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Who are the families that control most of the world today?

Well I can talk about these forever. But I don't have patience to write a huge answer about why these families are so powerful despite not been known to common people. Below are some families that has influenced and influencing this world to beyond one's imagination.The eight families include The Rothschilds, Morgans, Rockefellers, Warburgs, Kuhn Loebs, Lazards, Goldman Sachs and the Lehmans. The Rothschilds, Morgans and Rockefellers are the big three and others have been the major influence in establishing the connections between those 3 families. The Warburgs, Kuhn Loebs, Goldman Sachs, Schiffs and Rothschilds have intermarried into one big happy banking family. But you can also find relationships between every family at the moment.The 8 families control the world as of now. Every major corporations, governments of entire western world and developing nations are literally controlled by them. They are not just bankers or financial firms. Much more than that. By 19th century Rothschilds were the world's wealthiest family involving in loans, government bonds and also started bullion trading. They also became the biggest stakeholders in most large scale mining and rail transports across Europe. After the revolution in 1848, they had huge impacts for good or bad. But they soon were able to establish a much larger system. Every war after that had their involvement in one way or the other. By the end of 19th century they made oil to be the fastest growing commodity in Europe.On the other side of the world Junius Spencer inherited his father's money and after years founded Peabody, Morgan & Co along with its George Peabody. It became J.S.Morgan & Co after Peabody's retirement. Along with the help of his son J.P.Morgan they have started to grow in a rapid rate by selling war bonds during the civil war.Morgan was the driving force behind Western expansion in the US, financing and controlling West-bound railroads through voting trusts. In 1879 Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Morgan-financed New York Central Railroad gave preferential shipping rates to John D. Rockefeller’s budding Standard Oil monopoly, cementing the Rockefeller/Morgan relationship. The Morgan financial octopus wrapped its tentacles quickly around the globe. Morgan Grenfell operated in London. Morgan et Ce ruled Paris. The Rothschild’s Lambert cousins set up Drexel & Company in Philadelphia.After death of J.S.Morgan in 1890, it became J.P.Morgan & Co. By then Morgan was lending to Egypt’s central bank, financing Russian railroads, floating Brazilian provincial government bonds and funding Argentine public works projects.A recession in 1893 enhanced Morgan’s power. That year Morgan saved the US government from a bank panic, forming a syndicate to prop up government reserves with a shipment of $62 million worth of Rothschild gold through Kuhn Loeb. By 1895 Morgan controlled the flow of gold in and out of the US. The first American wave of mergers was in its infancy and was being promoted by the bankers. In 1897 there were sixty-nine industrial mergers. By 1899 there were twelve-hundred.Morgan and Kuhn Loeb held a monopoly over the railroads, while banking dynasties Lehman, Goldman Sachs and Lazard joined the Rockefellers in controlling the US industrial base. In 1903 Banker’s Trust was set up by the Eight Families. By now Rockefeller and Rothschilds were planning on monopolizing the entire oil industry. There was a huge outcry from the competitors. Under Sherman AntiTrust law Rockefeller's Standard oil was sued and pressed monopoly charges against them. Standard oil was broken into 34 companies after the judgment. The company would've been worth more than $1 trillion if the split never took place.In 1910, Senator Nelson Aldrich, Frank Vanderlip of National City (Citibank), Henry Davison of Morgan Bank, and Paul Warburg of the Kuhn, Loeb Investment House met secretly on Jekyll Island, Georgia, to formulate a plan for a US central bank, and created the Aldrich Plan, which called for a system of fifteen regional central banks, openly and directly controlled by Wall Street commercial banks. These banks would have the legal ability to create mnoney out of thin air and represented an attempt to create a new Bank of the United States. Public reaction was swift.Due to the intense public opposition to the Aldrich Plan, the measure was defeated in the House of Representaives in 1912. One year later the bankers would be back!Following the defeat of the Aldrich Plan, in 1913, the Private Central Bankers of Europe, in particular the Rothschilds of Great Britain and the Warburgs of Germany, met with their American financial collaborators once again on Jekyll Island, Georgia to form a new banking cartel with the express purpose of forcing the United States to accept a private central bank, with the aim of placing complete control of the United States money supply once again under the control of private bankers. Owing to hostility over the previous banks, the name was changed from the Third Bank of the United States to "The Federal Reserve" system in order to grant the new bank a quasi-governmental image, but in fact it is a privately owned bank, no more "Federal" than Federal Express.Former Chairman of the FED Allan Greenspan admits the Federal Reserve is a private bank and answers to no government authority.The 1913 creation of the Fed fused the power of the Eight Families to the military and diplomatic might of the US government. If their