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April 23, 2015
Posted at 11:45 am

Notes of Part III of "The 400 Year War"

Although the timeline for part III of the story only comprises slightly more than a single Century or about 110 years, It is probably the most defining period of the struggle between the American Indian Tribes and the European Settlers of the newly established United States of America. The Indians involvement in the American Revolution seemed to carry ill will regardless of the fact they supported the fight for Independence or supported the rule of the Redcoats and the British Crown. Just as the "Tory" supporters of the King found it necessary to relocate to places like Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Canada, the Native American Indian Tribes were found in the same sort of exodus only they also headed to the Western Territories not yet under European control. In some cases the migratory movement was voluntary and in others it was forced on them by the newly formed American Congress. Small wars were fought throughout the entire period and many treaties were made and broken and re-negotiated again and again. Massacres occurred on both sides with the Indian Tribes generally getting the short end of the stick from the heavily favored "firepower" of the settlers and the Military authorities. Villages were laid waste and moved to accommodate the relentless movement of the rail system west to the far Pacific Ocean. Indians were treated as second class citizens and inferior to the "White man" in a social setting. The nomadic nature of the Indian culture acted against them in the conflict as the settlers squatted on the open land and claimed "ownership" fencing in their farms and small communities. The vast buffalo herds were purposely decimated to force the Indians onto the reservation in order to receive their food supplies from the government. The combination of "Manifest Destiny" and "Paternalism" robbed the Indians of their natural instinct to be free and open and put them in a suffocating box of bureaucratic regulations that stifled any semblance of pride and self-respect for their cultural differences. Their frustrations often boiled over resulting in violence and bloodshed that caused high levels of distrust on both sides of the conflict. Eventually, the overwhelming shift in demographics tore apart the Indian way of life and led them into a reduced role of citizenship as a ward of the government on reservations more like a jail than a place of safety.