U.S. History/Plains Indians


How was the WEst of the Plains Indians transformed after 1830 as peoples migrated both within the region and into it from various directions? Why were the Sioux so powerful? How did they interact with the other Native americans and the US government?

Hi Jessica,

Native Americans had been being pushed into less desirable lands for nearly two centuries by the time 1830 rolled around.  Native Americans in the west, including the Sioux had come into contact with French traders and Spanish as early as the mid-1600.

The Sioux were not a single cohesive tribe.  Rather, they were a group of tribes bound together by a common language.  They had power because there were so many of them.  As European immigrants and their descendents continued to push Native American tribes further west, they were pushed onto land claimed by other tribes.  This often led to fighting between tribes over remaining land, as well as fighting with the encroaching whites.

There was not, however, a constant state of war between the tribes.  Typically, they found an accommodation which allowed for relative peace, at least for a number of years.  There were times when the Indians fought back against white encroachment, usually leading to more of their slaughter.  Eventually though, the Natives were pushed onto smaller and smaller areas, and eventually to small reservations.  Many tribes died out completely or merged with other tribes.  Those remaining became dependent on the government for everything as their hunting lands were taken away from them.  

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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