Railroads and Conflict in the West

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What were the causes and effects of the Indian Wars between 1860 and 1890?

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The main cause of the Indian Wars of this period was the notion of Manifest Destiny. For decades, Americans from the east were pushing west in an effort to gain control of more land and resources. Many felt that it was their God-given right to control the continent from sea to sea. This was accelerated by the expansion of the railroad during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Sometimes valuable resources such as gold and other precious metals were discovered on native land. This encouraged more settlers and led to inevitable conflict. Land was also desired for the purposes of ranching and farming.

Some white settlers and military officers took very anti-native stances. One extreme example is Colonel John Milton Chivington, who instructed his men to kill any native on sight. His actions, and that of many others, led to atrocities that instigated numerous acts of retaliation by Native Americans. This led to the American Army being sent to subdue native populations and force them...

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