Why did the white Americans win the West?

White Americans won the West because everything was on their side. The Native Americans fought bravely, but the odds were completely against them.

Painting of victims laying on wounded knee creek battlefield.
Painting of victims laying on Wounded Knee Creek battlefield
  1. Little Bighorn - the massacre of Custer's regiment caused thousands of Custer's Avengers to join up, and it made the US Army determined to hunt down and destroy the Native American warriors.
  2. Lies - the US government made promises which it later broke.
  3. Economy - the US government had unlimited men and money. After the Little Bighorn, the Sioux had to disband their army because the land could not support so large a group for long.
  4. Technology - the US Army had access to repeating rifles, machine guns, cannons and the telegraph. The Native Americans had to buy rifles, and used smoke signals to communicate.
  5. Railroads - thousands of white Americans and US soldiers could travel to the West in hours by railroad.
  6. Slaughter of the buffalo - after the 1870s, white hunters destroyed the buffalo, not only for their hides, but partly to destroy the Native Americans, whose way of life depended on these animals. By 1895, less than a thousand buffalo remained on the Great Plains.
  7. The US Army was too big and strong for the Native American warriors. It controlled the Plains from a system of forts.
  8. Reservations destroyed the Indian way of life, because people on them were forced to become farmers. Many warriors became alcoholics. The influence of the chiefs declined, because the reservations were run by agents. The Code of Religious Offences destroyed the Native American religion, and the Dawes Act ended community ownership.
  9. Education - the Indian boarding schools, which the children were made to attend, forced Native American children to become white. They were beaten if they even whispered in their own language - the motto of one school was kill the Indian to save the man.
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