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New South and the Last West

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Kaitlyn Adams

April, 18, 2018

Block 1B

U.S. History

Unit 16 essay: New South and the Last West

During the nineteenth century, the United States government was set on getting rid of and reducing the amount of Native American culture and being there. The technological advancements that were made during this time period pushed the Natives to come back. While the Natives were coming back the government was planning and conspiring ways to treat the Plain Indians poorly. The use and advancements of technology and government was the main cause and reason for the Native American downfall, which also resulting in a downfall of the Native’s culture and how they lived, and their traditions.

To begin, the government leading to the downfall of the Native Americans was the Homestead Act. The homestead act was purely for the benefit of white citizens, it imposed that a white citizen could claim 160 acres of land for no money at all. All they had to do was live there for 5 years and set up a place of living or work. In the article “Homestead Act: Primary Documents in American History” it states “Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862, the Homestead Act encouraged Western migration by providing settlers 160 acres of public land. In exchange, homesteaders paid a small filing fee and were required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land.” The land that the government was giving to the citizens for free wasnt unowned land. The land they gave was the Native’s land. This ultimately led to the downfall to the Native Americans because there land was being given away to random people.

Another thing, an example of how technology resulted in the downfall of the Native’s can be shown with the building and finishing of the Transcontinental railroad. The building of this railroad connected the west with the east, this results in easier communication and trade between the east and west, and ultimately ended the process of taking a wagon across the plains. Now that any part of the United State’s was now accessible by the citizens, the plains land was no longer limited to only the Natives, meaning now the settlers once again were making their way into Native American territory. In the article “Transcontinental Railroad” it states “In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act chartered the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad Companies, and tasked them with building a transcontinental railroad that would link the United States from east to west.”These railroads changed the Natives land and even in some cases caused

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