American West- GCSE history

A collection of GCSE American West- (great plains, Plains Indians and white settleres) History notes

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: aneesah
  • Created on: 04-05-13 17:43

The great Plains


The white Americans believed it was uninhabitable enviroment because:

  • grasslands- 'great American desert'
  • hostile environment- Indian attacks
  • enormous size
  • lack of trees
  • little water available
  • extremely cold and violent winters
  • ferocious winds
  • Wild animals


1 of 4

Native American Indians

The White Americans believed the American Indians were savages because:

  • believed in spirits- they thought the land was sacred as it had their ancestor's bones buried in them. They used to do dances e.g. sundance
  • They therefore did not farm as they had to plough the land. But the Americans thought the indians did no work and were lazy
  • They married more than one wife (polygomy) because there were more women than men as many of them died in war.
  • Nomadic lifestyle- they followed the buffalo as it was their primary source of food and it showed them were the water was
  • Exposure-  Weak and vunrable members of the tribe were left behind so they would not slow the tribe down.
  • The bravest act of war was to score a ccoup (where a warrior tapped his enemy with a stick and escaped).
  • Scalping- warriors removed the sccalp of the victim to stop them from going into the afterlife
2 of 4

Native American Indian way of life

They lived in tipis because:

  • shape protected it from Plains winds
  • easy to move (nomadic lifestyle).
  • warm in winter, cool in summer

Buffalo's importance:

  • food
  • bones- bows and arrows
  • skin for tipis
  • clothes
  • bones-utensils
  • insides for war paint
3 of 4

Plain's Indian Religon

They believed in spirits

  • Believed in visions
  • boys had to go through ceremonies to become men- usually violent, e.g. sundance
  • Medicine men could talk to spirits and ask them for help
  • Ancestors bones were in the ground and could not dig it up
  • Land did not belong to anyone exept spirits and couldnt be sold
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The American West 1840-1895 resources »