Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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Evaluate the effects of post–Civil War expansion on Native Americans.  

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Post–Civil War expansion of the United States had a largely negative effect on Native Americans, a trend which had continued since the earliest arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Thriving Native American civilizations in the West faced threat and destruction from post–Civil War settlement, in much the way Native American societies in the East faced destruction in earlier centuries.

The development of railroads across the United States made the prospect of moving west even more appealing to many Americans. Whether they were aiming to search for gold, develop agriculture, or escape life in the east, huge numbers of Americans moved west. As American settlers claimed land, they came into conflict with Native Americans already living in the West.

One solution to the conflict with the Native Americans that was developed by the US government was the intentional killing of the bison population. It was understood that the bison were an essential source of life for Native Americans, as they...

(The entire section contains 511 words.)

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