The Forgotten West

Essay by cemanessCollege, UndergraduateB+, September 2014

download word file, 9 pages 0.0

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Take-Home Midterm Essay

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Courtney Maness

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History 365

Professor Bruno

February 20, 2014

The American West has long held the imaginations and fascinations of Americans. Ask

someone what they think when they hear the term "the West", and they would likely say

cowboys and Indians, ranches, the open prairie, and covered wagons. Sure these things are part

of Western history and culture, but have you ever thought about it on a deeper level? Who were

the first groups of people to live in what is now America? Were Americans in the right to just

move west of the Mississippi River without any thought as to the fact that there might already be

people settled on the land? Is the way we remember events in the history of the west correct, or

do we have a flawed or even biased view of what really happened? We never give much thought

to these questions, we simply take the common view of events such as the battle at the Alamo,

and the Indian wars, and accept that as being the final say in what happened. It is my intention to

peel back the layers of three major pieces of the history of the American West, Cahokia, now

forgotten but at one time the largest city in ancient North America, and its fall from greatness;

the battle at the Alamo and why it is so romanticized; and the Dakota Wars, in which Dakota

tribes challenged Americans' idea of manifest destiny. How are some of these events never

mentioned in modern history lessons, while some have become larger than life?

Beginning with some of the earliest days of civilization within the Mississippi River

region, we first arrive upon the...