Describe the clashes between the white population and that of the Native Americans between 1865 to 1890?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were many examples of conflict between the white people and the Native Americans between 1865-1900. As the American people moved west of the Mississippi River after the Civil War, they encountered the Native Americans who were relocated there in the 1830s as a result of the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. There was a great deal of distrust between both sides. The Native Americans didn’t trust the white people because they thought the whites would try to take their land again. The white people felt the Native Americans were holding back the progress of the country. As a result, there were many confrontations that occurred.

There were many battles between the United States Army and the Native Americans. In 1876, the U.S. Army suffered its worst defeat ever at the hands of the Native Americans. General Custer and his troops were crushed in the Battle of Little Bighorn by the Lakota tribe. In 1877, the United States Army captured Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce tribe as they tried to escape to Canada. They were forced to relocate to a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1890, the United States Army killed Sitting Bull and many from the Lakota Tribe when the Lakota refused to stop doing the Ghost Dance ritual. The United States Army won the vast majority of the battles with the Native Americans.

There were also conflicts over policy. The Native Americans fought many of the battles mentioned above to try to prevent the government from putting them on reservations. Then in 1887, the government changed policies again by creating the Dawes Act. This law took Native Americans off of the reservations and gave each family 160 acres of land. The government wanted the Native Americans to assimilate into American society. The Native Americans weren’t happy with these policies.

There were many examples of conflict between whites and Native Americans between 1865-1900.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The major conflict between the white population and Native American communities in the mid/1800's revolved around land. The U.S., having recently come out of its own civil war, had adopted a policy of "manifest destiny," Manifest destiny is a governmental and cultural policy that privileges U.S. expansionism over other communities' rights to the land. Europeans continued to expand westward, into the territories of the Cherokee, Navajo, and other tribal groups. In 1887, the U.S. government passed the General Allotment Act, which assigned small plots of land to certain Native American populations. However, the overall effect was to severely limit Narive Americans' rights ot land they had previously occupied. This Act was the basis of armed conflict throughout the century, resulting in heavy casualties in both sides.