the contested plains book review Essay

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“The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado” Written by Elliott West. I chose to write about this book because of the large range of events and transitions that occurred throughout the American West that the author includes in the text. Elliot West highlights the struggles that many endured while trying to create better circumstances for not only themselves but also their families by moving to the west. He chronicles the adaptations that many white settlers arriving in the west faced in order to be able to make a living for themselves. But another reason why I found the book interesting was because of the way Elliot West provided perspective for each side of the struggle over the American West. He gives us the…show more content…
It is a heavy, soft metal easily molded into jewelry but hopeless for implements. Its appeal comes from three qualities. It is rare. It is remarkably inert and will combine with almost nothing around it—the source of its incorruptible image. And it is shiny.” (West. 97) I thought this was interesting because so a lot of the violence and conflicts between Native Americans and the white settlers happened because of Gold. It is hard to imagine that so many people suffered and lost their lives over the possession of something that is practically useless. Many Native American tribes were kicked off of their land because the land that they were occupying at the time was known to contain gold. And several massacres occurred because of this. Elliot West talks about one of these massacres in his book. The sand creek massacre occurred on November 29, 1864 when a seven hundred man military force from the Third Colorado regiment attacked and massacred a large number of Cheyenne Indians who ironically even had an American flag flying over their camp. Two hundred men, women, and children were killed and mutilated by the military force. Although there are other reason why this massacre happened, for example the many raids and skirmishes between Native Americans and whites at the time. But Gold was still one of the main reasons behind not only this massacre, but also other acts of violence against Native Americans. Another aspect of the book that
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