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What are some historical facts about American Indians?

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Quick Answer

Some historical facts about American Indians are the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, they have appeared on many U.S. coins, and many were killed when Europeans brought over diseases to which they had no resistance. The last major battle against U.S. soldiers was in 1890.

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Full Answer

The term "Indian" came about due to Christopher Columbus thinking he had landed in the East Indies, when in fact he had landed in America. Columbus, in error, named the inhabitants Indians. A huge population decline of the Native American people occurred shortly after this when European settlers brought over many diseases; millions of Native Americans died.

Native Americans had also never seen cattle, sheep and pigs before the European settlers brought them over. Horses, also brought over, had an incredible impact on the Natives as they had been hunted to extinction thousands of years prior in America. The reintroduction of them allowed the Native Americans to use them for travel, hunting and warfare. Before the Revolutionary War, many conflicts took place between the Native Americans and European settlers, while after it, many occurred between the Natives and the U.S. Government. These conflicts are known as the American Indian Wars.

The Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890 was the last major battle between Native Americans and U.S. soldiers.

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