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Geronimo: Life and Leadership in War Resistance - Research Paper Example

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Summary
To the American society, the character of Geronimo is the perfect embodiment of the American spirit of courage, determination and strong will to succeed against all odds. The actual story of Geronimo, a character subject to numerous myths is astounding, shrouded in a resolute attempt to fight imperialism, oppression and human right abuses…
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Geronimo: Life and Leadership in War Resistance
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Geronimo: Life and Leadership in War Resistance

Download file to see previous pages... Currently, the native Apache group mainly live in Arizona and New Mexico. The exact year of his birth in unknown and Aleishire approximates it to have been around 1823 to 1825 in the present-day New Mexico in the area around upper Gila River (44). Before investigating the events that led Geronimo to his leadership of the Indian resistance, it is crucial to examine the life of the native apache people before the war. Before 17th century, the apache people relied mainly on small-scale crop cultivation and hunting animals in their mountainous ancestral land (Lockwood, 51). Later, they began supplementing their livelihoods by raiding Mexican settlements, a tradition that continued on the immigrating settlers from Europe. Due to their hunting tradition, the apache groups perfected the guerilla warfare techniques to guard their mountainous ancestral land zealously from foreign incursions. The critical importance of the natural resources motivated them to resist colonial settlements by both North Americans and Mexicans for many generations. The apache group was well organized in bands that were headed by prominent chiefs such as Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, Juh, and Victorio (Lockwood, 99) Geronimo later emerged as the most famous of all leaders that had led the apache people in wars. The early 19 century witnessed an increased immigration of foreigners into the apache ancestral land to exploit the discovered mineral resources. In 1848, gold was discovered in California and thousands fortune seekers and prospectus immigrated into the region in search of more precious metals such as silver, copper and gold (Keleher, 160). This foreign incursion spread up to the established settlements of the Apache and Yavapai lands. The unwelcomed settlements initiated tensions that eventually resulted to conflicts between the natives and the foreign fortune hunters spanning to over 40 years. The native Indians sought to establish peaceful coexistence with the foreigners, but the incomers treated them with disdain (Lieder and Page, 58). The epitome of disrespect to the natives was demonstrated by the physical whipping of Mangas Coloradas who was then a prominent Apache chief by the miners. According to Keleher (17), Mangas Coloradas intervention was not meant to attack the miners but to negotiate for peaceful agreement between the two parties. The whipping of their leader humiliated the natives and they developed intense hatred toward the white and Mexican miners. Consequently, the natives began conducting frequent attacks on the settlers, stealing their properties and killing them in the process (Keleher, 23). In 1861, Cochise, a nephew to the Mangas Coloradas who had previously resisted to join his uncle in attacking the settlers was implicated with stealing 20 heads of cattle and kidnapping of a white boy (Lockwood, 76). Although a different band of apache had stolen the cattle and kidnapped the boy, the American army was contacted by the boy’s father to recover the stolen property and his son from Cochise. A contingent of American army led by Lieutenant George Bascom was assigned the responsibility and they immediately began seeking the arrest of Cochise whom they suspected of being involved in the crime. According to Lieder and Page (22), Cochise who was then about 50 years old and a prominent Apache ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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