Wounded Knee Massacre Summary

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In December of 1890 a mass killing of the Lakota Sioux people took place at Wounded Knee Creek after months of increasing tension between the tribe and the United States government. This incident later known as The Wounded Knee Massacre was an event of major symbolic importance as it represented the end of both the Indian Wars and, in many ways, the close of the Western Frontier. Over the past 125 years since the Wounded Knee Massacre the event has been a major focus on many major books on the history of the Native American peoples. Historians have delved into the military records, personal journals, and public archives in order to search for the facts behind the history of the massacre. In many of these studies the events behind the Massacre…show more content…
Instead of Brown’s theme of telling the story of the events preceding Wounded Knee in a way that shows the victimization of the Native Americans by the United States Government, Andersson took a more neutral stance when examining the same events. Andersson’s book focuses far more heavily on the primary source information that Brown’s work and focused for the majority of the book on the Ghost Dance. This is something that up until Andersson’s publication of his work had not been accomplished in any other study. It was Andersson’s own belief that, “In order to understand the Ghost Dance one would need to first need to understand its effects both on Wounded Knee and people who had some form of interaction with it.” This view led Andersson’s own perspective on the Ghost Dance to be somewhat ambiguous as the focus remained on the primary sources and the perspectives of those…show more content…
In Greene’s work he acknowledged the Dance’s influence on Wounded Knee but failed to see the Dance as the main contributor to the event of the Massacre, instead viewing it as a major factor and describing it as bluntly as Brown had. The overall treatment of the Ghost Dance in Greene’s work was fairly similar to Brown’s in that the religion was just that, a religion. Because of this view Greene treats the Ghost Dance as just another factor in the inedibility of Wounded Knee. However, the combination of almost equal focus on Non- Native and Native experience during the time preceding and following Wounded Knee brought a new complexity to an already well documented event. Greene provided new insight on the experiences both shared by the Americans and Natives and separated between the two with his work, representing an evolution away from the single sided studies of Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dance. While the book was not the most definitive of studies on the Ghost Dance, it still analyzed the religion in a new way, showing an evolution away from one sided inspections of the Ghost Dance and the events surrounding

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