Revisiting the Dakota Uprising of 1862.
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McKinney, Jennifer Elaine, 1984-
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The Dakota Uprising of 1862 began as a cultural response by the Dakota Indians in reaction to their poor treatment by the United States government. Previous scholarship provides several reasons for the Uprising, often condemning the Dakota’s actions as a violent overreaction to inept government practices. Before the Civil War, the Dakota had signed treaties that gave their lands to the United States in exchange for amenities and food. Crop failure along with corrupt federal government agents made for a volatile mixture that left the Dakota destitute and distressed. At the height of their desperation, the Dakota chose to revolt. Surprised and shocked by the Dakota’s actions, the federal government reacted militantly. Had federal agents listened to warning and understood Dakota culture, the Uprising of 1862 could have been averted.