How Events in Past Have Helped Shape the Current America - Essay Sample

Published: 2021-07-20
862 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Creative writing
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

During the 19th century also referred to as the Gilded Age the Native Americans resisted the American expansion into their land. In the process, the American settlers encountered the tribes of the Great Plains. There was an Intertribal army which was led by Tecumseh who was a Shawnee Chief. Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior not only a Chief and he had managed to become a key leader of the multi-tribal Confederacy in the Gilded Age. He fought in the 1811 1812 great war called the Tecumseh's War. Tecumsehs war was the conflict between the United States Army and the American Indian confederacy with Tecumseh as the leader of the Indian territory as the name of the war suggests (Turner et al.). The war was considered to have reached a climax with the win of William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe which took place in 1811 but essentially the war continued into the War of 1812. The war ended the fall of 1813 with the death of Tecumseh and his second in command who was referred to as Roundhead while they were fighting the Harrison's Army in the Northwest in Upper Canada the war called Battle of the Thames. His death ended the natives uprising.

Native Americans on the plains of the West did not stop the fights, they continued though with little success and the conflicts were referred to generally as the Indian Wars. In 1876 came one of the greatest Native American victories the battle of Little Bighorn. The Battle is well known to the Plain Indians and the Lakota as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and by many as Custer's Last Stand. The battle occurred on June 25th, 1876 along the Little Bighorn River on the Crow Indian Reservation in the eastern Montana Territory and was a combined force of the Lakota, the North Cheyenne and the Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The Indians were led by great leaders Crazy Horse and Chief Gall and was inspired greatly by the vision of the Sitting Bull (Turner et al.). While on the other side of the fight the United states army of 700 soldiers was led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

20th Century

The U.S president Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act on June 2nd, 1924 which citizens to all Native Americans born in the American territories although most of the Native Americans had already U.S citizenship. Today the Native Americans enjoy all the citizenship rights such as voting, running for political offices among many other rights, although there has been some disagreement on how much the federal government has jurisdiction over tribal affairs among the Native American as well as cultural practices (Grande).

Between the 1969 and the 1971 American Indian Movement (AIM) was formed in Minneapolis. The American Indians combined both spiritually and politically in different activism which managed to get the attention of the media. The conflict erupted between the Native Americans and the government which resulted in violence with different events such as the Wounded Knee incident and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Grande). In 1973 the Native Americans were upset over the federal government failing to honor treaty rights which lead to the AIM activist taking control of the Wounded Knee on February 27th, 1973. It occurred at Pine Ridge and a standoff of 71 days was held but ended with the injury of one US military and the death of two people a Lakota man and a Cherokee.

The other incident happened in 1975 with the death of two FBI officers in the line of duty at Pine Ridge Reservation. The AIM activist Leonard Peltier was arrested and sentenced in 1976 for the passing of the FBI police. The same year the two FBI officers died the US government signed the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. It recognized the need for the Native Americans for self-determination, later in the century 1984 Tim Giago founded the Lakota Times an independent Native American Newspaper and later founded the Native American Journalist Association

21st Century

In this century, Native Americans filed cases against the federal government over a range of issues which were addressed mostly by the administration of the former US president Barack Obama and made several commitments to improve the relationship between the federal government and the tribes (Grande). The Violence Against Women Act was renewed in 2013 where the federal government strengthened the protection offered to the Native American women by providing the tribes with authority to prosecute non-natives who commit crimes on Indian Land


So many things and events have happened since the 19th century and the document has tried to capture a number of the events and the people involved in these developments. Also, the paper has captured how these events have helped shape the current America we have today. Not all the events and the responsible people have been capture but a turn of the events has managed to be addressed in detail. Currently, most of the Native Americans have migrated into the urban areas and have embraced civilization.

Work Cited

Grande, Sandy. Red Pedagogy: Native American social and political thought. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Turner, Frederick Jackson, and Allan G. Bogue. The frontier in American history. Courier Corporation, 2010.


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