overseas loans went unpaid, the oligarchs could now deploy US Marines to collect the debts. Morgan, Chase and Citibank formed an international lending syndicate.After the death of J.P. Morgan, the company fell in hands of Rockefeller and Rothschild with complete control. Although Jack Morgan was still operating at the top for J.P.Morgan & Co. Jack Morgan pushed the government into taking part in WWI while asking their clients Remington and Winchester to increase the production. Morgan also financed the British Boer War in South Africa and the Franco-Prussian War.The World War One started, and it is important to remember that prior to the creation of the Federal Reserve, there was no such thing as a world war. World War One started between Austria-Hungary and Serbia with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Although the war started between Austria-Hungary and Serbia it quickly shifted to focus on Germany, whose industrial capacity was seen as an economic threat to Great Britain, who saw the decline of the British Pound as a result of too much emphasis on financial activity to the neglect of agriculture, industrial development, and infrastructure (not unlike the present day United States). Although pre-war Germany had a private central bank, it was heavily restricted and inflation kept to reasonable levels. Under government control, investment was guaranteed to internal economic development, and Germany was seen as a major power. So, in the media of the day, Germany was portrayed as the prime opponent of World War One, and not just defeated, but its industrial base flattened. Following the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was ordered to pay the war costs of all the participating nations, even though Germany had not actually started the war. This amounted to three times the value of all of Germany itself. Germany's private central bank, to whom Germany had gone deeply into debt to pay the costs of the war, broke free of government control, and massive inflation followed (mostly triggered by currency speculators) , permanently trapping the German people in endless debt."Should Germany merchandise (do business) again in the next 50 years we have led this war (WW1) in vain." - Winston Churchill in The Times (1919)“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” -Woodrow Wilson in 1919The 1919 Paris Peace Conference was presided over by Morgan, which led both German and Allied reconstruction efforts.Thomas Edison, arguably the most brilliant man of the age, was also well aware of the fraud of private central banks."People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project nor contribute a pound of material, will collect more money from the United States than will the People who supply all the material and do all the work. This is the terrible thing about interest ...But here is the point: If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People. If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value of gold."Look at it another way. If the Government issues bonds, the brokers will sell them. The bonds will be negotiable; they will be considered as gilt edged paper. Why? Because the government is behind them, but who is behind the Government? The people. Therefore it is the people who constitute the basis of Government credit. Why then cannot the people have the benefit of their own gilt-edged credit by receiving non-interest bearing currency on Muscle Shoals, instead of the bankers receiving the benefit of the people's credit in interest-bearing bonds?" -- Thomas A. Edison, New York Times, December 4, 1921Under the orders of Jacob Schiff, Council on Foreign Relations was founded in 1921. CFR was solely to create free trade and globalization for the outside world. While these families had other ideas, bigger ones ofc. The CFR membership at the start was approximately 1000 people in the United States. This membership included the heads of virtually every industrial empire in America, all the American based international bankers, and the heads of all their tax-free foundations. In essence all those people who would provide the capital required for anyone who wished to run for Congress, the Senate or the Presidency. The first job of the CFR was to gain control of the press. This task was given to John D. Rockefeller who set up a number of national news magazines such as Lifeand Time. He financed Samuel Newhouse to buy up and establish a chain of newspapers all across the country, and Eugene Meyer also who would go on to buy up many publications such as the Washington Post, Newsweek, and The Weekly Magazine. The CFR also needed to gate control of radio, television and the motion picture industry. This task was split amongst the international bankers from, Kuhn Loeb, Goldman Sachs, the Warburgs, and the Lehmanns. The council has always been subject to numerous conspiracy theories is primarily due to the number of high-ranking government officials (along with world business leaders and prominent media figures) in its membership and the large number of aspects of American foreign policy that its members have been involved with.There had been occasions when central banks had found it useful to cooperate with one another in order to facilitate international settlements. But this had happened only in exceptional circumstances. After the first world war, however, and especially during the currency stabilizations of the period 1922-1930, he principal central banks frequently joined forces for the purpose of granting special "stabilization credits" either in connection with the