Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nobody's Perfect

This week in history, we have been learning about Buffalo soldiers and Native Americans during the time after the Civil War. We have been teaching ourselves and watching videos and analyzing documents that Mrs. Gallagher has provided for us. From these videos and documents, we found important information took notes about Buffalo soldiers and Native Americans in a class Google doc. At the end of the unit, we created an essential question as a class.

A member of the Sioux tribe.
This unit, our essential question was: During westward expansion, did the impact of federal policy towards buffalo soldiers and native americans match the intent? We have been trying to decide whether or not the policies created by the U.S. Government had the effect that they intended them to have. The Dawes Act resulted in the way the U.S. Government intended it to. The Dawes Act was issued by the U.S. Government and gave the heads of Native American households U.S. citizenship and land if the Native American family would become farmers and give up their Native American culture. It could be argued that the intent of this document was both good and bad. The U.S. government was giving Native Americans land and citizenship, which gave the Native Americans many rights and privledges. But at the same time, the United States government was forcing the Native Americans to give up their culture and traditions to be a citizen, and many didn’t want to be citizens. If Native Americans chose not to be citizens, they were forced onto reservations by the U.S. government. The intent of the Dawes Act matched the result. In 1877, the Nez Perce tribe refused to move onto reservations and tried to march north to settle in Canada, where they would be free of the U.S. government. The U.S. government tried to stop the fleeing Nez Perce many times and engaged in many battles that ended in many Nez Perce dying. The U.S. government’s intentions were to keep the Nez Perce from escaping to Canada and to force them onto reservations. Their intent matched their impact. The Native Americans were forced onto reservations or killed. Lastly, The Battle of Little Bighorn was started by the refusal of many Native American leaders to accept the treaty of Laramie, which forced Native Americans to give up their culture and traditions and live on reservations. As a result of this refusal, the U.S. army engaged the Native Americans who refused to live on the reservation in battle in order to try and force them onto reservations. The U.S. government’s goal of the Battle of Little Bighorn was to force Native Americans to give up their culture and traditions to live on reservations. The Cheyenne and Sioux tribes ended up defeating the U.S. The intent of the U.S. government, to force the Native Americans onto reservations, didn’t match the impact, which ended in the defeat of the U.S. army. Generally, the U.S. government’s intent matched their impact, and generally, the intent of the U.S. government wasn’t very nice.

In my opinion, the United States government didn’t have a very nice intent or impact on the lives of Native Americans. Native Americans were forced, by the U.S. government, to change their way of life, their culture and their homes. They were either forced to be farmers,  live in stationary homes, own land and become U.S. citizens, or they were forced to move to reservations and give up their nomadic way of life. The U.S. government wasn't very nice to the Native Americans.

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