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“Settlers” & Native Americans in the West, 1865 - 1900 U.S. History II.

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Presentation on theme: "“Settlers” & Native Americans in the West, 1865 - 1900 U.S. History II."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Settlers” & Native Americans in the West, 1865 - 1900 U.S. History II

2 Buffalo Hide Painting


4 The Plains Indians Approx. 250,000 Indians in Great Plains in 1865 –smallpox, tuberculosis & malaria killed many & reduced fertility among survivors –women outnumbered men 2:1 in some tribes –destroyed cultures as well when elders killed before they could pass on oral traditions 2 main groups: –semi-sedentary farmers living in earthen lodges along Missouri R. (Arikaras, Hidatsas, Mandans, Pawnees & Omahas) –horse-mounted, nomadic buffalo hunters on “high plains” (Arapahoes, Blackfeet, Cheyennes, Comanche, Crow, Kiowas & Sioux)

5 The Indian Wars Ft. Laramie Treaty (1851) set boundaries for Northern tribes, but soon violated –Cheyenne & Arapaho annihilated at Sand Creek (1864) –Oglala Sioux Chief Red Cloud fought U.S. to stalemate in 1866-67 war & received guaranteed boundaries in 1868 treaty – when George Custer ’s expedition verified gold in Black Hills, U.S. tried to back out of treaty, so war broke out with Sitting Bull –Custer’s 7 th Cav. wiped out at Little Bighorn in 1876 Sitting Bull

6 Sand Creek Massacre

7 The Southern Plains Indians Treaty of Medicine Lodge (1867) set boundaries for southern plains tribes, but gov’t failed to supply them as promised, so Indians resumed hunting & war broke out –Sheriden & Custer destroyed villages & pony herds –Resistance broken by 1875 –72 leaders imprisoned in Florida & subject to experimental “civilization by immersion” program run by Capt. Richard Pratt –Wovoka’s Ghost Dance movement crushed by massacre of 200+ Sioux at Wounded Knee in Dec. 1890 Gen. Phil Sheridan

8 Wovoka & the Ghost Dance

9 Big Foot Killed at Wounded Knee

10 The Reservations Reservations seen as temporary - designed to civilize & Christianize Indians Run by Bureau of Indian Affairs (est. 1824) –controls schools & legal system, grants recognition –agents white, but lesser officials Indian, which deflected hostility onto traitors Traditional practices & communal work replaced by individualism, because whites believed indiv. land ownership was bedrock of democracy Children often sent to boarding schools & punished for speaking native tongue

11 General Allotment Dawes Severalty Act (1887) broke up reservations to encourage individualism –each head of household given 160 acres (320 if suitable only for grazing) –could pick own land, but held in trust by gov’t for 25 years –would become citizens after 25 years if gave up tribal ways –reduced Indian-owned acreage from 138 to 48 million - rest opened up to white settlement Curtis Act (1898) terminated tribal gov’ts that rejected allotment

12 Shrinking Reservations

13 Denying Tribal Sovereignty Legal status as nations with treaty rights stripped by Congress, with Supreme Court’s approval 1871: Congress declared tribes no longer sovereign nations, but wards of gov’t Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903): Court ruled Congress had plenary power over tribes - could act unilaterally to violate treaties & dispose of Indian lands as it saw fit Indian Citizenship Act (1924) granted citizenship to all Native Americans


15 The Great American Desert Great Plains long considered “Great American Desert” - too arid for agriculture –average annual rainfall too low to support crops without irrigation –unusually rainy years in mid-1880s & ads encouraged settlers, but drought at end of decade ruined many Open-range livestock grazing ended after bad winters of 1886-87 –25-30% of cowboys were African Americans or Mexican Americans –after demise of open range, many became cheap labor on farms

16 Home on the Range Families, not individuals, settled west for the most part –couples had many kids - needed them as labor –fathers did heaviest work: sodbusting, construction, mining, etc. –mothers did housework, cared for livestock, gardened & earned extra cash by washing, cooking & sewing for single men –kids helped out by hunting, weeding, herding, cooking & caring for younger siblings –related families frequently settled together, which especially helped women


18 Farming Cereal farming, but as agribusiness (capitalist agriculture) 1873- barbed wire invented to fence in fields & protect from herds Mechanization increased production dramatically - 4 times as much corn, 5 times as much hay, 7 times as much wheat & oats as before Civil War Tariff kept cost of goods farmers bought high, leading to perpetual debt by 1890s, 70% of farmland west of Mississippi River owned by Eastern investors

19 Government Assistance Homestead Act (1862) - stake claim to quarter section (160 acres) & occupy five years, or buy after six months at $1.25/acre Transcontinental railroads given over 180 million acres in alternating plots along routes - sold to settlers to insure steady freight business Newlands Act (1901) - federal Bureau of Reclamation set up in Interior Dept. to build interstate irrigation projects

20 Mining Pan prospecting ran out quickly - required capital to sink mine shafts Chinese immigrants as well as whites, though former usually squeezed out Major “strikes”: – Comstock Lode (1859) - silver – Cripple Creek (1891) - gold & silver

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