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The Plains Indians source questions.

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Introduction

The Plains Indians Source Questions a) What can you learn from these sources about the attitudes of Indians and white people to the land? From Sources A, B, C and D we learn about the different attitudes towards land by the Indians and the white Americans. We learn a lot from Source A about the attitudes of the Plains Indians towards the land. We learn that the Plains Indians believe that the land is their mother and it would be considered as a terrible thing if you ploughed the earth. It would be like tearing their mother's bosom. We also learn from this source Indians find it offensive that they would even be asked to do this. From source B we learn that the Plains Indians had to let the white Americans share the land with them because they believed that land could not be owned so they could not be greedy and keep the land to themselves. Source B also shows that the Plains Indians aren't happy about letting the white Americans share the land because Sitting Bull uses the word yield which suggests that they are giving in to the white Americans' needs. Source C shows that the white Americans really had no understanding of the Plains Indians way of life and beliefs. They don't understand the beliefs of the Plains Indians and just refer to their comments as part of their religion. ...read more.

Middle

Source B shows this because Sitting Bull talks about the white Americans moving onto the land and he uses the word yield, which again shows his unhappiness on the matter. For this reason I don't think that Sitting Bull would have been able to approve of the white Americans mining in the Black Hills. The white Americans believed that mining for gold was important for their financial security so nothing would have stopped them from moving to the Black hills. The Plains Indians found it difficult to understand how the white Americans could buy and sell land when they believed land could not be owned. The white Americans wanted land and they each wanted ownership over land because it showed power. The white Americans saw the Plains Indians as an obstacle in their way and they would have done anything to get them out of the way. Because the Indians had such firm beliefs on the earth and how it should be treated I think it would have been impossible for Sitting Bull to approve of the white Americans moving into the Black Hills of Dakota when it was considered such a special and hold place. c) Do you think that Major Howard (Source C) understood the Indians' point of view? Explain your answer carefully. I don't think that Major Howard understood the Indians' point of view because we can see in Source C that he doesn't ...read more.

Conclusion

They lived at one with nature and believed that respect for all living things was vital. The Plains Indians were very religious and believed in the spirit world so this affected the way they lived their lives, i.e. making important decisions and healing the sick. They believed that the Great Spirit created the world and that you cannot sell it because it doesn't belong to anyone. They believed that the land is more valuable than money and this is down to their religion and lifestyle. The white people lived their lives very differently to the Plains Indians because they didn't live at one with nature like the Plains In dians did. The white Americans believed that money was more important than respecting the earth in the way that the Plains Indians did. The white Americans believed it was their manifest destiny to overspread and take control of the whole continent. Because they believed this Americans would have done anything to make this happen. Anyone who did not believe in manifest destiny was seen a traitor to the United States and to God. This shows that the Americans were also religious people but they had different religious beliefs to the Indians. They didn't think it was as important to respect the earth as much as the Indians did. The Americans lived in a different way to the Plains Indians and this is why both societies had different attitudes towards the land. ...read more.

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