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The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was a treaty that brought peace to many Americans and Indians during the late 1800’s due to land ownership and the fight that ensued between the two groups. The compromise was settled in a short amount of time between the two sides to quickly end the conflict of war. In years before the treaty signing, the Indians were at war with the Americans. The Indians lost too many people and resources to continue with war so they settled upon a compromise in 1868 to end the war with the Americans. The two groups had to agree on a piece of land that the Indians would get to keep and the Americans would stay off of these particular lands. Conferences about land ownership would be held and land issues would be discussed and solutions would be made. The Fort Laramie Compromise was a significant event to end the conflict between the Americans and the Sioux Indians in the 1800`s. The Indians were living in multiple areas including Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota at the time the Americans entered and overtook the land (O’Brien). The Americans came in overtaking the Indians’ lands and this forced everyone from the Sioux tribe to settle into new lands and it forced their relocation and move to Oklahoma. The move to Oklahoma occurred during the summer of 1867 and the Indians suffered few deaths because of this new adventure. Once the Indians had moved to Oklahoma they went to war with the Americans in an attempt to fight for their original land back. The Indians were never strong enough as warriors to win the wars and they lost too many men, women and supplies to continue battling in this fight (Bredhoff). The Indians decided upon a treaty to settle the conflict with the Americans in the winter of 1868. They would have conferences with the Americans to settle the conflict and hopefully end the war between the two groups.While the Indians waited, they mentally and physically prepared themselves for the conferences ahead of them. The first conference between the two groups was held in the spring of 1868 in Wyoming (O’Brien). They all met together at Fort Laramie and discussed the issues and how they could agree on a compromise that would benefit both of the groups in regards to land ownership. During these conferences, boundaries were discussed and how much land the Indians would receive in this treaty. The Americans then argued that the Indians did not need any more land and that they had enough for all of them to live healthy lives and raise their families (Sutherfield). The Indians continued to argue with the Americans over why the land was such an important possession and why they did not want the Americans trespassing on these particular areas. The conference ended without any final solutions and the two groups were to meet again in weeks to come. They met again two weeks later in a more civil manner to discuss which lands the Indians could keep and which would belong now to the Americans. The Indians say that the Americans needed to respect boundaries and not trespass without permission (Sutherfield). The Americans agreed and they made a compromise to settle the problem (Monnet). The Americans would give the Indians a piece of land, that they would stay off of and the conflict between the two would end. They first established ownership on a piece of land called the Ponca Lands. This was a wide stretch of flat land. The Indians said that this amount of land was not big enough and it did not provide enough resources for them to survive. They instead moved on to the Black Hills, which is a long mountain range stretching from South Dakota to Wyoming (Viegas). The Indians now had a major decision to make. The Black Hills was a large stretch of flat land that was completely empty. The Black Hills are also a large mountain range that provided very many resources for the habitats to use. Their final decision was made by determining which of the two pieces had more resources for them to use and grow with (Viegas). The Ponca Lands was completely empty with nothing to survive on. The Black Hills had all the resources one would need to survive in a mountain range including shelter, food, and water. That detail gave the Indians their final choice and the final piece to the compromise. The Indians agreed on the Black Hills as their new location of choice. All the Indians that were still living in Oklahoma at the time moved back to Wyoming and started to settle in their new land in the spring of 1868 (Monnet).  All Americans that were settled in the Black Hills were forced to leave and find new land in another part of the states. The Indians were now able to live and thrive in their new land with no worry of Americans trespassing. Along with the Black Hills, the Americans gave the Indians hunting grounds further out west to use at their choosing (Obrien). This would settle the conflict of land ownership between the American settlers and the Sioux Indians. Both sides would meet again at Fort Laramie to sign the final treaty document. It was April 29, 1868, when both sides were together in Wyoming at Fort Laramie (Viegas).  The treaty stated in detail all the rights the Indians had in regards to their new lands. Boundaries were established around the entire piece of land and it was now officially theirs. The treaty was signed by Spotted Tail and William Sherman (Sutherfield).  This compromise was thought to be the end of the conflict between the two groups, that is until gold was discovered in the Indians new land. This discovery caused a huge dispute between the two and it remains still a problem today that has no reasonable solution to end it (Viegas). In 1877 the Indians made the discovery of gold in various parts of the Black Hills (Viegas). This finding of gold supply caused the Americans to break the treaty and enter the Indians territory once again, despite the agreement that the Black Hills’ lands belonged to the Sioux. The Americans were very greedy and did not care about breaking the treaty that they had initially agreed upon. Since the treaty was broken, the Indians fought against the Americans entering their land, but again they were not strong enough and suffered defeat at the hands of the American government. This new conflict brought the American Government into the situation to fix the damage that had been made from the Americans utter disregard for the initial treaty and compromise. The Americans entered their land illegally to mine for the gold and left these lands with more gold than the Indians had. The land was ultimately taken away from both the Americans and the Sioux Indians and it was claimed as unassigned land (Bredhoff). Before 1877, the Indians thrived in their new assigned land with no Americans entering onto it without permission from the group. The Indians had enough resources to survive for a very long time on their new land and the gold helped a lot with the wealth of the group (O’Brien). The Indians were able to raise families and live healthy lives on the Black Hills. The Americans did stay off of their land for the time being and they lived separate lives without war. The boundary lines were not crossed until the gold was discovered and the greedy Americans stepped over the lines to collect the wealth (Sutherfield). The Indians gained thousands of dollars from the gold and it was all stolen from them by the Americans and was then became an issue between the two once again. This did not bring war between the two but it was a court case that was decided as unassigned land in 1877.The Fort Laramie Compromise ended land ownership issues in the 1800’s due to multiple significant events between the Americans and the Sioux Indians. The Americans were at fault for overstepping their boundaries into Indian territory which caused the war between the two groups for many years. The Indians decided to choose a compromise over war due to the number of resources and people they had lost. The compromise was an agreement between the two that gave the Indians land from the Americans that would be theirs to keep and Americans wouldn’t enter without permission. Many issues were brought up during the meetings between the two and were settled throughout the process of the compromise. The land that was chosen and agreed to was known as the Black Hills. The Black Hills is a long mountain range stretching from Wyoming to South Dakota and is filled with multiple useful resources one of them being gold. The treaty was signed on April 29th, 1868 at Fort Laramie in Wyoming and that was essentially the end to land ownership conflicts in the 1800’s.

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