Crazy Horse and Red Cloud

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Exam 1 Essay
Strengths and Weaknesses of Crazy Horse and Red Cloud

Throughout the 19th century and all of the hardships Native Americans endured, many Native American leaders came to and fell from power. With all of changes whites brought to the plains including everything from the idea of purchasing land to the introduction of whisky, life for Native Americans of the Great Plains became increasingly harder and harder. Whites were relentless in the way they pushed the Native Americans to their breaking points causing many internal conflicts something almost unheard of in pre-white times. Among the many pressures of the whites, the fact that the Great Plains Native Americans were a highly decentralized group of people, made it even harder for the many tribes to remain together and continue embracing their culture and way of life. During this time of struggle, two people strived to lead their people in the ways they felt would best benefit them, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud, both leaders of the Oglala people.

Since nearly the beginning, Crazy Horse had been the unselfish one, the one to do the things for his people, not one to brag and boast of his accomplishments. Since Crazy Horse’s vision, he gave everything he could to protect his people and their way of life even if it meant giving his own. As the title of the book states, Crazy Horse was the strange man of the Oglala, he didn’t take part in the normal traditions men of his tribe did. He didn’t count coup to impress other tribe members, he didn’t celebrate after victorious battles where his actions took a great part in, and he didn’t kill for himself like other young warriors, he killed for his people1.

Red Cloud was, for the most part, fairly similar in the ways of Crazy Horse. Red Cloud did many things great for his Bad Face/Oglala people just as Crazy Horse did. The main difference between Red Cloud and Crazy Horse was the fact that Red Cloud was much more vocal and heard when he was present. Red...