Westward Expansion is often spoken of as though it were one, single discrete event in American history. Instead, there were multiple incursions into the west as politics shifted, populations expanded, and economic conditions varied. Our settling the west was driven by greed, bravery, need, curiosity, and desperation; and, as such, it reflects our nation at its worst and its best.
Sensationalistic images were often used to portray American Indians as violent savages. This image combined with the Native American response to broken treaties were used to justify the wars against them.
From a young age, most Americans learn about the Founding Fathers, but are told very little about equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations. Treaties lie at the heart of the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States -- Slide Show
Mass grave at the Wounded Knee massacre. On 15 December 1890 Sitting Bull was shot & killed. On December 28, 1890, units of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry captured a group of Minneconjou Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota. The next day, as the Indians surrendered their weapons, a shot rang out & the cavalry opened fire. At least 153 of the Sioux were killed (some estimate 300, out of about 350) - most of them women, children & unarmed men