What effect did the arrival of outsiders have on the Plains Indians?

Mountain Men

  • About half the mountain men married women from Indian Tribes
  • Gave Indians guns and alcohol - made them less self sufficient and more reliant on outsiders
  • A steamboat arrived in 1837 and brought smallpox, which killed thousands of Indians
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Travellers

  • Brought measles on emigrant wagons, which killed lots of Indian children
  • White emigrants traded with the Indians - e.g. the Gould family traded items such as money, whiskey, an iron kettle and gunpowder in exchange for moccasins (soft leather slippers/shoes) and lariats (a rope used as a lasso or for tethering)
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Gold Miners

  • The arrival of the gold mines speeded up the settement of the West, putting pressure on the US government to force Indian tribes onto reservations (an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the US Bureau of Indian Affairs)
  • Miners killed any Indians who came near their claims
  • The discovery of gold in the Black Hills led to the Great Sioux War, resulting in the final defeat of the Sioux nation
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Mormons

  • Converted some of the Indians
  • Treated Indians as equals
  • Converted Indians were abused by non-Mormon settlers, provoking violence
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Homesteaders

  • Homesteaders took land and attacked Indians who came close to their farms
  • They provoked Indian attacks on homesteaders
  • The arrival of the homesteaders speeded up the settement of the West, putting pressure on the US government to force Indian tribes onto reservations (an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the US Bureau of Indian Affairs)
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Cattlemen (cowboys)

  • US government brought 50 - 60,000 head of cattle a year to feed those on Indian reservations
  • Long hunting drives went through Indian hunting grounds, disturbing the buffalo. This lead to Indian attacks on the cowboys
  • Charles Goodnight did a deal with the Indians, giving them some cattle in return for letting the cattle stay on their land
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Railroad Builders

  • The building of the railroads brought a flood of homesteders to the Plains, putting pressure on the US government to force Indian tribes onto reservations (an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the US Bureau of Indian Affairs) and bring the army onto the Plains to protect settlers
  • The railroads split the great buffalo herd in two
  • Railroads brought buffal hnters onto the Plains, who killed millions of buffalo. This made it impossible for the Plains Indians to continue their traditional lifestyles
  • Railroads took supplies to army bases such as Fort Abraham Lincoln
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Buffalo Hunters

  • Reduced the number of buffalo from an estimated 13 million in 1840 to about 200 in 1885
  • By 1875, they had destroyed the entire southern herd
  • By 1883, they had destroyed the northern herd
  • The Plains Indians were forced by the extermination of the buffalo to surrender and move onto the reservations
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United States Army

  • Found it difficult to defeat the Indians miliarily, shown by Red Cloud's War and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
  • The army's tactics of total war and winter campaigns proved effective in the Great Sioux War
  • Employed Indians from enemy tribes of the Sioux (such as the Crow Indian Kurley) as scouts
  • Th army was responsible for the massacre at Wounded Knee and the death of Crazy Hose after he had surrendered
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Bureau for Indian Affairs

  • Established in 1832
  • Decided that the Great Plains  should be a reservation for all Indian tribes where they could roam freely and hunt
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US Government Policy

  • Supported western expansion
  • Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced all native Americans in eastern states to go to Louisiana
  • Individual U.S states were no allowed to communicate with American Indians because they were the responsibilty of the federal government (the government over all of the states)
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Indian Appropriations Act, 1851

  • Alloted funds to move western tribes onto reservations
  • Government could also set aside extra landsfor reservations in Oklahoma and further west to reduce the growing number of conflics between setters and Indians
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