Analyze Excerpt

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Using
the excerpt BELOW, analyze how westward expansion contributed to the
forced migration and displacement of Native Americans.
Your
response should be multi-paragraph with an introduction, body, and
conclusion. It must also have a thesis and supporting evidence.

“For
a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had
found gold in the mountains around the land of the Winding Water. They
stole a great many horses from us and we could not get them back because
we were Indians. The white men told lies for each other. They drove off
a great many of our cattle. Some white men branded our young cattle so
they could claim them. We had no friends who would plead our cause
before the law councils. It seemed to me that some of the white men in
Wallowa were doing these things on purpose to get up a war. They knew we
were not strong enough to fight them. I labored hard to avoid trouble
and bloodshed. We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking
that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white men would
not let us alone. We could have avenged our wrongs many times, but we
did not. Whenever the Government has asked for help against other
Indians we have never refused. When the white men were few and we were
strong we could have killed them off, but the Nez Perce wishes to live
at peace.

“On
account of the treaty made by the other bands of the Nez Perce the
white man claimed my lands. We were troubled with white men crowding
over the line. Some of them were good men, and we lived on peaceful
terms with them, but they were not all good. Nearly every year the agent
came over from Lapwai and ordered us to the reservation. We always
replied that we were satisfied to live in Wallowa. We were careful to
refuse the presents or annuities which he offered.

“Through
all the years since the white man came to Wallowa we have been
threatened and taunted by them and the treaty Nez Perce. They have given
us no rest. We have had a few good friends among the white men, and
they have always advised my people to bear these taunts without
fighting. Our young men are quick tempered and I have had great trouble
in keeping them from doing rash things. I have carried a heavy load on
my back ever since I was a boy. I learned then that we were but few
while the white men were many, and that we could not hold our own with
them. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had a small
country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain
as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not; and would change
the mountains and rivers if they did not suit them.

Source: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, “Selected Excerpts of Chief Joseph Speaks”

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