Indian-American wars took place between the 16th century and the 20th century. Historical materials indicate that armed conflict reigned in the United States between settlers and natives between 1640 and 1924 (Doyle 86). Primarily, the dispute arose from struggles for land ownership and political dominance between the European governments and the North Americans. The armed conflicts led to massive loss of lives and displacement of Native Americans.
In the American history, seven major wars took place between 1865 and 1900. The first conflict took place in Utah, giving rise to the Utah Wars. The uprising occurred between 1865 and 1868 (Guardino 94). The indigenous population was fighting against the Mormon settlers. The latter endeavored to conquer Utah resources especially land hence the conflict.
Four years later, in 1872, the Northern California and Southern Oregon regions witnessed the Modoc War that lasted for only a year. The people of Modoc, under the leadership of Captain Jack, engaged the U.S army in armed conflict. The rebels aimed at safeguarding their territory from foreign invasions. Unfortunately, Captain Jack was later executed for war crimes including the killing of peace commissioners.
A year later, 1874 to 1875, another U.S State, Northwestern Texas, saw a chain of tribal conflicts, which were known as the Red River War. There were over 14 battles directed to four main Native American tribes: Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho, and Cheyenne. William T. Sherman was the military leader of the Red River War (Curtis 53). The four tribes lost the battle and the U.S Army forced the native group to relocate to Indian Territory reservations.
In 1876, two related battles ensued that left a mark of history. There was the Rosebud Creek and the Battle of the Little Bighorn that erupted in Southern Montana. The conflicts involved two main groups, which are the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors and the U.S army, under the command of Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer (Doyle 132). Unlike previous conflicts, the native population, mainly Indians, outnumbered Custer’s federal troops killing the Lieutenant and his forces. The Indians were under the leadership of Sitting Bull.
More upheavals took place in Montana’s Oregon, Idaho region. In 1877, the area witnessed the Nez Percé War. The conflict was between Nez Percé warriors under the command of Chief Joseph and the U.S army under the leadership of General Oliver Howard (Guardino 138). The latter intended to force the locals to relocate from Wallowa Valley to Lapwai reservation. Chief Joseph led his warriors in a rebellion against the U.S Battalion. However, Howard’s troops were more powerful thus forcing the Nez Percé rebels to surrender.
The last event within the 1865 to 1900 timeline was the Wounded Knee Massacre which occurred in 1890 in South Dakota. The U.S military forces targeted the Lakota Sioux, a group of Indians under the command of Big Foot. Unlike the 1876 encounter between the same groups, during the Wounded Knee Massacre, the U.S military overpowered the Lakotas. Over 250 innocent Native Americans lost their lives.
The armed conflicts led to massive loss of lives and displacement of Native Americans. The discussion highlights how the U. S army took advantage of its power over the Indian tribes in the quest for land and other resources. Some of the affected regions include Utah, Northern California, Northwestern Texas, Southern Montana, and South Dakota. The dark history of the American militarism shows the adverse effects of the greed for power and resources. Moreover, the feeling of dominance over inferior groups results to calamities such as death and displacements. Nevertheless, the end of the war implies a brighter future for the survivors.
- Curtis, Charles. Ordered West: The Civil War exploits of Charles A. Curtis. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2017.
- Doyle, Don H., ed. American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s. UNC Press Books, 2017.
- Guardino, Peter. The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War. Harvard University Press, 2017.
- History. American-Indian wars. Photograph. History. Web. n.d.