Taking the Wheel #1

The last assignment of the year has to do with the category of people, places, and power. There are six different topics and everyone is focusing on one. The topics are Native Americans and the West, Immigration: Asia, Immigration: Europe, Imperialism: America, Imperialism: Europe and Africa, and  The Rise of Corporate America. The assignment is to research your assigned topic and connect it with the them of people, places, and power. My assigned topic is Native Americans and the West.
Key Terms and Definitions:
Push-pull factors– events and conditions that either force people to move elsewhere or strongly attract them to do so
Pacific Railway Acts– 1862 and 1864, government gave large land grants to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. 1862 act granted every alternate section of public land to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of the railroad
Morrill Land-Grant Act– 1862, gave state governments millions of acres of western lands, which the states could then sell to raise money formate creation of “land Grant” colleges specializing in agriculture and mechanical arts
Land speculators– people who bought up large areas of land in the hope of selling it later for profit
Homestead Act– signed by President Lincoln in 1862, for a small fee settlers could have 160 acres of land, a quarter mile square. Requirements were the person had to be at least 21 or the head of their family, American citizens or immigrants filing for citizenship, built a house of certain minimum size and lived in it at least 6 months a year, had to farm the land for 5 years in a row before claiming it
Benjamin “Pap” Singleton– in 1879 he led groups of southern blacks on a mass exodus, trek inspired by biblical account of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to a prophesied homeland
Exodusters– settlers of Benjamin Singletons exodus
Great Plains– vast grassland between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains
Nomads– people who travel form place to place, following available food sources instead of living in one location
Reservationfederal lands set aside for native Americans
Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs– supposed to manage the delivery of critical supplies to reservations but widespread corruption within the BIA resulted in supplies being stolen or mishandled
Captain Richard H. Pratt– opened the United States Indian Training and Industrial School in Carlisle Pennsylvania in 1879. Children taken from reservations and trained to be educated as Americans
Assimilation– the process where one society becomes a part of another more dominant society by adopting its culture
Dawes Act– divided reservation land into individual plots, each Native American family headed by a man received a plot of 160 acres
Boomers– settlers who wanted the native Americans land because it wasn’t being farmed
Sooners– people who had sneaked past the government officials earlier to make claims on Native American land
Wovoka– Indian prophet from the Paiutes tribe whocalled for all Indians to do the ghost dance because Christ returned as an Indian. Wovoka promised the restoration of Indian ways and land
General George Armstrong Custer– personified the advance of civilization against savagery, attacked the Cheyennes with his troopsd captured women and children
Enduring Understandings:
The American government believed they had the power to control Native Americans and wipe out their culture.
  • eventual assimilation of Indians was the goal (The Indian Question, 220)
  • they would be required to learn industrial skills until one generation had been self improved (The Indian Question, 220)
  • government planned their educations and trained and reformed them on the plantations (The Indian Question, 220)
  • wanted to destroy tribal system because it was barbaric and savage like (The Indian Question, 221)


Multiple battles took place between Native Americans and new settlers because of push and pull factors.

  • Custer supported the extension of the west but he also recognized that Native Americans would rather be dead than be confined in a reservation (The Indian Question, 218)
  • Walker believed the government should pursue a Peace Policy to buy off and feed Indians and avoid any violent conflicts (The Indian Question, 219)
  • Walker explained the ultimate goal as the eventual assimilation of Indians (The Indian Question, 220)


So far the topic of Native Americans in the West has reflected the theme of people, places, and power. The people are the Native Americans, the government, and the Western settlers. They were fighting over land which is part of the places category. The Western settlers were trying to takeover the Native American’s land and force the Native Americans into small reservations. Clearly the Western settlers had power if they were able to gain the Native American’s land. The push-pull factors were also powerful because they influenced events that forced the Native Americans to leave their land. Lastly the government had a lot of power at the time and they used it to try and get rid of Native American culture and “westernize” them. The Western settlers grabbed the wheel and took control over the Native Americans.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s