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Violence In The Old West Essay

755 words - 4 pages

Although many people defend the Old West saying that it was not very violent, the Old West was indeed very dangerous. The Old West was not as violent as Egypt is today but it still was drastically hostile to both the Americans and the Native Americans. How might you depict the Old West?
One of the main forms of violence in the Old West was murder; the rising tension between the American soldiers and the Native Americans was a main contributor to this violence. An example of this strain is the Sand Creek Massacre. American soldiers attacked unaware Native Americans of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe ethnic groups. All men, women, and children were killed and/or tortured. There were no survivors. “Two soldiers drew their pistols and shot her [a little girl]”, portraying that these sort of crimes came about regularly in the West (Document G). Another example of this is the Battle of Beecher Island. The Battle of Beecher Island, also known as the Battle of Arikaree Fork, was the armed disagreement between soldiers of the U.S. Army and a few Native American tribes. According to Document H, there were “at least 50 [men dead]; perhaps as many as 200 [men] were wounded” (Document H). Adding on to the uneasiness between the Native Americans and the white soldiers, many killings were encountered by foolishness, not battle. The Native Americans and the soldiers wanted to prove that their race is more macho and better than the other. Even though Document L states that “113 [people] recorded no trouble with the Indians”, Document M detects many problems with the Native Americans resulting in “919” troops killed (Document L, Document M). The white soldiers in the Old West would have loved to kill the Native American’s buffalo population because it would keep them from grumbling about the buffalo, even though it would start a war. A future war between whites and Native Americans is implied in Document M stating “the destruction of this herd [buffalo] would... keep Indians quiet”, secretly indicating that the Native Americans would start a war and fight if the whites harm or kill their herd of buffalo. A final example of deaths in a war/battle is in the Indian Wars. While Document I displays that...

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