Ursurla L. Waller
HIS 204: American History Since 1865
Instructor Jessica Schmidt
2015 January 8
The Myth of the Frontier and Neighboring Natives
Movement towards the Great West, known as, "the existence of an area of free land." fortified a boundary line that runs between savagery and civilization. Populated and seized by the Europeans in continental areas bordering the United States of America, the Western Movement began after the first colonial settlement along the Atlantic Coast in the early seventeenth century. Pioneers desired the romanticized Old West for the development of their culture. This paper contrasts the common myths of the American Frontier: from symbolizing the history, fables, and social expression of natural life, to the historical realities, which displays the effects of a westward movement on the Native Americans.
Hostility, violence, and superiority endowed much of Western life. Threats flared in the between pioneers and Native Americans, as well as agriculturists, cowboys, women, immigrants, Christians, and anyone who did not enjoy the climate. Unlike its depiction in modern western films, the West suffered ethnic hostility. Significantly affected by the movement, Native Americans were in an endless fight for survival against the frontiersmen. They competed for land with migrants moving to Oregon, and the Mexicans farming in Texas.
With the introduction of the new strains of diseases by the whites, the annihilation of vast herds of buffalo, and fires created to clear land, most of this native population did not survive. American Military officials killed and led many Indians, forced to live in reservation lands where they usually starved, to Military fights in 1862 during the Dakota Sioux Uprising. The whites came with the fur trade that they supplied the natives with (Thomas 2003). However, they caused stiff completion by hunting too and thus took away businesses from the natives.
Armed with an attitude of superiority and goals for God destined expansion, the frontiersmen dominated the west. "Americans in the nineteenth century were so smitten with the mythic West that they collectively and unreservedly viewed Western America as exceptional, incomparable, and unparalleled. However, David Wrobel argues that foreign visitors to the nineteenth-century West did not share the American vision of exceptionalism, illustrated by the mass of traditional travel accounts that suggest the opposite (Slatta 2010)." Because of political superiority and racial discrimination rising up, Native Americans found themselves displaced and oppressed by the white settlers. However, they brought new technology, railroads, learning institutions, and an introduction of new trades to the Native Americans (Frederick 1963).
The ideals established by settlers encountered the Natives, presenting both positive and adverse effects. "Kill the Indians, but save the Man," a philosophy, employed by Prison warden Richard Pratt, began to dominate the mentality of institutions (What is the Need for a Master Race? n.d.). Native