reconstruction work undertaken by the Financial Committee of the League of Nations or independently of these schemes.It was therefore natural enough that the monetary and political authorities (Rockefellers and Rothschilds in particular) soon became interested in the idea of substituting for such ad-hoc and temporary associations a more permanent system of cooperation.This idea took practical shape in the course of the negotiations on theproblem of reparations owed by Germany after the first world war.These resulted in what became known as the Young Plan, which provided for a reduction (as compared with the earlier Dawes Plan) and also a "commercialization" of the annuities to be paid by Germany and made possible, moreover, the partial mobilization of these annuities through the issue of international loans. It was deemed necessary for the attainment of this purpose that an international organization should be set up possessing official status and at the same time sufficiently commercial in character to be independent of political considerations and able to work in direct contact with the financial markets.It was therefore decided to create, under the name of "Bank for International Settlements,"* an international bank to be founded by the principal central banks of the countries involved, whose permanent function would be to promote cooperation between central banks and to facilitate international financial settlements and to which could also be entrusted the task of executing the Young Plan as the agent of the governments concernedWhen one utilizes the axiom, “Follow the money,” all roads lead to the Rothschilds and their formula of gaining control of a nation’s money supply and then making all the rules. In the process of gaining control of a nation’s money supply, each country’s gold holdings were ransacked, and in the case of the US, the then world’s largest silver holdings were also stolen.US Treasury Notes that were specie backed by silver and gold. After the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913, the privately owned Federal Reserve bank, began circulating Federal Reserve Notes that were also specie-backed, to circulate alongside US -issued Treasury Notes until the 1930s, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a “bank holiday.” The US was forced into bankruptcy by the Rothschild elites, and the banks were reopened under direct control of the Federal Reserve central bank. What was little noticed was that the specie-backing of gold and silver for the Federal Reserve Noted were quietly withdrawn. At the same time, specie backed US Treasury Notes were withdrawn from circulation and destroyed! The Rothschilds will not accept any competition. The first stage of the world’s largest Ponzi scheme succeeded. Next was the removal and eventual suppression of the price of gold, an ongoing activity by central banks.In the 1930’s populism resurfaced in America after Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bank and others profited from the Crash of 1929. House Banking Committee Chairman Louis McFadden (D-NY) said of the Great Depression, “It was no accident. It was a carefully contrived occurrence…The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of us all”.In 1930, The first Rothschild world bank, the, “Bank for International Settlements (BIS),” is established in Basle, Switzerland. Ironically the first president of BIS was the Rockefeller banker Gates J. McGarrah was also Chairman at Federal Reserve and an official at Chase-Manhattan.Historian Carroll Quigley says BIS was part of a plan, “to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole…to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements.” In 1933, Wall Street bankers and financiers including Prescott Bush ofc had bankrolled the successful coups by both Hitler and Mussolini. Brown Brothers Harriman in New York was financing Hitler right up to the day war was declared with Germany.The Wall Street bankers decided that a fascist dictatorship in the United States based on the one on Italy would be far better for their business interests than Roosevelt's "New Deal" which threatened massive wealth re-distribution to recapitalize the working and middle class of America. So the Wall Street tycoons recruited General Butler to lead the overthrow of the US Government and install a "Secretary of General Affairs" who would be answerable to Wall Street and not the people, would crush social unrest and shut down all labor unions. General Butler pretended to go along with the scheme but then exposed the plot to Congress.Congress, then as now in the pocket of the Wall Street bankers, refused to act. When Roosevelt learned of the planned coup he demanded the arrest of the plotters, but the plotters simply reminded Roosevelt that if any one of them were sent to prison, their friends on Wall Street would deliberatly collapse the still-fragile economy and blame Roosevelt for it. Roosevelt was thus unable to act until the start of WW2, at which time he prosecuted many of the plotters under the Trading With The Enemy act. The Congressional minutes into the coup were finally declassified in 1967, but rumors of the attempted coup became the inspiration for the movie, "Seven Days in May" but with the true financial villains erased from the script.When the Weimar Republic collapsed economically, it opened the door for the National Socialists to take power. BIS became a conduit to fund Hitler's Germany in reconstruction and rebuilding their nation. Swiss banking secrecy laws are reformed and it becomes an offence resulting in