The Wounded Knee Massacre

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The Wounded Knee Massacre was final result of the growing problems between the Lakota Sioux and the American Government. After the Civil War tension began to escalate and ended on December 29, 1890. When the government took over most of the Lakota land and forced them into reservations the Indian way of life was destroyed and the large bison herds were hunted until they were endangered. The life in reservations was also difficult since many of the promises made by the government remained unfulfilled: “Promises to increase rations, made by U.S. officials in 1889 in order to secure signatures to reduce Sioux treaty lands by half, and to create six separate reservations, had proved false. Instead, rations had been cut precipitously, and the people were nearly starving.” (Robertson 1). Treaties which were signed to protect the reservations from outsiders were also ignored by the government. There were also other factors which led to the killing such as the Ghost Dance, Murder of Chief Sitting Bull, and the struggle with evolved into a massacre. Many Indians saw hope in the Ghost Dance religion. The Ghost Dance movement was supposed “to invoke the spirits of the dead and facilitate their resurrection” (Phillips 1). It was created by the son of Paiute shaman Wovoka who was, “known as the messiah to his followers” (Wovoka 1). Wovoka believed that the Ghost Dance would revive their loved ones, make the whites disappear, and the buffaloes would roam the Wild West once again (The Wounded Knee Massacre 1). Leaders such as Sitting Bull, Kicking Bear, and Short Bull preached Wovoka’s religion which helped it gain immense popularity. This belief gave hope to the Indians and more than 3,000 Indians gathered in the badlands of the Pine... ... middle of paper ... ...pposed to eradicate the world from whites and resurract the dead natives. The Dance became more popular when Chief Sitting Bull started to practice it. Tension between the two sides grew when Chief Sitting Bull was killed by the army. After Sitting Bull’s death, Chief Big Foot was and his followers were surrounded by soldiers when they were on their way to join with the other leaders. On December 29, a shot was fired which started the massacre and did not end for an hour. After one hour the camp was covered in blood due to the constant shooting from soldiers. A huge burial ground was made to bury the 146 victims. People later realized that the Indians were innocent and they were killed for no justifiable reason. However, on the bright side this was the last confrontation between the government and the Indians and it taught people to treat others as equals.

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