Accelerating the Pace of Change

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Clark Kent
Dr. Mary Ellen Rowe
12 February 2013
Document 4.1
Famous inventor, Benjamin Franklin, once said, “No nation was ever ruined by trade;” however, those who read about the Indian nations in document 4.1, “Accelerating the Pace of Change,” might disagree. This particular document was recorded by fur trader, Dave Thompson, while he was living amongst a Native American Piegan tribe in Montana, and displays a perfect example of war breaking out in Indian nations due to the pressures of trade and influences of outside efforts. The story centralizes around a former Cree Indian who had been adopted by the Piegan Tribe named Saukamappee. Saukamappee tells Thompson all about his youth and history with the tribe; however, this document focuses on a detailed first-hand account of a battle he was involved in between allies and enemies around the year of 1730. The battle in this document was no doubt influenced by the many new changes happening in the surrounding area, the evolutionary differences in weaponry, and the ongoing pressures of the outside world.

As stated in the document the Shoshones fought from horseback it is well known that horses were brought by the Spanish who settle in Central America first and the horse migration spread north and branched out from there. In the events surrounding the battle stated in the document it would only make sense that the Shoshones who were populating current day Wyoming just south of Montana would be the first to encounter the horses migrating north from Mexico. The need to acquire horses heightened and caused more tension between the Blackfeet to which the Piegans belonged and the Shoshones. The Shoshones would raid Blackfeet Confederacy tribes just to acquire slaves who would be traded to the Spanish for more horses. Colonists further encouraged the Plains people during the time to exploit Indian captives in order to perform dirty unwanted tasks the colonists wished not to perform. The Cree who are...
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