Friday, June 12, 2015

Buffalo Soldiers

In the late 1800's the United States federal government took actions to initiate westward expansion. and colored regiments were organized. When gold was discovered in the west, colored regiments were organized to aid in moving Native Americans off of their land. The colored soldiers who were part of the regiments established went on to be called Buffalo Soldiers. These men fought many Native tribes. After viewing videos and analyzing primary sources we learned that the native troops and the colored men impacted by the new regiments were affected by the federal government's inititives for westward expansion.

Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th calvary riding horseback.
The Federal government had good intentions when they enacted policies to begin the westward expansion, but they did not think about the consequences. Their policies greatly affected the natives and buffalo soldiers. The discovery of gold in the west was predicted to greatly benefit the United States, but because there were so many tribes in the west the states had limited access to their treasure. To resolve this issue the Buffalo Soldiers moved west and moved the tribes off of their land. This way white settlers could move west and dig for gold. Helen Hunt Jackson describes how the native tribes were affected when she wrote, "There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands of either the government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected." Natives were forced to move off of their land. They started to rebel and fought battles against the Buffalo soldiers. The buffalo soldiers worked hard to protect the white settlers, were often beaten and sometimes even shot due to the prejudice from those who they tried to protect. It was also common for these soldiers to ride 90 miles on horseback. The native americans were forced off of their land and the buffalo soldiers had to face harsh prejudice, both fought in brutal battles all because the federal government did not think of the consequences behind their good intentions.

The federal government acted selfishly. The westward expansion would benefit the United States because of the wealth that would be brought in by gold and the population increase that would come as a result of more land. What about the Native Americans who already occupied the south? Who was going to fight the native americans off of their land? The federal government acted with good intentions for themselves, but in turn affected the lives of Buffalo Soldiers and innocent western tribes.


"Helen Hunt Jackson: A Century of Dishonor (1881)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 5 June 

No comments:

Post a Comment