History

Study Notes

Early Tensions

Level:
GCSE
Board:
Edexcel

Although it was very rare for Plains Indians to attack white settlers, whites greatly feared Plains Indians. Plains Indians often raided neighbouring tribes for resources. Sometimes white settlers would get caught in-between these conflicts and assume the Plains Indians were threatening them.  Furthermore, the vast majority of white settlers were strongly racist towards Plains Indians. They believed they were savages who were inferior to the white race and that they would soon be dominated by whites. 

Although it was very rare for Plains Indians to attack white settlers, whites greatly feared Plains Indians. Plains Indians often raided neighbouring tribes for resources. Sometimes white settlers would get caught in-between these conflicts and assume the Plains Indians were threatening them.  Furthermore, the vast majority of white settlers were strongly racist towards Plains Indians. They believed they were savages who were inferior to the white race and that they would soon be dominated by whites. 

 

From the Plains Indians perspective, migrants presented a very real threat to their way of life.  The migrants greatly disrupted their buffalo hunting; they killed large numbers of buffalo for meat, and often spooked the buffalo causing them to stampede. Additionally, the migrant’s livestock left little grass for the Plains Indian’s horses.

 

There were some positive interactions between white settlers and Plains Indians. For example, some Plains Indians lived among the white settlers to learn more about them. However, this sort of interaction was very rare. The vast majority of white settlers and Plains Indians had little understanding of each other’s way of life. This meant they often regarded each other’s actions with suspicion. 

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