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How The West Was Won Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

How the West Was Won

Table of contents???pg.1

(History) How the West was ?won?????pg.2

(History) Harmony Lost???pg.3

The Long Walk???pgs.4-7

Bibliography???pg.8

How the West was ?won??

For hundreds of years the early stories of the United States have been summed up by the expression, ?How the West was won.? The classic cowboy and Indian films have always portrayed the white settlers moving across America?s plains and mountains to be innocent at heart in their journeys to search for gold or save souls. The Indian was always a fierce, tomahawk-wielding warrior. Was Hollywood accurate in depicting this story?
How might history look from a different point of view? From the view of the native inhabitants of this land, the story is much different. When the Europeans arrived the Indians ?were forced to cope with the introduction into their environment of the most rapacious predator they had ever faced: white European invaders,? states the book The Native Americans-AN Illustrated History.
Harmony Lost
Upon arrival in this new land Europeans were met with kindness and courtesy from the natives. One account states: ?Without the aid of the Powhatans, the British settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English colony in the New World, would not have lasted through it?s first terrible winter of 1607-08. Similarly, the pilgrim colony at Plymouth Massachusetts, might have failed except for help from the Wampanoags.? And the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1874 would not have been successful had it not been for the Shoshone woman Sacagawea. She was their ?token of peace? when they came face-to-face with the Indians.
The Europeans however, were greedy. And because of the way they used their land and the limited food supply, the massive immigration caused tension between the invading settlers and the natives. This was the beginning of the end as more and more settlers came to the New World.

The ?Long Walk?
The Navajo Indians emulated the pueblo. The shed their animal skin clothing for cotton and learned quickly how to farm. These people settled in between the Rio Grande and the Grand Canyon. They herded sheep and grew corn in the valleys. They were a peaceful group of people, and were one with their surroundings.
American settlers started to pour into the area and raids began. There were attempts to negotiate treaties between eighteen-forty-six and eighteen-forty-nine but the Navajo, with a population of twelve thousand, were very scattered, and could not have coordinated discussions.
Fort Defiance was built in eighteen-fifty-one. It was located about thirty miles southeast of Canyon de Chelly. The Navajo people, to graze sheep, had used this land. And now it had been taken over for use by the soldier?s horses. A long barrage of attacks and reprisals...

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