The Devastating Yakima Wars

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Had refusing the treaty that America tried to force on them hurt the Plateau Indians severely? Did retaliation cause them to almost come to complete annihilation? My position is that yes, the Plateau Indians made a bad decision when they refused the treaty by the United States, and that more of the Indians would have survived if they’d just moved on to the reservation like they were asked. None of the Yakima Wars would have happened if the Indians would’ve just extinguished their pride, and went peacefully onto a reservation where their people did not have to worry about fighting the whites. The main cause of this conflict was the desire of the United States citizens to move west. If they hadn’t believed in Manifest Destiny, and had the pioneers and government not wanted Indian territory, the treaty would have never been made and the Indians wouldn’t have retaliated the way they did.

The official conflict is that that the citizens and government of the U.S. had almost completely wiped out the Plateau Indians. The Yakima Wars consisted of many people and groups or tribes such as; Gov. Stevens, Kamaikin (Yakima chief), Owhi, Skloom, Showaway, Andrew J. Bolon, Peupeumoxmox (Walla Walla chief), H.W.A. Slaughter, Qualchan, Major Rains, General Wool, Colonel Steptoe, and all of the plateau Indians including the Yakima, the Shoshone, the pauites, the Walla Walla, etc. the Yakima Wars took place during the mid 1850’s until 1858 (Lambert, 150). The Yakima wars took place in eastern Washington at many places and or sites, like Four lakes, the Spokane Plains, the Cascade Mountains, Yakima, Fort Benton, Fort Simcoe, Fort Walla Walla, Walla Walla valley, Union Gap, in addition to a few others. (Schuster, 56)

There were many causes for th...

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...and hadn’t tried to force them out, the other factors or causes would have most likely never happened. This conflict could’ve been avoided if the Plateau Indians just moved onto the reservation and not tried to stand up for their land because sooner or later they would’ve lost it to someone else anyway.

Works Cited

1. Lambert, Dale A. Pacific Northwest History. 4th Edition. Wenatchee: Directed Media, 1997. 150-151. Print

2. Schuster, Helen H. The Yakima. New York: Chelsea House Publisher, 1990. 53-73. Print.

3. "USA Yakima War 1855-1858." Armed Conflicts and Events Data (A.C.E.D.), December 6, 2000. Web. 15 Apr 2010.

4. "Washington Indian Tribes." Access Genealogy. Access Genealogy, 12, April 2010. Web. 16

Apr 2010.
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