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The War for the Black Hills

  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2015 08:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.7 
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Reading Response: The War For The Black Hills

“The War For The Black Hills” in Dee Browns “Bury My Heart Wounded knee”, is a story that takes place in Sioux in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We are told the U.S. government gives permanent ownership of the Black Hills to the Indians in 1868. However, the discovery of gold illustrates the greed in human nature to become wealthy and ethnocentrism, in turn leading to a battle between Indian forces and white settlers.
Greed is a desire to have more than what is equal, even if that means invading ones territory to do so. Brown illustrates this when he states, “ The United States government did not bother to obtain consent from the Indians before starting on the armed invasion, although the treaty of 1868 prohibited entry of white men without the Indians permission” (pg.276). Not only do the white settlers invade the Indians land; but also, the government officials try to change the terms of the agreement to arrange for the sale of the land. However, the Indians deny this offer which in turn leads to the battle between white settlers and Indians.
The invasion was no surprise to me, due to ethnocentrism during this period in society. I feel that the white settlers saw the Indians below them; therefore, they had the mentality of superiority over the indians. This mentality is what led the American settlers to assume they could take over the land easily by bribing the Indians with money in exchange for the land. However, land ownership during this time period was viewed differently by both sides; for the americans land was seen as a commodity that could be sold-Indians perceived land as belonging to their ancestors which is why they were reluctant to give up the land to the white settlers.

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