The conflict between the Native Americans, most notably the Sioux, and the American settlers is arguably the most painful struggle in American history. Distrust, socioeconomic differences and factionalism severely undermined the Sioux efforts to form a cohesive organization capable of asserting control over their lands and drive back the ever increasing presence of the U.S. Army.
Even though they proved to be a respectable threat in some highly successful battles against the American military forces, political divisions within the Sioux people severely weakened their cause until most of them were driven out of their homes and the settlers occupied much of their land.
Division and competition among the Sioux began almost as soon as they made contact with the Euro-American traders, which brought them much wealth and supplies. Powerful leaders attracted attention from the agents, who served as a link between the increasingly important presence of the U.S. government and the Indians.
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