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American Holocaust

We have all read about the issues of the Rwanda and Jewish Holocaust but many of us forget about the American Holocaust. The deliberate campaign by a government to eradicate another minority group - Native Americans. This population was estimated at 5-7 million people in North America in 1700, but by 1885, the number of Indigenous peoples in the USA had dwindled to only 225,000. How much of your U.S. history books provided a full overview of what happened to these original Americans? Why do you think that after almost wiping them out, white ethnic groups take great pride in their Native American heritage? What theory would best explain this shift in perspectives from the Noble Savage to the "only good Indian is a dead Indian" to our search for some blood relationship with the many tribes that at one time occupied North America?

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Most American history books will devote a chapter to the Native Americans prior to European colonization. This chapter typically describes their political, economic, religious and social life. Following the arrival of Europeans, the wars between the Native Americans and the Europeans are discussed, the removal of the Cherokee in the Trail of Tears, the conflict against the Seminoles and the establishment of the "Indian territories" in the west are all discussed in limited detail. The Native Americans native to the west such as the Shoshones, Nez Pierce and Blackfoot are discussed during the voyage of Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail. The Native Americans of the Southwest such as the Comanche and Apache are discussed during the gold rush era and the golden age of the cowboys and cattle drives during the mid 1800's. As is true of every historical event, the history books only cover some important aspects of an issue or era. History books are broad in coverage but shallow in depth and this is true of every historical event or figure that they cover.

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Solution Summary

The solution discuses the American holocaust. It discusses how many U.S. history booked provided a full overview of what happened to the original Americans.