Wounded Knee I (1890) and II (1973)


The Wounded Knee massacre is perhaps one of the most one of the major battles in the history of US where the Indians were involved. The first battle of the Wounded Knee took place in 1890 where the US military troops engaged with the Lakota Sioux Indian at the wounded Knee creek which is located in the south of Dakota. The first war led to the death of over 300 Indian. This war has come to be known as one of the war that led to end of the conflict between the US forces and the American Indians.

This paper will try to establish the significant of both wounded Knee I and II and their significance in the history of united. Through establishing the sigficance of the two wars this paper will seek to establish some of the important lessons that the American can learn from the history of these two wars.

In order to help to prepare the white settlement the US government had ordered large numbers of the native Americans to move to certain reserved land in the 1800s. In relation to this the Great Sioux had been established and reserved in 1868 for the Indians.

By the year 1889 many of the Sioux had gathered in Wounded Knee in order to participate in their usual Ghost Dance. During that religious event a prophet named Wovoka in most cases shared his spiritual vision and message of hope and certain aspect of cultural renewal for all the native American. Fearing the large numbers of the Indian who were gathered during this event the US military tried to ban the ghosts events. The US government believed that this ceremony was in the preparation of the for the armed conflict where they described the participants of the event as wild and crazy.

In addition to the fears that was brought about by this event the US government also sort to deal with the great influence of the sitting bull leader. On December 1890 the American army had tried to arrest the sitting bull leaders although they ended up killing further raising the tension in that area.

On December 29 it is believed that the US government surrounded one of the band of the ghost dancers and commanded them to surrender all the weapons that they had acquired. As was this happening after broke especially between the US soldier and the Indian after it a shot was fire in the air. This fight led to the death of many people more especially women and the children who were present in this event. Most of the Indian died in this battle since they did not have the necessary weapon to fight the American soldiers.

The first Wounded Knee massacre had a lot of significance in the history of united states. This can be linked to the fact that the soldiers who took place in this war were regarded as heroes by both the US government and the media. The soldiers who took place in this war were awarded some medals of honor. Most of the people who supported the awarding of these soldiers argued that it was necessary for the government to protect civilization through ensuring that it wipes out the Indians since they were considered uncivilized

After the first wounded massacre the American Indian Movement was formed in 1968 in order to help stop the police harassment on the Indians. This movement later gained national attention although most of the Indian leaders denounced the group citing that it was mainly youth dominated and at the same time the youths in this group was too radical. The AIM in 1973 decided to demonstrate against Dick Wilson which was one of the renown Indian leaders who were known to oppose the movement.

Dick Wilson after realizing that the movement wanted to kill him he decided to seek protection from federal marshal as well as in the Indian police affairs. However rather than deciding to confront the police the AIM decided to gather in the wounded site of the1890 massacre the police responded by surrounding the site. During a 71 day period the police exchanged fire with the AIM that led to the death of several people. On May 1973 the AIM leaders surrendered and agreed to reach to a conclusion.

Later the AIM took the police who had attacked them to court and the judge ruled in the favor of AIM and later acquitted them for any wrong doing. After winning this court battle the AIM succeeded in shinning in the national politics for their increased role in fighting for the rights of the Native Americans.

After the trouble in the Wounded Knee a virtual civil started between the opposing different opposing Indian factions. This civil war in turn led to the a series of beating as well as murder where it is believed that more than 100 Indian dead. The FBI agent thereafter decided to arrest some of the AMI leaders such as Leonard and accused them of causing violence.

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