Native Americans

People have been living in the Americas for thousands of years. Only fairly recently, the past few hundred years, have foreigners begun to arrive and drastically disrupt the way of life of the aboriginal population. The situation has become so severe that a population that was one believed to be numbered in the millions, was at one point reduced to as few as 220,000 in 1910, and entire tribes have been either irretrievably warped or have disappeared altogether. While Native American Indians have almost completely recovered population-wise, they will never catch up to the rest of the world, and their culture can never fully recuperate. At the time the United States was settled by Europeans, it was abundantly populated by dozens of separate nations with diverse civilizations and cultures. Like other colonized regions, the indigenous people suffered first from the introduction of diseases that were common in the regions that the settlers were from, to which the Indians had no immunity. It is believed that millions died of smallpox, measles, whooping cough, and influenza. Some estimate that such epidemics were responsible for more than 80 million deaths during the early colonial period alone. Although The Indians numbers were never accurately recorded (estimates have ranged from in the low millions to as much as around a hundred million) it is certain that they are far from a complete recovery. For nearly 300 years the population of Native Americans had been declining, since shortly after Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere to a while after the civil war. But starting in the beginning of the 20th century the United States census bureau has reported an almost continuous increases in native populations (with some exceptions, notably an influenza epidemic that occurred in 1918). From the 1980?s to the 1990?s there is reported a growth of almost 500,000; from 1,478,523 in 1980 to 1,937,391 in 1990. Despite these promising statistics the population of Native Americans is only a small fraction (0.8 percent) of the hundreds of millions of other inhabitants in the United States. Despite their initial confusion to their situation after the arrival of Europeans, the Native Americans did not take their disenfranchisement from their own land lying down. Native Americans have a long history of "fighting back" against invaders encroaching on the land that they had lived on for as long as they could remember. Although there was never a complete and outright war between the Indians and the white settlers, there have been countless battles fought between many different forces which the Indians were involved in. Before the arrival of white people to the continent, Native Americans still engaged in war between the various different tribes. Their reasons for fighting each other were drastically different than the reasons they had when fighting non-Indians. Some Native American battles were fought for revenge. The most common cause of war between Native American groups was probably to defend or enlarge tribal territory. Later, their conflicts with white people were fought for trying to prevent the theft of their land, or in raids for food and supplies they were denied. There have been many famous clashes between Indians and the United States government. On November 4th 1791, In what is considered the worst ever defeat administered by Indians to U. S. troops more than 600 soldiers were killed by a force of mostly Shawnees and other Indians. The cause of the conflict was settlers moving into the Indian?s land in large numbers, ignoring Indians rights and demanding military protection if the Indians opposed them. This kind of situation was the cause for many of the largest fights with Native Americans, for example the battle of little big horn (otherwise known as Custer?s last stand) in which Indians that were ready for the arrival of the Calvary killed every soldier under General Custer?s command. A battle which United States citizens viewed as a horrible attack by savage Indians, but was actually self defense. The closest event to a war that the Indians have experienced (and won) was the war for the Bozeman trail. From 1866 through 1868, in Montana and Wyoming, under the command of Chief Red Cloud great forces of Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho faced off against The United States Military. This great victory of the Indians was formalized in the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Much of the violence that Indians were involved in could not