Westward Expansion Dbq Essay

During the mid 1800s the United States had one main goal, that goal is commonly referred to as Manifest Destiny. This means that the United states wanted to stretch from ocean to ocean. With this goal came to inventions like the telegraph and the railroad, and with these inventions came the Westward Expansion. Although Manifest Destiny benefited the United States, it harmed the Native Americans. Due to Manifest Destiny and the Westward expansion, the Native Americans were stripped of their land and culture.

One of the main things Native Americans didn’t like about the westward expansion was the fact that they had to move. This didn’t only anger the Native Americans but it had a large impact on their culture. In the book, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present”, it states that originally the United States government told Native American tribes that they didn’t have to move. However, in 1851 the government set boundaries, the Native Americans were no longer aloud to live on the Great Plains. In documents one and three, the maps show how fast the natives were kicked off their land.

This was hard on many tribes because they lived a nomadic life, meaning they traveled to find resources. The information in document five shows how the buffalo were an important source to the nomadic lifestyle the Native Americans lived. Buffalo were important because it supplied clothes, food, blankets, shelter, and much more. After being told they weren’t aloud to live on the Great Plains the Native Americans had to change their culture. In the past, buffalo were heavily relied on, now new resources had to be found in unfamiliar places and new tools had to be used.

In document four, Chief Sitting Bull states “If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. ” Sitting Bull along with many other chiefs were angered by the fact that they had to move, because they knew that there culture was going to change. Sitting Bull felt that if the tribes were suppose to be like the settlers moving west God would of made him that way. However, God did not make them that way, so what gave the United States government the right to force the Native Americans off the land and change their culture?

After the Native Americans were forced to move and change the tools and resources they used in the past, the United States government passed the Dawes Act of 1877. On the website “American Expansion | Indians of the Midwest”, it states that the act was originally passed to encourage Native Americans to farm with the settlers. Due to being separated from the buffalo, the natives no longer had to tools or equipment, and if they did it wasn’t the right kind that the settlers used. Not only did the U. S. overnment pass the Dawes act, but they also made the Native American children go to boarding school, dress in European style clothing, and learn English.

In document six, the change is clearly showed through the pictures. Going to school changed their culture because the new generation of Native Americans were learning new traditions, languages, and wore new clothes. This was very different compared to how the original Native Americans dressed, talked, and behaved. Not only did the Native Americans get their land and way of life taken away, but they also had their family and tribe members taken away.

In document two, it discusses the Sand Creek Massacre. During the late 1800s, people were coming to Colorado for gold and silver. Even though the Native Americans wanted peace and no trouble, the western settlers wanted their land to get more gold and silver. On November 27, 1864 Colorado Militia attacked. The website “Sand Creek Massacre || Historynet”, it states that many of the men had gone out hunting. This means that out of the two hundred Cheyenne killed, the majority was women and children.

This impacts the land and culture of the Native Americans because by losing women and children the tribes won’t be able to repopulate. In the article “The Horrific Sand Creek Massacre Will Be Forgotten No More”, it states that not only did the Colorado militia kill the Cheyenne women and children, but they also burnt down the village where they were staying, leaving the remaining Cheyenne homeless. With nowhere to stay and small amounts of women to repopulate, the Native americans culture and land were taken over by the Colorado militia.

Although the United States were positively impacted by the Westward Expansion, the Native Americans were not. Due to the United States government wanting to reach the goal of Manifest Destiny the Native Americans lost their land and culture. The U. S. government pushed Native Americans of the Great Plains, so they couldn’t use buffalo as a resource. They also put Native American children in school, changed the way they dressed, and the language they spoke. Finally, due to the Sand Creek Massacre many tribe members were killed making repopulation and the continue of their culture and protecting their land harder.