Sample History Research Papers on Native Americans

Native Americans

The United States is considered as a unique country owed to the fact that its citizens are from different racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Moreover, its development and expansion saw the immigration of several racial groups. African Americans moved to the US because of the slave trade that was a common practice in the 16th to the 18th centuries. The other racial group to migrate into the United States was the European group, which aimed at exploring and colonizing the uncivilized existent groups in the United States. Native Americans, believed to be the earliest, were the pre-Columbian inhabitant of both North and South American continents. Native Americans consisted of individuals who migrated from India and Alaska, and their movement is attributed to three major migrations. The Paleoamericans were seen to spread all over America while diversifying themselves into a number of tribes that exhibited different cultures, and they also exhibited the Clovis culture, which was a megafauna-hunting culture; associated with the utilization of animal bones to perform man’s day-to-day operations. The third group of the Native Americans is believed to have exhibited Paleoindian cultures, and their settlement is believed to have been triggered by a number of factors such as wars and conflicts in their original countries. Apparently, the Native Americans have undergone a series of evolutions and changes, and this is evident in the numerous events that took place from the sixteenth century through the twentieth century.

One of the events that underscore the series of evolution that the Native Americans have gone through is King Philip’s War. This took place in the 17th century, when there was immigration of people from other countries into America. On different occasions, the war has been referred to as the First Indian War, Metacomet’s was, or Metacom’s Rebellion with major participants in the war being the Native Americans who were Indians and the European group who were mainly from the present-day New-England (Drake, 1997). The event is believed to have taken place between 1675 and 1678 when it was named after one of the major Native American leaders known as Metacomet who was seen to later adopt an English name “King Philip”, and this led to the war being referred to as King Philip’s war. Metacom, the leader of the war, is believed to have been a son of one of the famous chiefs in the region. There had been peaceful coexistence between the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims until the invasion by different European groups. During Europeans’ invasion in America, Metacom was humiliated by the European groups. Worse still, Metacom was forced into an agreement that saw him surrender a good number of Indian guns to the Europeans (Drake, 1997). A serious war between the Native Americans at the time and the Europeans was triggered by the fact that European officials murdered three Wampanoags because he murdered a Christianized Indian in 1675. Metacom’s followers decided to launch an attack on a number of colonial towns in the region. At the beginning of the war, Metacom’s forces had an upper hand although they were later defeated, and the leader of the war Metacom was later killed while walking in one of the forests in the region. It should be noted that the King Philip’s War is one of the greatest and deadliest war in the history of America (Buonomo, 1992). The settlement of the European community was not welcome, and this is attributed to the fact that they humiliated and mistreated the Native Americans, and this led to a significant damage and disruption of the economy. Besides, a number of people lost their lives, and this is factor that resulted in the decimation of the Native American population. Studies show that almost ten percent of men who were available for military service at the time lost their lives, and this is a huge percentage if the total population at the time is taken into consideration. King Philip’s war is a clear illustration of the series of evolutions or changes that the Native Americans went through in a quest to peacefully settle in America (Buonomo, 1992).

The other major development or event to have marked the evolution of the Native Americans is the American Evolution which is considered one of the most historic events in America that occurred between 1765 and 1783. The major events during the revolution were the rebellion as well as resistance by the Native Americans to the domination and control by the British individuals (Kopel, 2005). In fact, one of the implications of the revolutions was that the authority of Great Britain was overthrown by the Native Americans, and the US was founded. In 1765, there was a rejection of the British government’s decision to impose taxes on Native Americans and every other racial group that lived in America. There was also a resistance to attempts of the British government to initiate the collection of duties on a number of goods such as sugar and molasses. The resistance by the Natives against the British government’s ill-motives triggered tensions that contributed in one way or another to the fight between Patriot militia and British regulars (Kopel, 2005). The fight led to the replacement of the British authority in America by natives leading to their confinement to the city of Boston. The conflicts between the groups (British and natives) evolved into a serious civil war, and this became known as the American Revolution (Kopel, 2005). During the war, a number of individuals lost their lives leading to a negative impact on the growth of the economy, as well as a damage of several infrastructural developments in major cities and towns such as New York and Boston (Wood, 2002). Towards the end of the American Revolutionary War, the British community was forcefully evacuated out of Boston in 1776. The strength and organization of the British troops saw them capture other cities such as New York although a peace treaty was later signed with an aim of bringing the war to an end. The agreement between the British and the Native Americans played an integral role in creation of a representative government that was democratically-elected (Wood, 2002). The American Revolution greatly changed the lives of the Native Americans, and this supports the fact that the Native Americans have undergone a series of evolutions in their quest to settle in America.

