The Native Americans were living a peaceful and fulfilling life living off the land until the Europeans arrived. Most of the conquest was through war but they were also able to conquer culturally. Many tribes resisted and responded to the Europeans in different ways. Accommodation was always first, but when accommodation fails, resistance is always the last resource. Each impact had its devastating affects. The Europeans migrated in to America, established trade and schools while creating a mission system; they earned the trust of the Native Americans but in the end left them with nothing.
As the Europeans arrived to the Great Plains and far West they created a great trade relationship with the Native Americans. It became the key to their relationship. It was for the Native Americans point of view, a form of ceremonial gift exchange with the newcomers. Trade networks brought shells from the Gulf of California eastwards to the Great Plains. In addition, pottery and other goods were brought from the Southwest. This enabled the East to connect to the South. Guns and metal were brought and exchanged for hides when French and Mexican traders visited in the 1730s around the Black Hills. This increase trade in guns transformed both hunting and warfare. They were now able to kill animals and people from a distance. They adapted by acquiring more guns to be more powerful. Although the Native Americans did not know it at the time, trade between Europeans had its devastating effect. Trading brought new, lethal diseases. The Mandans, for instance, were struck by a disease and by 1837 had been reduced from 15,000 to fewer than 2,000. Diseases struck all along the plains and reduced the number of Native Americans.
Although many were dieing acquiring of guns enabled the Native Americans...