This week long lesson was about the darker side of American history. The westward expansion and gold rush drove the native american people further out and resulted in the death of a longstanding, unique culture. The persecution of natives and discrimination against the black americans were carried out by the government. Our essential question focused on the motive behind these acts. “Were federal policies towards Native Americans and buffalo soldiers intentionally discriminatory or well intentioned?”
The buffalo soldiers were a group of black soldiers named after the strength of the bountiful buffalo of the western plains. After the civil war many black men did not really have anywhere to go and could not find jobs. However, since men of color were now allowed to join the military they joined up in the western expansion. Many people did not want to be told what to do by african americans and the soldiers were bonded through the discrimination they were all subjected to.
The Buffalo Soldiers were used in the Indian war and for removing the rebellious natives off their land. They used total war to decimate the communities and were often brutal in battle. The natives had already been forced to move West but with the gold rush, white people moving across the country encountered the tribes and trespassed on their land, creating hostility between the two cultures. To solve this the American government sent soldiers to force the natives off their land, breaking up the longstanding communities and taking everything away from them. Obviously, they resisted the removal. They were promised new land to live on and schools were made for the children to be educated.
The schools were made to "civilize" the natives. Above the door there was a sign that said "Kill the Indian. Save the Man." They believed they were helping a savage people when in reality they only succeeded in wiping out a culture that was different from their own.