Plains Indians Essay

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, technology played a significant role in the lives of the Native Americans in the Great Plains region. During this time, the US government was trying to restrict residency of Indians in the Plains area as well as trying to avoid the spread of their culture. Technological developments aided the Native Americans in some ways, but it ultimately became a negative factor. In addition, government actions were astute in how they would mistreat and desolate the Plains Indians. With intention or no intention, both technology and government led to the ultimate downfall of Native American society and culture in the plains region.

The Trans- Continental Railroad was a major technological advancement that was harmful to the Plains Indians. The railroad was completed in 1869, uniting the east and the west. This was a good thing in terms of easier trade and communication. However, this was not good for the Native Americans. The railroad essentially changed the plains land. The construction of the railroad required destruction of certain areas, the leveling of trees, and edifice of interfering tracks. This took over all the land and also led to the near extinction of the bison and entrapment of the buffalo. Since buffalos were a major food and material source for the Native Americans, it was not a good sign for their survival either. Along with all this, outsiders became an issue for the Indians as well. Everyone would now have to ride on the train. This meant that even white settlers would ride on the train and eventually would intrude in the plains land. Not only will they occupy the location, but they will also bring diseases with them. They brought diseases, which the Native Americans had no immunity towards. Therefore, the population decreased significantly.

Technology was not completely a negative factor for the Native Americans in the plains. The introduction of the gun aided the Indians in their hunting skills. It was...
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