imprisonment for any bank employee to violate bank secrecy. This is all in preparation for the Rothschild engineered Second World War in which as usual they will fund both sides. Their first financial move was to issue their own state currency which was not borrowed from private central bankers. Freed from having to pay interest on the money in circulation, Germany blossomed and quickly began to rebuild its industry. Once again, Germany's industrial output became a threat to Great Britain."Not the political doctrine of Hitler has hurled us into this war. The reason was the success of his increase in building a new economy. The roots of war were envy, greed and fear." -- Major General J.F.C. Fuller, historian, EnglandGermany's state-issued value based currency was also a direct threat to the wealth and power of the private central banks, and as early as 1933 they started to organize a global boycott against Germany to strangle this upstart ruler who thought he could break free of private central bankers!President Roosevelt takes America into the second world war in 1941 by refusing to sell Japan any more steel scrap or oil. Japan was in the midst of a war against China and without that scrap steel and oil, Japan would be unable to continue that war. Japan was totally dependent upon the United States for both steel scrap and oil. Roosevelt knew this action would provoke the Japanese to attack America, which they subsequently did at Pearl Harbor.Prescott Bush, father of future American Presidents’ George Herbert Walker and George W, has his company seized under the, “Trading With The Enemy,” Act. He was funding Hitler from America, whilst American soldiers were being killed by German soldiers. Jews are also being slaughtered by these same soldiers. Interestingly the ADL never criticizes any of the Bushes for this.Albeft Einstein was of the opinion that the late entry of the US into the war against Germany was because the US was controlled by bankers who were making money off of Hitler.​​​​By the end of second world war all the families wanted a complete financial power shift from Britain to the US. So two further international banks, IMF and the World Bank, were set up along with the second 'League of Nations', United Nations. Only this time these two banks have larger control than BIS so the activity of BIS during war time shall remain in the shadow. The IMF and the World Bank still depend on the Federal Reserve and central banks.The IMF was originally designed to promote international economic cooperation and provide its member countries with short term loans so they could trade with other countries (achieve balance of payments). Since the debt crisis of the 1980's, the IMF has assumed the role of bailing out countries during financial crises (caused in large part by currency speculation in the global casino economy) with emergency loan packages tied to certain conditions, often referred to as structural adjustment policies (SAPs). The IMF now acts like a global loan shark, exerting enormous leverage over the economies of more than 60 countries. These countries have to follow the IMF's policies to get loans, international assistance, and even debt relief. Thus, the IMF decides how much debtor countries can spend on education, health care, and environmental protection. The IMF is one of the most powerful institutions on Earth -- yet few know how it works.​ Best Example is Argentina. Their model was appreciated by IMF and World Bank. Within months they found themselves in huge financial crisis and had them ask for support from IMF/World Bank. Simply they have the power to induce a bad economy in any country at any given time.As President, John F. Kennedy understood the predatory nature of private central banking. He understood why Andrew Jackson fought so hard to end the Second Bank of the United States. So Kennedy wrote and signed Executive Order 11110 which ordered the US Treasury to issue a new public currency, the United States Note. Kennedy's United States Notes were not borrowed from the Federal Reserve but created by the US Government and backed by the silver stockpiles held by the US Government. It represented a return to the system of economics the United States had been founded on, and was perfectly legal for Kennedy to do. All told, some four and one half billion dollars went into public circulation, eroding interest payments to the Federal Reserve and loosening their control over the nation. Five months later John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas, and the United States Notes pulled from circulation and destroyed (except for samples held by collectors).John J. McCloy, President of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and President of the World Bank, was named to the Warren Commission, presumably to make certain the banking dimensions behind the assassination were concealed from the public. The Dulles and Rockefeller families are cousins. Allen Dulles created the CIA, assisted the Nazis, covered up the Kennedy hit from his Warren Commission perch and struck a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood to create mind-controlled assassins. Kennedy's E.O. 11110 has never been repealed and is still in effect, although no modern President dares to use it.Further all the issues regarding the middle East and the oil has had hands from Rockefellers and Rothschilds.I'm too tired to write further more.Sources: Various books and informations collected for months. Please excuse if somethings are wrong.

What was the original agreement between the Sioux and the U.S. government?