The other event that illustrates that series of evolutions and changes that the Native Americans have gone through is the American Indian Movement that saw the rise of activism by American Indians. This saw American Indians occupy the Alcatraz Island during the period between 1969 and 1971 (Wittstock & Salinas, 2010). It was during the same period that the American Indian Movement was founded, and it involved spiritual and political matters. An irrefutable fact is that the activism gained the attention of the national media as well as the sympathy of other racial groups in America (Wittstock & Salinas, 2010). Founded in Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota, the AIM played an integral role in addressing a number of issues that the American Indian community faced which include issues of treaty as well as spiritual and leadership issues. The movement also played a crucial role in addressing harassment by police agencies as well as racism that was against the Native Americans in America (Wittstock & Salinas, 2010). The movement formed by Native Americans was also against the push for the Indian community to move away from their reservations and cultural beliefs that they exhibited in America. There was also an unfair representation of the Native Americans in the political arena and opposition to the unemployment levels that triggered the foundation of the American Indian Movement. Social problems such as poverty, domestic violence, as well as poor housing were rampant among the Native Americans, hence the formation of the American Indian Movement (Wittstock & Salinas, 2010). Notably, the foundation of the American Indian Movement contributed significantly to the series of evolutions that the Native Americans went through.

In 1973, a major event that marked a series of evolutions that the Native Americans went through was the Wounded Knee Incident. A major factor that led to the incident was the frequent conflicts between Native Americans and governments. During the incident, there was seizure and occupation of major towns in American that included Wounded Knee, and South Dakota (Gitlin, 2011). Native Americans were strongly against the poor rule by President Richard Wilson at the time. After one of the Native Americans’ organizations known as the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) had failed to impeach President Richard Wilson, there were protests by Native Americans (Gitlin, 2011). The Native Americans accused Richard Wilson of serious corruption allegations, as well as his abuse of opponents. The protesters also opposed the fact that the US government had failed to fulfill the treaties signed with the American Indian community (Gitlin, 2011). Through the protests, the American Indians wanted a way of reopening treaty negotiations with the United States’ government. Essentially, the Wounded Knee Incident clearly illustrates the series of evolutions and changes that the Native Americans went through.

In conclusion, there is a significant difference in the lives and roles played by Native Americans in the 1920s and the 1960s. Before the 1920s, the Native Americans were seen to fight against the colonization efforts by the Europeans, especially those from Britain. However, in 1960s, the Native Americans had become part of the government and were now against government and development related issues such as corruption and abuse of power by government officials. It should not be ignored that in their quest to settle in America, the Native Americans have undergone a series of evolution and changes, and this is supported by events such as King Philip’s War, the American Revolution, the American Indian Movement, and the Wounded Knee Incident.


Buonomo, L. (1992). “A victim of King Philip’s war (1675-76), Mary Rowlandson and the account of her captivity.” Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos, (1), 9-22.

Drake, J. (1997). “Restraining Atrocity: The Conduct of King Philip’s War.” New England Quarterly, 33-56.

Gitlin, M. (2011). Wounded Knee Massacre. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

Kopel, D. B. (2005). “Religious Roots of the American Revolution and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” The. J. on Firearms & Pub. Pol’y, 17, 167.

Wittstock, L. W., & Salinas, E. J. (2010). “A Brief History of the American Indian Movement.” American Indian Movement.

Wood, G. S. (2002). The American Revolution: A history. New York: Modern Library.