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Indian Movement Essay, Research Paper

Why were the Indians forced off their land?

a) Land Struggles

b) Clash of Cultures


Throughout the 1800s America was greatly expanding. As more settlers arrived, more were moving farther and farther west. At this time there were already natives living throughout the land that would one day make up all 50 states. One of the main reasons the Indians were pushed and forced to do things was because of land struggles, America was expanding and more room was needed. Starting in the 1820s the U.S. government adopted a policy of pushing all Indians west of the Mississippi River. That worked out pretty good until 1849, gold was discovered. The government started making treaties with the Indians and started to build forts to protect settlers from the Indians. The Indians finally got mad and started a period known as the Indian Wars, this included battles such as Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee. By 1887 The Government made one final attempt towards the Indians, Dawes Act. This took the Indians chiefs away and forced families of Indians to live on 160-acre farms, this was an attempt to “Americanize” the Indians. That pretty much failed and the Indians end up where they are today, on self run reservations, which are not under the government’s control.


Another main reason for the diminishing of the Indian culture was the clash of cultures. Settlers quickly traveled west in search of gold, on the way they killed many buffalo. The buffalo was the source of the Indians supplies. Without them they were forced to resort to other measures.

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