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It was the lack of buffalo that killed off the Plains Indian culture in the 20th century'. In some respects this traditional historical statement is true; however, I believe that many views which revisionist historians

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Lifestyle Essay 'It was the lack of buffalo that killed off the Plains Indian culture in the 20th century'. In some respects this traditional historical statement is true; however, I believe that many views which revisionist historians believe also contributed greatly to the disappearance of the Plains Indian culture in the 20th century. The traditional historian's view that the lack of buffalo did contribute severely to the Plains Indian culture is true, because their lives revolved around and depended on the buffalo. As source 2 shows the Indians used the buffalo for everything from tools and food storage to shoes and actual food, but then the white settlers came and because of conflict between the two races, the white settlers killed the buffalo so the Indians would starve and have no tools or weapons, or even energy and eventually starve to death or get killed in conflict. In the 1880's the white settlers reduced 6,000,000 buffalo to just over a few thousand in an extremely short space of time which destroyed the Indians, and on top of that another 2,000 buffalo were killed during the building of the railways. ...read more.


This was the settlers ending war and the Indians had paid the price. The remaining Indians were put on reservations and during this time the white settlers took the Indian children and sent them to boarding schools where they were 'changed' into the model new American citizens and some of the children never saw their families again. In this time they were not allowed to speak their native language, do any Indian ritual or even say the word Indian/Native American, some of them disobeyed but eventually most of those who had been sent to these boarding lost the Indian way of life never to find it again. This proves that the continued conflict between the settlers and the Indians also contributed to the disappearance of the Indian culture throughout the 20th century. If it had not been for conflict so many Indians would not have been killed and the white settlers would not have forced the remaining Indians to forget their way of life. So it is true that conflict did contribute hugely to the disappearance of the Indian culture during the 20th century. The Indians also contributed to the disappearance of their own culture during the 20th century through the trade between themselves and the white settlers/fur traders. ...read more.


This eventually cost them the war between themselves and the settlers, and their livelihood and culture, all because of their trade with the white settlers. This proves that the Indians trade did contribute to the disappearance of their culture during the 20th century. Another factor that contributed to the disappearance of the Plains Indian culture throughout the 20th century was disease, which was carried to the Indians by the traders. The Plains Indians populations of the Americas lacked immunity to the infectious diseases that had ravaged Europe and Asia for centuries. The "white man" diseases...measles, chicken pox, typhus, typhoid fever, dysentery, scarlet fever, and after 1832, cholera...were devastating to the American Indian. Lumped together, these diseases did not equal the havoc of smallpox in terms of number of deaths, realignment of tribal alliances, and subsequent changes in Plain Indian Culture. In 1837 a smallpox outbreak killed just over 4/5 of the Indian nation which changed the chances the Indians culture surviving into the next century. At first the 1837 smallpox outbreaks were initially confined to the Indian tribes that lived by or had come to trade at the upper Missouri River trading posts. The Mandan, Blackfeet, and the Assiniboine nations suffered the highest number of deaths. The 1837-40 smallpox outbreaks were said to have a ninety-eight percent death rate among those infected. ...read more.

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