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Native American conflicts in the West essay sample

The conflict between the Native American tribes and the colonists was inevitable since Europeans set foot on the New Land. Colonists took natives as the problem that could easily turn into an advantage (cheap workforce, slaves etc.) Indians did not have as advanced tools, weapons, and transport as Europeans did, but still, natives resisted colonists from the very moment of their arrival. Entire settlements were destroyed by tribes that did not appreciate the newcomers. Obviously, Europeans started the great expansion to West, and the conflict over the land and natural resources grew into a war.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized colonists to remove “five civilized Indian tribes” from the land west of the Mississippi River. Eventually, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek people agreed to move on special conditions. The Seminoles refused to leave their land, which started the longest Indian war of the US (1835 – 1842). The Cherokee nation was forcefully removed from their land. Thousands of people died in a series of migrations called as the Trail of Tears. In 1851, the federal government issued the Indian Appropriations Act that continued the forced relocation of Native Americans from the lands taken by Europeans.

Driven by the Manifest Destiny, Europeans pushed even farther to Pacific. Here they encountered fierce resistance of Native Americans, especially after gold was discovered in California. The Sioux Wars lasted since 1854 till 1890 in the Great Plains region. Though Indians took advantage in the greatest battle of the war (Custer’s Last Stand), they left the land they defended so fiercely. The Sioux and many more tribes were forced onto reservations by the end of the 19th century.