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The Expedition by Lewis and Clark, which they carried out from 1804 to 1806, was the earliest transcontinental mission by the U.S on the coast of pacific. The two, with the help of the then president Jefferson and two Indian war veterans began their expedition having several goals to accomplish. Their main goals were for both commercial and scientific benefits. The president had a main goal of finding "direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce with Asia." He employed special concerns on pronouncing the sovereignty of the US over tribes, which are American Natives. This group was in a company of a young woman who was married to a trader. In their expedition, they had to go through rough terrains, including Rocky Mountains, before arriving at the Pacific Ocean.

On their way back after the expedition, they had a lot of information on animal specimens, plants, and the region. They had written journals that gave reports about the animal life, Indian cultures, and the geography of the region. With reference to the goals of the expedition, Clark and Lewis did not succeed in getting a direct commercial route from the U.S. to Asia. They however, demonstrated that there is a high possibility of travelling to the coast of Pacific Ocean by land. When they were in Trans-Mississippi, they came across Native Americans who traded with Europeans and hence, globally connected in the market.

The Lewis and Clark expedition had many impacts to the Native Americans. First, they saw it as ‘the beginning to an end.’ The fact that they were meeting far traders, missionaries, and soldiers immediately after this expedition was a cause for their change in life. Many people could foresee this happening because they would easily use the information that Lewis and Clark had obtained during the expedition. Other than this, this expedition opened a trade channel between India and the U.S.

On their mission, Lewis and Clark encountered different groups of Indians. First, they met with the Missouri and the Oto, these Indians were inhabitants of a village around Missouri River. This group was agriculturalists and did hunting of buffalos. They tried to help them to come in terms with their neighbors and stop wars between them but their effort were in vain. The second group was the Yankton Sioux, who lived near James River. They were also hunters like the former group and they entered into a trade agreement. This group assisted Lewis and Clark by providing information about those who lived upriver.

The third group was the Teton Sioux, this group became hostile to them, and they could not make any agreement on any of their goals. The Mandan and the Hidatsa were good traders with their neighbors and they helped Lewis and Clark by providing information about the geography of the regions they had to pass on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Arikara is another group of Indians, whom they encountered; they were also traders and were at war with their neighbors. On their way back, they met another group of the Indians called the Blackfeet. Just like the Arikara, they were traders, and hunted for buffalos. Shoshone, Salish, and Nez Perce are other groups who assisted them with the information they required, especially on daily lifestyle of the Indians, demography, as well as diseases

Lewis’ and Clack’s expedition led to the change of the U.S. policy. The US government introduced what was later called ‘The Indian Removal Act of 1830.’ The removal of this policy led to deviation from the policy that ensures respect of political and legal rights of the Indians. The U.S. policy affected the American natives negatively. It further ordered those who lived in good lands to move westwards so that they could get compensation for their lands, but this did not happen. It finally led to instability after they decided to revenge for their land, which the government had not compensated.




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