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why was the battle of wounded knee important

Wounded Knee is a symbolic moment in the relationship between Native Americans and White Settlers. P In 1890, the forced relocation of Native Americans had become governmental policy. P The United States Army approached the Sioux tribe at Wounded Knee with the intent to escort them off of the land. P The military surrounded the tribe with a rudimentary form of a machine gun being aimed by some of the soldiers. P The intent was to escort them off of the land, with the presence of armed forces as an attempt to move the process along in an expedient manner. P As the army had made repeated calls for the Sioux tribe to lay down their arms, Black Coyote, an Indian chief who was dead did not hear the command, and with the escalation of tensions, shots broke out. P 300 Sioux, men, women, and children died as a result of the massacre of Wounded Knee. The moment represented so much of the miscommunication of between White America and Native Americans. P This can be seen in many instances. P The first and most evident would be that the United States army came to "escort" the Sioux off of their land. P This is representative of so much of the affairs between both sides, where one side repeatedly usurped land from the other.


P The standoff shows so much:P One side calling out to another side that does not understand the other. P Native Americans had a difficult time "understanding" so much of White Settler society. P For example, the notion of "owning" the land is an aspect that did not fully register with Native American society, which believed that land is communal and not the sole propriety of any other. P The Sioux, in particular, felt that the land is not one person's or one group's, as they believed in a wide ranging nature of land. P The demands to "leave" did not make any sense to the tribe, on many levels. P Additionally, the fact that one side is "hard of hearing" to the demands of the other is also quite representative, for there were years where White society refused or could not hear Native Americans' pleas for understanding and tolerance. P The fact that one side possessed advancements in technology and used it at the whim of another spoke loudly, as well.
Wounded Knee Massacre, (29 December 1890), the killing of 150в300 Native Americans by U. S. soldiers in the area of Creek in southwestern. By 1890, the had lost the struggle to defend their territory and way of life against the expansionist.


Half-starving and desperate, they embraced the, a religious revival promising the restoration of their old world, before the arrival of the white man. This restoration, it was believed, would be hastened by special dances and songs revealed to their prophets. Spiritually empowered "ghost shirts," they believed, would also protect them from the white manвs bullets. Nervous U. S. authorities, seeing the Ghost Dance as a war dance and as a possible cover for an Indian uprising, decided to crack down on the movement. On 15 December 1890, an attempt was made to arrest the famous Lakota Sioux, during which a fight broke out and the chief was killed. Seeking safety, a band of Lakota Sioux led by Chief Spotted Elkвknown to U. S. soldiers as Big Footвheaded for Pine Ridge reservation. On 28 December, the Lakota encountered a detachment of U. S. 7th Cavalry under Major Samuel Whitside. The cavalry escorted the Lakota to Wounded Knee Creek, where they camped. The rest of the cavalry regiment then arrived under Colonel James Forsyth. They encircled the Indian camp, placing four rapid-fire at points around the perimeter.


The following morning, Forsyth ordered the Lakota to be disarmed. According to many accounts, a called Yellow Bird began the Ghost Dance, and other Lakota began Ghost Dance songs and to throw dirt in the air, agitating the soldiers and creating a tense situation. A scuffle then ensued when a soldier tried to disarm a young Lakota named Black Coyote. The Indian refused to surrender his rifle, some say because he was deaf and did not understand the order to disarm, and amid the scuffle that followed his rifle discharged. Pandemonium ensued, as both Lakota and U. S. soldiers began shooting in a close-range firefight. Panicking soldiers fired the Hotchkiss guns into the encampment, killing friend and foe alike. The fighting ended after less than an hour with almost half the Lakota dead, including more than sixty women and children. The next day another firefight followed between Lakota Ghost Dancers and the 7th Cavalry at Drexel Mission, but the Ghost Dance movement was effectively at an end. Losses: Lakota, 150в300 dead, including more than 60 women and children; U. S. , 31 dead, 33 wounded of 500.

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