Q. What was the original agreement between the Sioux and the U.S. government?A. TL;DR1851 First Fort Laramie Treaty or Treaty of Traverse des Sioux signed between Sioux and US government established land rights and attempted to create peace between white miners traveling to California for the Gold Rush and the Sioux people. The U.S. agreed the Sioux held sovereign rights to the Black Hills and the Sioux agreed to allow railroad and trail passage across these territories in exchange for annual federal payments of $50,000 for 50 years to the tribes. Shortly after the treaty was signed, the U.S. government began erecting several fortified trading posts.Sioux land represented about 5% of the entire continental US - covering most of the present-day states of North and South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming.1868 Fort Laramie Treaty (XVII Articles) brought peace between the Sioux and the US government by guaranteeing that the Sioux had "absolute and undisturbed use of the Great Sioux Reservation...No persons...shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in territory described in this article, or without consent of the Indians...No treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation herein described...shall be of any validity or force...unless executed and signed by at least three-fourth of all adult male Indians, occupying or interested in the same."This treaty proved to be one of the most controversial in the history of US-Indian relations - it ended the war between the Sioux and the U.S. government, split the Oglala nation into those "friendlies" willing to work with the U.S. government and the "hostiles" with whom the U.S. banned trade, and set the legal stage for Sioux claims to the Black Hills that continue into the 21st Century.The Federal Government and the Lakota Sioux (Chronology of Exploits)Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851 (First Fort Laramie Treaty)Sioux Treaty of 1868Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) - WikipediaThe Federal Government and the Lakota Sioux (Chronology of Exploits)1851 First Fort Laramie Treaty signed between Sioux and US government established land rights and attempted to create peace between white miners traveling to California for the Gold Rush and the Sioux people. The U.S. agreed the Sioux held sovereign rights to the Black Hills and the Sioux agreed to allow railroad and trail passage across these territories in exchange for annual federal payments of $50,000 for 50 years to the tribes. Shortly after the treaty was signed, the U.S. government began erecting several fortified trading posts.Sioux land represented about 5% of the entire continental US - covering most of the present-day states of North and South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming.1852 U.S. government violated the 1851 treaty. The U.S. Senate decreased the annual payment of $50,000 to the Sioux people from 50 years to 10 years.1862 Gold found in Montana. The US began building the Bozeman Trail through Sioux territory as well as army forts along the trail - both actions being in direct contravention of the 1851 Fort Laramie treaty.1866 Sioux Indians attacked a supply train traveling on the Bozeman Trail on December 21st. Soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel William Fetterman retaliated but all 80 soldiers were killed by a small Sioux army led by Red Cloud. General Sherman's response on behalf of the U.S. Army was, "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children." The Indians called the Fetterman Massacre the Battle of 100-In-The-Hands. This map shows the trail, U.S. forts, and the site of the Fetterman Massacre.1867 Congress passed a bill for an Indian peace commission to be lead by Lieutenant General William T. Sherman. Government negotiators were to offer $15,000 annual annuites for tribes of 5,000 or 6,000 people if they would remove themselves from the traditional Sioux homelands in the Great Plains - the Powder River Country. During negotiations between government officials and Oglala chief Red Cloud (pictured to the right),Red Cloud walked out of the meeting declaring: "The Great Father sends us presents and wants us to sell him the road, but the White Chief comes with soldiers to steal it before the Indian says yes or no! I will talk with you no more! I will go - now! - and I will fight you! As long as I live I will fight you for the last hunting grounds of my people."Thus began the Powder River War (Red Cloud's War) as the Lakotas and their Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho allies fought the U.S. Army at the various forts in Lakota territory. Those Sioux friendly to the U.S. government, however, signed a treaty giving Euro-Americans the right to use the Bozeman Trail in return for guns and ammuition. Soon thereafter, the U.S. Army began building more forts along the Trail.At the Grand Council of 6,000 tribes at Bear Butte, the sacred mountain of the Cheyenne, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull, among other great leaders, pledged to end further encroachment of Sioux territory by the whites.1868 Fort Laramie Treaty brought peace between the Sioux and the US government by guaranteeing that the Sioux had "absolute and undisturbed use of the Great Sioux Reservation...No persons...shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in territory described in this article, or without consent of the Indians...No treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation herein described...shall be of any validity or force...unless executed and signed by at least three-fourth of all adult male Indians, occupying or interested in the same."This treaty proved to be one of the most controversial in the history of US-Indian relations - it ended the war between