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Lewis and Clark Expedition - Research Paper Example

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Lewis and Clark Expedition Name Instructor Date Introduction The Lewis and Clark expedition refers to an 1803 exploration commissioned by the U.S. President Jefferson. The expedition was aimed at exploring a piece of land that was bought from France in a deal that was referred to as the Louisiana Purchase…
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Download file to see previous pages To the native people within the area that was under exploration, the expedition opened up trade among the tribes. This in turn enhanced peace among the tribes that had a common purpose. However, in contrast to the past where the Indians enjoyed domination over other tribes in North America, the expedition also marked the commencement of disruption and subsequent destruction of tribal life. In particular, the Indian culture began to demise due to decimation of the native population by diseases and other disasters (Huser, 2004, 169). Miller (2006, xviii) presents that rather than celebrating the arrival of the explorers majority of the Indians and other tribes resented their arrival. They regarded the expedition as a form of conquest, oppression and destruction. Moreover, family life was changed where most people opted to engage in hunting in exchange for guns, whiskey and iron with the explorers. Additionally, the expedition had some economic impacts on the natives. Bearing in mind that the Native Americans used to make a living off salmons, camas roots and buffaloes, the arrival of the explorers led to a significant reduction of these resources. Woodger and Toropov (2004, 360) articulate that the vast herds of buffalo were reduced to near extinction just as were salmons and camas roots which supported the natives. This led to an increase in death rate as a result of famine. Groups that the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered Lewis and Clark encountered a number of natives. Others were hostile while others were friendly and offered them with food and warm clothing. One particular hostile group that they encountered was known as the Blackfeet Indians, who they combatted on their return journey near a river that traversed through their territory. This group acted like the superpower in trade and therefore controlled the region. Lewis and his group engaged them in a fierce battle that saw two of the Blackfeet Indians being killed. Additionally, Lewis and his team also came across the Shoshone Indians. This group of Indians provided the explorers with horses and further gave them directions through the Salmon River that was rather difficult to navigate through. The other groups were the Nez Perce Indians, Sioux and the Mandans. The group that was of assistance to the expedition The Nez Perce group of Indians was very supportive to the explorers. In fact, when Lewis and his group arrived as Weippe Praire, the Nez Perce greeted and fed them with camas roots and dried salmon as well as offered them warm clothing made of buffalo fur. They also helped the explorers in building canoes. According to Woodger and Toropov (2004, 360) Weippe Praire, the land for the Nez Perce Indians, was perhaps the most welcoming sights the explorers ever saw on their journey. Impact of Lewis and Clark expedition on United States policy toward Native Americans The Lewis and Clark expedition saw to the introduction of an Indian policy that had two main objectives. First, it aimed at establishing ties between the U.S. and the Native Indian Nations. This was to be achieved through mutually binding activities that would enhance trade in the native Indian nations that would in turn lure the natives to join the U.S. Similarly, the policy also aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Native Indians by barring coercing of the natives to sell ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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