Native American Land Ownership and Their Destruction.

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The hypothesis of this question is essentially that the differing beliefs on land between the Native Americans and white settlers was what eventually led to the destruction of the Plains Indians’ way of life. To come to a conclusion on this, the factor of land beliefs will have to be analysed and considered. But to compare and make a fair judgement, I will also be examining other factors also. These will include the railroads, US government and the US army. I shall then come to conclusion based on the analysis in my assessment. As it is the subject of the hypothesis for this question, I shall start with analysing the impact of beliefs of land. The primary Belief on land of the Plains Indians was that no body owned it, and that everything belonged to the Great Spirit. The white Americans however believed that land was owned by whoever took it first, or who bought it off the owner. This led to conflicts and therefore partially led to the destruction of the Native American way of life. The white Americans quickly claimed land and would move the Plains Indians around as they saw fit, usually affected by where gold had recently been discovered. This culminated in putting the Native Americans on reservations. In many of the agreements and treaties signed over land the settlers would claim never to go back on their promises “as long as grass grew” and “the mountains stood”. Breaking the promises would have shown the Native Americans that the settlers thought little of their intelligence, and also would instil a lack of trust in the settlers, as now every apparently solemn vow to not attack certain areas or to treat the Plains Indians better etc. could now never be taken as the absolute truth and the Native Americans would have spent time wondering what treaty was to be broken and when. The second factor I shall look at will be the US army and its leaders. Men like

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