Land Over Life
When the need to expand overcame life
In the 1800’s Expanding the United States became more important than any one life. Many people died to help expand the country and this included a lot of Native Americans who fought back, unsuccessfully. Expanding required a lot of work so a lot of immigrants were brought to the United States and also die in the process of expanding. In this time people dieing became common and it was not a surprise to hear a few people died. Many immigrants and Native Americans died because their lives became less important than expanding the country.
Native Americans took a big hit from the settlers who wanted to take their land from them to build new homes for themselves. They did not start out violently and mostly just allowed themselves to be pushed into less and less land. These lands had less food, water, and other resources which limited their lives and sometimes led to death. The settler’s solution was to put them into camps with food and homes. These camps turned out to have little living space and a huge carrier of diseases which added a lot indians to the death toll. Some tribes who did not want to go to the camps fled to Canada for safety but Canada was much colder and had a lot less animals to hunt. Throughout all of these problems a lot of tribes did not not want to go to camps or Canada so they fought back but could not match the settler’s strength. Many Indians were killed in rebellions towards the settlers and usually were slaughtered until all or most were dead, sometimes even if they were in retreat. Native americans died protecting their land but many other settlers also lost their lives.
Many immigrants from Ireland and Asia were brought to California and the central states to build a transcontinental railroad. These immigrants were not american and deemed by us as less than human. This caused a lot of railroaders to live in poor conditions because they were not human and therefore did not deserve the same amount of food. They knew they were giving them less than needed so they expected the immigrants to work, and then die. These conditions moved past just food, water, shelter, etc. To move through the mountains they had to blow up the mountain piece by piece using nitroglycerin which was highly explosive. It wouldn’t have been that bad except the immigrants were forced to mix, move, and light the nitroglycerin themselves. They had very short fuses and so they had to run as soon as they lit it for their life and many times they could not make it out and were blown up. The government allowed these conditions to stay for the entire construction of the railroad because they wanted the railroad more than anything, even lives.
Many Native Americans are still impacted today because of what happened to them back in the 1800’s. Americans took a lot of land from the Native Americans and this caused the them to see us as the bad guy and them as the good guy(Boxer 1). This could have stayed within the stories of people, impacting them, and causing a slight dislike towards all whites. Their way of life is still impacted today too, Native americans can not always grow crops and hunt for food, They sometimes have to build casinos to make money(Reservations 1). While Americans have allowed them land and a way to make money, some of that money means spreading their religious items and ideas out into the world for money(Changes 1). The native americans have been put into a world where they have to sell their religion to make money and Americans have made them into little trinkets and stuff for children(Changes 1). The United States limited the Native Americans way of life and forced them to sell it to make money because we as a country wanted a bit more land almost two-hundred years ago, and it continues today.
Many people lost their lives in the expansion of the United States some were taken for their land, and some were taken because it made expanding quicker and easier. Many lives are gone but they helped the United States became the country it is today. Their lives became to most people just a wall that was easier to break down than to go over and this killed a lot of people. There were other times in history that a cause became more important than life but Native Americans and Immigrants are some of the biggest instances.
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