims would not have survived the winter in their new home. Pilgrims’ grateful attitudes were short lived as they began to encroach upon the Indian land, exploring and conquering. Leading up to 1860, colonists continued to infringe upon the Indians. They defeated many tribes including the Wampanogs, the Five Nations of Iroquois, Miami Indians of the Ohio Valley, Cherokee, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Cheeks, and Seminoles. From the 1860s to 1890s, the destruction and minimization of Indian tribes began to pick up speed and intensity due to Americans discovery of rich natural resources upon on Indian land and their popular ideal of Manifest Destiny.
Beginning this thirty-year period in 1860, the Navaho tribe headed by Chief Manuelito is among the first to feel the pressure of western American movement. The Americans steal their natural resources and livestock and soon build Fort Defiance on their land. The angry Indians raid the fort and skirmishes broke out between them. The Army decids to settle the quarrel with a rigged horse race that sent the Navahos to the Bosque Ronodo reservation. After a struggle, ...


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... Americans fought for power and out of greed. It is appalling how falsely the Indians were depicted during this time period when Americans were the savages.
The method that Brown uses when writing this book grabs the reader’s attention and accomplishes his goal of provoking compassion for the plight of the Indians. By telling the personal accounts of various tribes effected by the deception and cruelty of the Americans leading up to a historically horrendous massacre, he build suspense and a sympathy for the Indians. Instead of savages, the Indians are depicted as people, brothers, families afflicted by oppression and tragedy.
This book is highly recommended to all who are unaware of the destruction of the Indian culture and way of life. Although what happened then set the stage for American life today, the treatment of the Indians can never truly be justified.

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