The Treaty of Fort Laramie & Violations, 1868



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The Treaty of Fort Laramie & Violations, 1868.
The Native Americans in the western United States including, the Sioux, Lakota, and Arapaho, began to worry about the continuation of their existence on the plains during a time period in which a great deal of American emigrants were now going westward to settle. The reasoning behind this worrying was related to the increased traffic of emigrants, which were taking land for their own as well as disrupting patterns of wildlife, such as the buffalo herds that the Native Americans depended on to survive. The buffalo could provide everything a tribe needed to survive, since they used every single part of it for some purpose. The Native Americans began to meet with the U.S. government to produce a solution for this growing problem. What became of it is called the Treaty of Fort Laramie. This treaty states that all of the Native American tribes present were to be allotted an area of land with geographic boundaries that could be called their own forever, along with additional hunting rights on another amount of land. This resulted in the Lakota owning the Black Hills for their selves and the closing of "Powder River Country" (an area of northern Wyoming) to white people. The Native Americans deserved this land for their selves; they were in the area long before any American ever set foot near. There were other pointers to the treaty such as, financial incentives for farming land and becoming competitive, education for minors, and that teachers, blacksmiths, farmers, millers, carpenters, engineers, and government agents could take up residence here. So, this treaty gave the Native Americans exclusive rights to the Black Hills land and their own reservation, but this was violated leading to the Black Hills War. In 1876, prospectors began pouring toward the Black Hills in search of gold that was found by George Armstrong Custer's expedition in 1874, on land which was solely reserved for the Native Americans. This was a direct violation of the treaty, which also means that it is breaking federal law. The United States Army was supposed to keep intruders out of the reservation, but was doing a miserable job of it, which angered the Lakota even more. Eventually the Lakota and allies had enough, and they waged war against all intruders and the United States itself. This action was perfectly justified considering the situation at current. Many believed that the executive administration provoked the war, because a new gold rush could aid in economic recovery from depression. Irregardless of the now violated treaty, Ulysses S. Grant sent Army troops west to round up Native Americans by force, continuing the war into late 1876. The Native Americans saw the majority of defeat, and ran back to their agencies on the reservation. The war ended with the signing of another treaty, in which the Lakota gave up a 50 mile strip of land that was the back hills on the west side of the reservation. This gave the United States back ownership of the Black Hills, and made the gold mining legal once again, which was exactly what the United States wanted. The U.S. simply manipulated the Native Americans into a position where they could attack them and cause them to lose something promised to them for eternity, their own homeland. The government did not withhold their side of the agreement when it came to the Treaty of Fort Laramie, in which they are supposed to allow them ownership of the land forever, and protect that land from any threats or illegalities. They failed in that job, and didn't blink an eye while doing so. The reservation is now smaller than ever, with Native Americans having their land still stolen from them to this day, and people have since settled their and the gold deposits depleted.


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