- ›› Coverage Organizations : Blackfeet
The greatest European contribution to Native American society was arguably the horse. Its effects, especially on western tribes, were truly revolutionary. It altered their material lives, rearranged their relations with their environments, and fed a burst of power and affluence. Ironically, over time horses contributed also to American Indians’ mounting difficulties as the tide of white settlement rolled over them.
The Lewis and Clark expedition is rightly considered one of the great American stories. In May of 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off by keelboat up the Missouri River with thirty-one men, the “Corps of Discovery,” on an expedition authorized by Congress at the request of Thomas Jefferson. The expedition’s grip on the popular imagination is understandable. It features adventures and trials, close calls and improbable coincidences, exotic encounters and fascinating personalities.
In this lecture Elliott West, a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, describes how the introduction of Old World phenomena such as guns, horses, and new diseases affected the Native peoples of the New World.