How Did Technology Affect the Plains Indias?

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As a result of technological development and government actions the Plains Indians suffered many losses. Most notably, the expansion of the railroad led to a severe loss of the Indian population as well as their culture and way of life which depended heavily on the buffalo.

Railroad expansion brought white settlers to lands which were nearby to pre-existing Indian territories. This caused much conflict between Native Americans and whites who wanted to claim the land. Indians also experienced difficulties because treaties were usually not honored by whites and the government. The railroad also allowed for whites to have easier access to food and supplies when fighting the Indians. Because the whites had this advantage Indians experienced an increase in the number of casualties. Railroads also provided easier access to the buffalo for the whites. Indian life revolved around the buffalo as they used every part of it- for food, homes, and clothing. Settlers would kill the buffalo for business and for money. One such individual, Buffalo Bill Cody slaughtered hundreds of buffalo selling it to other settlers who needed it to feed themselves. With the decrease of buffalo Indian resistance also decreased. As a last attempt at white resistance Wovoka , an Indian chief, developed the Ghost Dance. In response the whites who felt this was a threat to them decided to arrest Sitting Bull in order to put a stop to it. This resulted in Sitting Bull’s death. In order to provide land for the railroad, expansion, and settlers the government created reservation for the Indians. They were forced to live on these reservations further destroying their nomadic way of life. Those who resisted were punished. Indian was also dissolved by those who believed the solution was for Indians to adapt to the American culture and society by becoming educated. As Americans expanded west they also sought to connect the country which led to the development of the railroad system....
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