Native Americans in the United States and Plains Indians Essay

Submitted By kytes
Words: 959
Pages: 4

America: Past and Present
Chapter 17

Beyond the Frontier

1840--settlement to Missouri timber country Eastern Plains have rich soil, good rainfall High Plains, Rockies semi-arid
Most pre-Civil War settlers head directly for Pacific Coast

Physiographic Map of the U.S.

Crushing the Native

1867--250,000 Indians in western U.S.

By the 1880s

displaced Eastern Indians
Native Plains Indians most Indians on reservations
California Indians decimated by disease

By the 1890s Indian cultures crumble

Life of the Plains Indians:
Political Organization

Plains Indians nomadic, hunt buffalo

skilled horsemen tribes develop warrior class wars limited to skirmishes, "counting coups"

Tribal bands governed by chief and council Loose organization confounds federal policy Life of the Plains Indians:
Social Organization

Sexual division of labor
• men hunt, trade, supervise ceremonial activities, clear ground for planting
• women responsible for child rearing, art, camp work, gardening, food preparation

Equal gender status common
• kinship often matrilineal
• women often manage family property

"As Long as Waters Run“:
Searching for an Indian Policy

Trans-Mississippi West neglected to
Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 excludes any white from Indian country without a license Land regarded as Indian preserve

Native Americans in the West:
Major Battles and Reservations

“As Long as Waters Run:
Searching for an Indian

After 1850 white travel on Great Plains rises Federal government sparks wars by confining Indian tribes to specific areas
Sioux War of 1865-1867 prompts "small reservation" policy to protect white migration Final Battles on the Plains

Small reservation policy fails

young warriors refuse restraint white settlers encroach on Indian lands

Final series of wars suppress Indians

1876—Little Big Horn: Sioux defeat Custer most battles result in Indian defeat, massacre 1890—Wounded Knee massacre to suppress "Ghost Dances"

The End of Tribal Life

1887--Dawes Severalty Act

destroys communal ownership of Indian land gives small farms to each head of a family
Indians who leave tribes become U.S. citizens Near-extermination of buffalo deals devastating blow to Plains Indians

Settlement of the West

Unprecedented settlement 1870-1900
Most move west in periods of prosperity
Rising population drives demand for
Western goods

Men and Women on the
Overland Trail

California Gold Rush begins Great
Settlers start from St. Louis, Missouri, in
April to get through Rockies before snow
Pacific trek takes at least 6 months

Land for the Taking:
Federal Incentives

1860-1900—Federal land grants
• 48 million acres granted under Homestead Act
• 100 million acres sold to private individuals, corporations • 128 million acres granted to railroad companies

Congress offers incentives to development
• Timber Culture Act 1873
• Desert Land Act of 1877
• Timber and Stone Act of 1878

Land for the Taking:
Speculators and Railroads

Most land acquired by wealthy investors
Speculators send agents to stake out best land for high prices
• river bottoms
• irrigable areas
• control of water

Railroads settle grants with immigrants

Land for the Taking:
Water and Development

Water scarcity limits Western growth
• much of the West receives less than 20 inches of rainfall annually
• people speculate in water as in gold

1902--Newlands Act sets aside federal money for irrigation projects

Territorial Government

Western territorial officials appointed
Territorial patronage systems persist
Some Westerners make livings as
Territorial experience produces unique
Western political culture

The Spanish-Speaking

Spanish-speakers of Southwest contribute to culture, institutions

irrigation stock management weaving natural resource management