DBQ: Impact of Westward Expansion on Native Americans and the Role of Government


The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A–H and your knowledge of the period referred to in the question. High scores will be earned only for essays that both cite key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on outside knowledge of the period.

1. Analyze the extent to which western expansion affected the lives of Native Americans during the period 1860–90 and evaluate the role of the federal government in those effects.

Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1860–90 in constructing your response.


A. Lives of Native Americans

  1. Winter count
  2. Santana, chief of the Kiowa
  3. Letter from John Wesley Powell
  4. Boarding school photos
  5. Chief Luther Standing Bear
  6. Hornaday Letter

B. Role of Federal Government

  1. Dawes Act
  2. Report from Bureau of Indian Affairs
  3. Letter from Benjamin Harrison
  4. “Ho for Kansas!” flyer
  5. Locomotive or Promontory Point photo
  6. Allotment photo
  7. Buffalo soldiers photo

C. Popular Culture

  1. “Ten Little Indians” sheet music
  2. Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull photos
  3. Indian Reform meeting, 1884
  4. Report to the Secretary of the Interior

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