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Land Issue - American west.

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Introduction

Land Issue 1. To the Indians' land was priceless and was worth more than any amount of money 'Unlike money the land will lat forever as long as the Sun shines, and the rivers flow this land will continue to give life'. The Indians' believed that the land was put there by the Great Spirit; to them, the land was like their mother. Therefore, no one could own the land and nobody could plough, or farm the land in any way because it would be like 'stabbing' their mother. They also believed that they came from the land and when they were dead they would return to it; another reason why they felt they could never sell the land because it would be like selling their ancestors and going back on all their beliefs. Some land was particularly sacred, especially high places like the 'Black Hills' were sacred for the Sioux. Holy men from the Sioux sometimes visited the Black Hills when in need of guidance or a vision; to the Indians the mountains were a bit like a shrine. ...read more.

Middle

The 'Whiteman' felt their civilisation i.e. their government and lifestyle was far superior to that of the Indians to them the Indians were pathetic, mindless savages. They felt it was their destiny and duty to possess the entire continent and use the land for their own purposes such as farming and mining. They should spread their 'perfect' beliefs of Christianity and their 'perfect' civilisation over all of North America. The emigrants and settlers saw the continent as a rich, bountiful place with lots of resources that needed to be made use of. Throughout the east, there were idyllic views about how 'perfect' life in the west would be, the 'Manifest Destiny' became a bit of a dream. The harsh reality though, was that in order to take control of this continent they would virtually have to wipe out an entire race- the Indians. However, the 'Whiteman' saw the Indians as very primitive and that it was God's will that the 'Whiteman' should spread its more developed civilisation throughout this continent. This meant who ever stood in the way of them doing so-the Indians-was being a traitor to God and this made it right for the 'Whiteman' to kill the Indians. ...read more.

Conclusion

When a big decision was to be made all the men in the band would come together and sit in a circle discussing the issue in hand. They would only finish talking when everyone was satisfied during this meeting they would pass around a ceremonial pipe for everyone to enjoy. They believed the smoke would awaken the spirit world so the spirits could help them make a decision possibly by giving them a vision. They may also starve themselves or go into a sweat chamber if they wanted a vision to help them make a decision. Unlike the Indians the 'Whiteman' did have an overall leader that could make decisions for everyone, he also was advised by a kind of council but he did not have to listen to their decision.These differences did cause problems for them when they settled in North America, because they did not know there was no overall leader and consequently when they signed a peace treaty they did not understand that treaty may not necessarily apply to all the other Indian tribes and bands. This also made it harder for the 'Whiteman' to take over the continent because the Indians did not have only one leader they could not just kill one or two people who were in power as usually. 12/10/02 ...read more.

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