The Violence of the Gilded Age
How it works
The Violence of the Gilded Age began with Americans almost completely killing off Native Americans. Our Country was rapidly expanding after the Civil War, and we knew we would need to deal with the Natives to be able to further expand Westward, we wanted to expand Westward to be able to further expand our country and economy. At the time we believed that if Indians did not integrate themselves into our Society than they would diminish; and so, we tried to “Civilize” them.
However, when the Natives refused to accept the American way of life, it turned bloody. When gold was discovered in Native territory in South Dakota’s Black Hills, The American Army went against an old treaty and invaded the region. This Angered many Natives, causing them to Join Leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana at the Little Bighorn River. Americans heard of this large force of Natives but weren’t sure of the true extent.
On June 25, 1876, George Custar led his 7th Calvary to Scout ahead for troops and made the mistake of pressing on. He and his few hundred men were met by a force of 3,000 Sioux Native Americans and were quickly slaughtered in what’s known as the “Battle of Little Bighorn”. Although it was an apparent landslide victory for the Natives, the slaughtering of Custar and American troops backed the racist beliefs of Americans who claimed Natives to be Barbaric and Wild. Many Natives began partaking in a “Ghost Dance”, which taught that Natives had been overtaken and killed because they had forgotten their Ancient customs. The Sioux believed if they partook in this Dance that their god would restore the Earth free of non-natives. However, Americans grew weary of this dance, and wanted to stop them from doing it. This led to the deciding “battle” of the Indian Wars. On December 29, a U.S Calvary Unit surrounded a group of Ghost Dancers led by Big Foot, a Sioux chief, near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons.
A fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired, although it’s unknown from which side. What followed was not a battle but an outright massacre. At least 150 Natives were killed, many of them Women and Children. After the fighting had ceased, and we had made our point, we came up with a permanent solution to our Native problems. The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 was a plan to split up the Entirety of Oklahoma equally for Natives, however we had killed so many of them that we had left over land and ended up selling it to White settlers to try and make a profit (George-1/30) (Example 1) The Violence that Americans of the time bestowed upon our Native American brothers fully exemplifies Capitalism overruling Democracy. We had gone against a treaty that we had signed with the Natives to stay off their land, all in the name of gold. Then we decided we needed to relocate them completely in order to be able to expand Westward and incorporate the rest of our Country into the worlds Economy. At the time we were so blinded by Money we didn’t think twice about the Devastation we caused these people. “Wealth had always conferred power, but never had a class