the Sioux and the U.S. government, split the Oglala nation into those "friendlies" willing to work with the U.S. government and the "hostiles" with whom the U.S. banned trade, and set the legal stage for Sioux claims to the Black Hills that continue into the 21st Century.1874 Gold discovered in the Black Hills and white miners began trespassing on Lakota hunting grounds in the Black Hills. An expedition began into the Black Hills led by George Armstrong Custer. In the photo below, Custer poses with his Indian scouts during the Black Hills expedition. The man pointing to the map was named "Bloody Knife," a member of the Cree tribe.Kneeling Bloody Knife next to seated George Custer1875 Federal government tried to buy the Black Hills for $5 million. The Sioux refused to meet with the government commission.On December 3, 1875, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs required that all Sioux people report to their agency by January 31, 1876 for a head count.1876 On February 7, the War Department authorized General Sheridan to move into Indian lands and round up the "hostile Sioux" who had not reported to their agency. The first attack happened on March 17 - sooner than the Sioux were expecting - thus escalating hostilities that culminated in the Battle of Little Big Horn on June 17 - also known as Custer's Last Stand. The battle occurred after General Custer and the 7th Calvary attacked a Sioux camp. Custer and all his men were killed in what was the largest defeat ever of a U.S. force by Native Americans. Afterwards, Congress voted funds for two new forts along the Yellowstone River, authorized 2,500 new recruits to be sent to Sioux country, and moved control over reservations from the Indian Bureau into the hands of the U.S. Army.In August, Congress passed the Sioux Appropriation Bill stating that “hereafter there shall be no appropriation made for the subsistence” of the Sioux, unless they first relinquished their rights to the hunting grounds outside the reservation and ceded the Black Hills to the United States. Red Cloud's Oglala band signed, after which all of his followers were disarmed and dehorsed.1877 Congressional Act of 1877 violated the Fort Laramie Treaty by requiring the Sioux to relinquish the Black Hills and 22.8 million acres of their surrounding territory. In less than 20 years, the Sioux Nation shrunk from 134 million acres to less than 15 million.1889 After the Sioux refused to sell 9 million additional acres of their reservation to the US government, Congress passed the Sioux Act. The Act redefined the requested 9 million acres as "surplus lands" open to white settlement under the Dawes Act and divided the Lakotas into five separate reservations: Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Upper and Lower Brule. The remaining land was given to the new states of North and South Dakota. Any Indians who refused to be confined to reservations were declared "hostile." The 9 million acres was then opened up for public purchase for white ranchers and homesteaders.1890 The Battle at Wounded Knee occurred after U.S. Army was sent to Pine Ridge Reservation to quell Sioux participation in the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance originated with Wovoka of the Paiutes who reported that God told him in a dream that if Indians danced for five days, they could meet their departed ancestors. After their reunion, the dead relatives would come back to life and help to save the Sioux from the evils of white domination. To the Indians, the Ghost Dance offered hope and a chance for survival; to the U.S. Army, the dance symbolized resistance and the possibility of Indian rebellion.On December 29, 1890, Sioux Chief Big Foot met four cavalry units which were under orders to capture him. The Sioux raised a white flag to signal their promise not to fight. They were taken to an army camp at Wounded Knee Creek where they were ordered to give up their weapons. The medicine man, Yellow Bird, started the Ghost Dance, urging his tribesmen to join him by chanting in Sioux, "The bullets will not go toward you." When one young Indian refused to give up his rifle, confusion ensued during which several braves pulled rifles from their blankets, and the soldiers opened fire. At least 150 Indian men, women, and children were left dead; as many as 300 may have perished when the wounded died soon thereafter. The Seventh Calvary, Custer's avenged regiment, received 23 Congressional medals of honor for their involvement at Wounded Knee.1896 On February 22, 1897, President Grover Cleveland established the Black Hills Forest Reserve. This land was protected against fires, wasteful lumbering practices, and timber fraud. In 1905, the Black Hills Forest Reserve was transferred to the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1907, it was renamed the Black Hills National Forest.1910 The Sioux Reservation was further reduced with the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations losing more land to white homesteaders.1918 The Lakota Sioux hired an attorney who sought the return of the Black Hills under the Treaty of 1868. Thus began the longest lawsuit in American history.1923 The Lakota Sioux filed suit with the US Court of Claims demanding compensation for the loss of the Black Hills. It was not until 1942 that the Court finally dismissed the claim.1946 The Sioux filed suit with the newly-created Indian Claims Commission. In 1954, the Commission dismissed the case on the grounds that it had already been denied.1956 Sioux reinstated their claim to the Indian Claims Commission on the grounds that they had been represented by "inadequate counsel."1973 The American Indian Movement (AIM) began the first organized extralegal battle for the Black Hills. AIM occupied Wounded Knee Cemetery on Pine Ridge