How did Western settlement affect Native American lives? Native Americans fought battled with settlers. Eventually they were forced to live on reservations. The nomadic lifestyle of many Plains Indian tribes was eliminated.
Though some Native American tribes lived for centuries in the American West, as the white man pushed westward, always wanting more land and resources, they pushed the American Indians out of their way, further populating the West with various tribes.
As whites settled the American West, Native Americans were pushed off of their ancestral lands and confined to reservations. It typically put the Native Americans on marginal lands that could not support them, particularly after the buffalo herds had been devastated by white hunters.
Among the most detrimental policies for Native Americans in U.S. history began in the early 1800s. Although many Indians had taken on European cultural traits, including religious conversion, and worked their land using white methods, they were still considered incapable of assimilating into white society.
Pioneers and settlers moved out west for different reasons. Some of them wanted to claim free land for ranching and farming from the government through the Homestead Act. Others came to California during the gold rush to strike it rich. Even others, such as the Mormons, moved west to avoid persecution.
In the late 1800s, the United States government’s policy towards Native Americans — most of whom had been removed to reservations, primarily in the West — was focused on assimilating them into European-American culture. Native American culture was suppressed and the population experienced greater economic hardships.
Indigenous people north and south were displaced, died of disease, and were killed by Europeans through slavery, rape, and war. In 1491, about 145 million people lived in the western hemisphere. By 1691, the population of indigenous Americans had declined by 90–95 percent, or by around 130 million people.
Initially, white colonists viewed Native Americans as helpful and friendly. The Native Americans resented and resisted the colonists’ attempts to change them. Their refusal to conform to European culture angered the colonists and hostilities soon broke out between the two groups.
In the late 19th century, white settlers in the West clashed with Native American people over land and natural resources. When several tribes resisted settlement on reservations, the U.S. government fought for control in a series of conflicts called the ”Indian Wars.
From the 16th through the 19th centuries, the population of Native Americans declined in the following ways: epidemic diseases brought from Europe; violence and warfare at the hands of European explorers and colonists, as well as between tribes; displacement from their lands; internal warfare, enslavement; and a high
Once they embarked, settlers faced numerous challenges: oxen dying of thirst, overloaded wagons, and dysentery, among others. Trails were poorly marked and hard to follow, and travelers often lost their way. Guidebooks attempted to advise travelers, but they were often unreliable.
extending the nation beyond its existing borders. What did “the West” mean to Americans in the 1800s? The West was the land west of the Mississippi River.
Most groups traveled at a pace of fifteen miles a day. Few traveled the overland trails alone; most settlers traveled with their families. Large groups of settlers joined together to form “trains.” Groups were usually led by “pilots” who were fur trappers or mountain men that would guide them on the trails.