01:512:104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Great Sioux Reservation, Red River War, Mining

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Chapter 18 - Conquest and Survival: The Trans-Mississippi
West
Indian Peoples Under Siege
-Incorporation of the West into the US was keenly felt by natives living there
- Federal officials fought to bring them into the American mainstream
On the Eve of Conquest
- The surviving tribes adapted to changing conditions
- Plains Indians learned to ride horses and use guns
- Treaties with the federal government were often ignored by states
Reservations and the Slaughter of Buffalo
- Reservations intended that Indians learn English, convert to Christianity,
start farming
- Tribes that moved to reservations often found federal policies inadequate to
their needs
- Slaughter of buffalo encouraged in order to hopefully assimilate Indians
- Railway also killed buffalo
The Indian Wars
- Usually settlers (fresh from the Civil War) that started fights
- Colorado - governor terminated all treaties and ordered raids into Indian
territory
- This led to Indian retaliation
- The Sioux fought the US Army to a stalemate and had the Great Sioux
Reservation created for them (although this did not mean peace)
- The discovery of gold forced the government to try to reclaim the land
- Sioux and other tribes prepared for battle
- Custer’s last stand at Little Bighorn
- The Apaches with Geronimo fought the US in the Red River War
- Were cut off from the buffalo and therefore lost
The Nez Percé
- In crushing the Plains tribes, the US government had conquered those
peoples who had most actively resisted the advance of whites into the West.
Even those who co-operated such as the Nez Percé, were ordered to sign a
treaty giving away their gold rich land
- Tried to run for the border but failed
- Eventually sent to other disease-ridden reservations
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The Internal Empire
- Many Americans romantically imagined the West to be the last center of
freedom
- West was in fact controlled by centers of power in the East
- Many peoples struggled to find places for themselves (Mormons, Indians,
etc)
Mining Communities
- The gold rush (1848) fostered western expansion
- Big businesses - bought out smaller claims and started vertical integration
- Western labor movements began in these mining camps as a response to
dangerous working conditions and soon became powerful forces
- Strictly white members
- Eventually admitted Europeans, but never Chinese, Mexicans or Indians
- Caminetti Act - gave state the power to regulate mines
- Underground mining companies polluted a lot
Mormon Settlements
- Western expansion fostered the growth of new unstable commercial cities
- Simultaneously placed new restriction on established communities
- The Mormons had fled New York and eventually formed an independent
state in Utah
- The federal government declared the Mormons rebels and sent in the army
- Supreme Court v. Reynolds - granted freedom of belief but not freedom of
practice
- Edmunds Act - disfranchised people who believed in polygamy
- Edmunds-Tucker Act - confiscated Mormon property over the value of
$50,000
The Southwest
- The majority of Mexicans in American kept Mexican identity
- Although promised all the liberties that go along with citizenship, these were
abused
- Whites often used federal laws to their advantage
- In Arizona and New Mexico, elite Mexicans were able to prosper
- Most Mexicans did work outside the commercial economy working for
subsistence
- With the railroad and the arrival of big business they became the first migrant
workers
- Mexicans were able to preserve their culture and religion
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