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So, you’ve probably heard of Custer… some western movie somewhere? No idea? Well, you need to know who he is – because he’s often a focus for an exam question. Ready to learn all about Custer, his successes, and his failings? Then here we go…

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Buffalo

 

So, you know that there was a lot going on on the Great Plains mid-1800’s. The Native Americans lived peacefully there, hunting buffalo, mountain men lived with the Native Americans and worked in the Rockies collecting beaver fur. But why exactly were the Great Plains so important to white people:? I mean, they described it as “the great American desert”, it’s not like there was much there for them – yet they felt it necessary to disrupt the Native Americans, and wished to control the plains themselves (roll on the homestead act of 1862!) – why?

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Sometimes it can be helpful to put things in context, especially if you’re trying to support an argument your making. So it may be helpful to know a bit more about who The Native Americans were, so you can support any arguments you make better. Right now we know that The Native Americans lived in tribes on The Great Plains, and really – that’s about it!

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Let’s be honest: if you investigate most conflicts throughout history, you’ll find religion following them like a shadow at midday. Newsflash! It’s no different here! And that is what makes Sioux religion so important when studying this period. With this in mind, I’ll try and link most of my explanation back to war and how the Sioux religion could influence their actions – however, their religion was peaceful, and their religion was used in day to day life, too (see ‘Dances’). This should be borne in mind.

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