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8th Grade Social Studies Homework Assignments

Due Friday, January 12, 2007


I.  The Plains Indians Timeline – 1860-1869

1860-1868 - Increased attacks on civilian wagon trains, led largely by Cheyenne Chief Roman Nose, causes the U.S. to provide military escorts to emigrants traveling to Oregon through the Powder River Basin, from the Black Hills on the east to the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming on the west.

1861 - The U.S. Civil War begins. Many Native American tribes side with the Confederates, who promise to respect Indian sovereignty. At the end of the war, the U.S. punishes the tribes by forcing them to cede (transfer) land.

1862 - The Homestead Act encourages a flood of settlers to move through Indian lands. August 18 sees the start of the Sioux Uprising (or Santee War) in Minnesota, driving many Sioux westward.

1864 - Massacre at Sand Creek on November 29 results in over 130 Indians dead and mutilated. Legendary trapper, scout, soldier and Indian agent Kit Carson forces the surrender of Navajos, and thousands of Navajos must walk 350 miles eastward (called the "Long Walk") from their home in Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where they remain in disease-ridden imprisonment until 1868.


1865 - Escalation of the Plains War between the U.S. military and the Sioux and Cheyenne. Ultimately, the Sioux under Red Cloud and Sitting Bull, and the Cheyenne under Roman Nose and Dull Knife, fight and harass the U.S. troops and drive them out of the territory. Nine treaties signed at the end of the year signal the end of the Plains War, despite the fact that none of the war chiefs has signed.

1866 - General Sheridan takes command of U.S. forces in the West, stating the policy of exterminating the buffalo herds crucial to Indian survival: "Kill the buffalo and you kill the Indians."

1868 - Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 between the U.S. and the Indians creates the Great Sioux Reservation and reaffirms Sioux hunting rights. Renowned military leader General Armstrong Custer leads an attack on unarmed Cheyenne at the Washita River, killing mostly woman and children.

1869 - The Transcontinental Railroad cuts across Native American lands.

Use the timeline to answer the following questions on a separate sheet of loose-leaf paper.

1.  Why did many Native American tribes support the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War?

2.  What law caused settlers to move through Indian lands in 1862?

3.  What war was fought between the United States and the tribes of the Sioux and Cheyenne?

4.  Explain General Sheridan’s quotation in your own words.

5.  Given the information in this timeline, what kind of person do you think General Armstrong Custer was?  Explain your judgment.

II.  Map Skills – Indian Land Loss in Oklahoma, 1889-1908

Answer the questions below based on the information in the map above and your knowledge of Social Studies on a separate sheet of loose-leaf paper.

1.  Name one Indian tribe that moved from their homeland?

2.  In what state did this land loss take place?

3.  Why was the land taken from the Native Americans?

4.  Explain one affect the movement of the Indian tribes would have on these Native Americans.