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Why the US Army tried to exterminate the bison

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In the mid-1800s, a cultural belief known as “manifest destiny” dictated that white settlers were the rightful owners of the entire North American continent. In order to clear the land for white settlers, the US Army engaged in violent scorched-earth tactics against the Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains. One big part of that campaign: bison. Vox digs into the animal’s near-extinction.

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
"The extermination of the American bison," 1887 Smithsonian survey by William T. Hornaday: https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/29938

"Poaching Pictures," by Alan Braddock

"The frontier army and the destruction of the buffalo," by David T. Smits

The American bison is the new U.S. national mammal, but its slaughter was once seen as a way to starve Native Americans into submission. Dig into the history here.

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