Clash of Native Americans & Whites
By: Chris Steil and Tyler Fitzgerald
In 19th Century America as the Americans had finished the Civil War, settlers wanted to move West in search for new land. As they moved West, they encountered Indians. Environmental conditions of the 19th Century Great Plains caused political and social repercussions for Native Americans and the modern settlers.
The First Clashes
The Struggle to Stay Alive
Whites did not understand the Native Americans' way of life. The whites distrusted them and feared the Indians (4). The Native Americans thought of the whites as devils who ruined the earth. Their differences in culture caused hatred between each other and eventually war (5). The whites did whatever was necessary to take over the land.
Shortage of food was a big struggle to stay alive. The whites hurt the Indians hunting grounds by mowing the grass on the land for cattle feeding. The Indians lost a lot of their land this way and couldn't produce as much food as they previously were. The whites killed a lot of the bison on the Native Americans land so there was not a plentiful amount of meat or bison anymore.
Because of the Dawes Act, the government forced the Native Americans to stay on the land and cultivate the land (6). The Indians could not leave or they would be killed.
Differences Between Native Americans and Whites
- Do everything looking for a profit
- Value success
- Leaders lie to their people
- Incessant noise
- Have criminals
- Need laws by which to live
Native Americans: (10)
- Do not need laws to live
- No criminals
- Leaders are very truthful and trustworthy
- Silence was one of their greatest virtues
- Value respect and honor
- Do things to be helpful
War between the Whites and Native Americans
Many white men believed it was their manifest destiny to take over the Plains (12). They took the land that Native Americans believed belonged to everyone.
The U.S. Government broke its treaty promises.
Some Native Americans wanted war.
Battles between Native Americans and Whites
2. Black Hawk
3. Little Bighorn (21)
4. Battle at Wounded Knee (16)
The battle of Tippecanoe took place in Tippecanoe, which is in Indiana, in 1811. The governor of Indiana, William Henry Harrison, led 1,000 troops up the Wabash River and then marched to a village on Tippecanoe Creek (13). Harrison's troops camped out near the village and tried to make peace with Chief Tecumseh. The next dawn, the Shawnee Indians attacked Harrison's troops. Both sides lost about the same amount of men, but Harrison's troops were able to destroy the Indian village and cause them to flee (14).
In 1832, Black Hawk, the chief of the Sac and Fox Indians, wanted to take lands in Illinois. He was not allowed to take land so he went into Illinois with 500 people met with General George Atkinson at the Rock River (Dixon, Illinois). Black Hawk was defeated and he and 150 soldiers were captured.
The Battle of Little Bighorn is arguably the most famous battle between Native Americans and Whites. It was also called "Custer's Last Stand." General George Crook knew the Indian leader, Crazy Horse, was in the area. Once he spotted him, it was too late, Crazy Horse had over 5,000 men(15). General George Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked Crazy Horse but it was a failure, the Indians captured Custer and his men and killed them all.