As much Western growth picked up, it came to be clear that just as before, the purposes of American expansionists conflicted v the needs of the ind in the area of expansion. Many of the levels tribes depended upon the buffalo because that survival. Number of tribes adhered to the buffalo migration, harvesting conservatively to fill tribal needs. The ind ate buffalo meat, provided its hide for clothing and also shelter. Sinews were offered as bowstrings and also bones were provided as tools and also weapons. Buffalo fat was offered as grease, hoofs used to do glue, and even buffalo dung was supplied for fuel. By the 1870s, however, the buffalo population was on the decline. Non-Indians killed the buffalo for their pelts, to feeding railroad building and construction crews, or even just for the pure sports of it. Army commanders that operated in the West often attempted to journey the Indians turn off of desired lands by killing the buffalo together a way to deprive the ind of supplies. Between 1872 and also 1875, just three years, hunters killed 9 million buffalo, most often taking the skin and leaving the carcass to rot in waste. Through the 1880s the Indian way of life was ruined and the means was cleared for American settlement of the Plains.

As at an early stage as the 1860s, the US federal government had exit its plan of treating lot of the West as a big Indian reserve, and introduced a system of small, different tribal reservations, wherein the Indians were to be concentrated. Some tribes peacefully accepted their fate, but other tribes, with a total populace of end 100,000, resisted. This tribes fought the US army for control of the West. At an early stage skirmishes and violent massacres motivated the US government to collection aside two big areas in 1867, one north of Nebraska, and one southern of Kansas, in i m sorry they hope the nomadic tribes would ultimately settle. The federal government used the risk of force to to convince the tribes to comply, and at first, numerous did, signing treaties them relocated castle to these tracts.

However, plenty of Indians refused to be confined to reservations. This tribes involved in a continuous battle with non-Indians, raiding settlements and also attacking convoy installments transparent the late 1860s and also 1870s. The so-called Red River battle posed American troops versus Cheyennes in Kansas during a fierce winter project in 1874. The Apaches in what is currently Arizona and new Mexico dealt with a similar guerilla battle intermittently till 1886, as soon as their leader, Geronimo, surrendered.

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No instance of Indian resistance engendered more passion than the conflict in between the Sioux and also the US military in the north Plains. The Indian agents in the Dakotas, Wyoming, and also Montana had long tried in vain to control the Sioux, countless of that entered and left the bookings at will. The US military responded in 1874 by sending a force under Colonel George Armstrong Custer right into the hills of southern Dakota. When gold was discovered in the region, the federal government announced that Custer"s pressures would hunt down all Sioux no in appointments after January 31, 1876. Numerous Sioux refused to comply, and also Custer began to mobilize his troops. At the battle of little Bighorn, in June 1876, Custer unwisely divided his troops, and a numerically superior force of indians wiped the end him and all of his men. After ~ this crushing defeat, the military took a different tack, harassing Sioux bands in a war of attrition. These techniques were usually successful versus the Sioux and also throughout the West, and also the Indians slowly lost the will certainly to resist.

The Sioux ended up being desperate in the so late 1880s, and also turned to the prophet Wovoka, who assured them the they would return to their original prominence of the plains if lock performed the Ghost Dance. As the Ghost Dance swept the Plains, Sioux ind gathered in bands attract Ghost Shirts and also performing the ritual, reaffirming their own culture. Indian officials and military authorities were suspiciously of the movement and also attempted come arrest chief sitting Bull, a Sioux battle hero who cabin had come to be the center of the movement. In a skirmish outside the cabin, sitting Bull was accidentally shot. Two weeks later, on December 29, 1890, 300 Indians were slaughtered by American troops at Wounded Knee. This massacre was the symbolic end to Indian resistance; the plains Indians were basically conquered and moved into reservations throughout the following decade.


The destruction of the buffalo herds displayed the remote greed and also selfishness v which Americans right into the West without heeding or attempting to know the lifestyle of the plains Indians. In simply a few years, the substantial herds that buffalo, which had actually sustained the ind there because that centuries, were diminished to a sparse numerous thousand. As result of the dictates of east fashion and also the desire the entrepreneurial white skin - man seeking to acquire rich quickly, the Indians" method of life was doomed forever. To add insult come injury, after destroying their method of life, whites next lay claim to Indian lands, explaining to the people that they would certainly be much better off top top cramped appointments than follow their timeless lifestyle top top the Plains.

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Whites believed strongly the the floor of the West was theirs come take, and also the indians fiercely rubbish this notion.