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Surviving Wounded KneeThe Lakotas and the Politics of Memory$
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David W. Grua

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249038

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190249038.001.0001

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Race War and Wounded Knee

Race War and Wounded Knee

(p.11) 1 Race War and Wounded Knee
Surviving Wounded Knee

David W. Grua

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the events that led to the conflict at Wounded Knee. It first describes the journey of the Corps of Discovery into the northern Great Plains where the Lakota Nation was located in 1804. The tension began when the US government, under the helm of President Thomas Jefferson, purchased the Louisiana territory from France in 1803. The territory included the lands of the Lakota Nation, which had already established itself as a dominant power in the region due to trade with France and other European nations. Led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the Corps recognized the Lakotas as the principle obstacle toward American expansion. The chapter describes how the US government assimilated the Native Americans through diplomacy, trade, and conflict. The Americans viewed their relations with the Lakotas and other Native peoples through the lens of race war, as savages opposing the rightful advance of civilization.

Keywords:   Wounded Knee, Corps of Discovery, northern Great Plains, Lakota Nation, US government, Thomas Jefferson, Louisiana purchase, race war

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