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Battle Of Wounded Knee: Battle Or Genocide

            Webster's Dictionary defines genocide as "deliberate extermination of an entire people." To say that the massacre at Wounded Knee and how the American government treated the Indians was an attempt of genocide on the Indian people is a controversial statement. I believe that after reading first hand accounts from both American officers and members of the Indian communities that this was the intent of the Americans. The massacre did not occur only because one Indian warrior refused to give up his gun and fired a shot. There was a series of premeditated events that led up to this event.
             For years, the Indian people were chased off their land, which they settled on before the first colonist arrived on the American continent. They were continuously chased west as more and more settlers arrived here. In an attempt to set up reservations for the Indians to live on many treaties and the Dawes Act was passed. This was set up to give the Indians a certain amount of land based upon the population of the many tribes. But the Indian people were never given this land and were continued to be chased west. The Indians started to grow impatient as the American government delayed giving what was promised to these people. American commanding General Nelson A. Miles states "The difficult Indian problem cannot be solved permanently at this end of the line. It requires the fulfillment of Congress of the treaty obligations which the Indians were entreated and coerced into signing Congress has been in session now for several weeks, and could in a single hour confirm the treaty and appropriate the funds for its fulfillment; and, unless the officers of the army can give positive assurance that the Government intends to act in good faith with theses people, the loyal element will be diminished, and the hostile element increased." This statement tells us how General Miles foresees how impatient the Indians are growing.

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