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INVOLVEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE CIVIL WAR

INVOLVEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE CIVIL WAR

This research paper discusses various aspects of the involvement of American Indian tribes in the Civil War, including their reasons for becoming enmeshed in that conflict, their experiences and treatment during the war and the significance of their involvement on their subsequent history. Indians did not play an important role in the outcome of the war; however, the war served to further weaken their position and hastened their virtual extermination and decline. Thousands of Indians became engulfed in the war as combatants and many thousands more as innocent targets and refugees, especially in the conflict which raged west of the Mississippi in and around the Indian Territory now known as the State of Oklahoma. The War intensified internecine struggles within and among a number of Indian tribes. Indians were involved on both sides, but, regardless of which side they supported or how well or poorly they behaved, they ended up being losers. The victory of the industrialized North undoubtedly accelerated the conquest, colonization and settlement of the West which completed their subjugation and humiliation.

By the time the Civil War erupted in the spring of 1861, only relatively small remnants of the once large Indian tribes which had populated the United States east of the Mississippi remained. The Indians lacked foreign allies after the defeat of the French by the British in the French and Indian War, the colonists' victory in the Revolutionary War, the expulsion of Spain from Florida and the cession by Napoleon Bonaparte of the Louisiana Purchase. Weakened by disease, wars and internal disunity, the Indians had steadily retreated before the irresistible onrush of white settlers. In the North Tecumseh had failed to organize effective resistance during the War of 1812. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, "half convinced and half compelled, they go to inhabit new deserts, where...

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INVOLVEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE CIVIL WAR. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 01:10, March 26, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1708279.html