Reservation to alert the world about the vested economic interest the U.S. government held in the Hills and the extent to which that interest governed U.S. governmental policy and federal court cases regarding their land. (For a detailed understanding of the upheaval at the Pine Ridge Reservation between 1973 and 1975, as well as the aftermath, click here.)1974 The Indian Claims Commission decided that the US government had taken Sioux land in violation of the 5th Amendment because it had not paid just compensation, and subsequently awarded the Sioux $17.5 million (the estimated "value" of the land at the time it was misappropriated) plus 5% simple interest calculated annually since 1877 - for a total of $105 million. The US government appealed and the Court of Claims reversed the decision on the grounds that the claim had already been litigated and decided in 1942. However, it also found that "a more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history."1978 Congress passed an act enabling the Court of Claims to rehear the case. Sioux argued that they should be compensated on new grounds - "dishonorable dealings."1979 The U.S. Court of Claims found that the 1877 Act that seized the Black Hills from the Sioux violated the 5th Amendment. The US had taken the Black Hills unconstitutionally and court reinstated the $17.5 million plus 5% interest for a total of $105 million. The US government appealed.1980 In the United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the US Supreme Court found that the Congressional Act of 1877 constituted "a taking of tribal property which had been set aside by the treaty of Fort Laramie for the Sioux's exclusive occupation." The $105 million award was upheld. The Sioux then turned down the money, claimed that "The Black Hills are not for sale." Instead, they demanded that the US government return the Black Hills and pay the money as compensation for the billions of dollars in wealth that had been extracted and the damages down while whites illegally occupied the Hills.AIM, under direction of Russell Means, occupied an 880 acre area in the Black Hills which became known as Yellow Thunder Camp. The U.S. government sued AIM, claiming that they must leave federal property. AIM counter-sued, arguing that U.S. Forest Service policies in the Black Hills violated the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and Lakota religious freedom under both the First Amendment and the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA).1983 The Black Hills Steering Committee was created and its members drafted a bill for Congress that asked for 7,300,000 acres of federal land in the Black Hills in South Dakota. The Committee promised to keep all federal employees working in the Black Hills.1985 U.S. District Court Judge ruled in favor of AIM, arguing that the Lakota had every right to the Yellow Thunder Camp, particularly because AIRFA recognized entire geographic areas as well as specific sites to be sacred areas.1988 The Eighth Circuit Court reversed the U.S. District Court's decision. AIM ended its occupation of Yellow Thunder Camp.1995 Controversy erupted when the U.S. National Park Service asked climbers to consider not climbing Devil's Tower in the Black Hills during the month of June to honor the Lakota's spiritual traditions. A local climbing company and several climbers sued the National Parks Service by arguing that the Park Service's actions violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. which prohibits the government from sponsoring, supporting, or becoming entangled in religious affairs.A Wyoming judge decided that the Park's policy was an "endorsement" of one religion over another and delivered a court injunction on the Park's policy. The Park Service appealed.1999 Upon appeal, the United States Court of Appeal determined that the Park's policy was not an endorsement, but rather was an "accommodation." The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.2000 The U.S. Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's appeal of the 10th Circuit ruling, thus upholding the appellate court’s decision as final. Nonetheless, climbing was allowed to resume. However, National Park Policy requires that during June, rangers ask climbers to voluntarily refrain from climbing on the Tower and hikers to voluntarily refrain from scrambling within the inside of the Tower Trail Loop2007 On December 19, a small group of activists calling itself the Lakotah Freedom Delegation announced that the Lakotah were withdrawing from all treaties previously signed with the United States and were planning to regain their sovereignty over thousands of acres of traditional territory in North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. According to the group, the withdrawal immediately and irrevocably ended all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming. The group argued that their declaration of independence was not a secession from the United States, but rather a reassertion of sovereignty. Their leader is Russell Means, one of the prominent members of the American Indian Movement in the late 1960's and 1970's.Property ownership in the five-state area of Lakota nation - parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana - had been illegally homesteaded. Lakota representatives announced that if the United States did not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens would be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property.2008 Indian activists ask that the 23 Medals of DIS Honor awarded in 1890 to the members of the 7th Calvary of the United States Army be rescinded for the murder of innocent women children and men at Wounded Knee.2009 Internal conflicts about the Black Hills claim erupted among the Sioux. Some tribal members have hired a lawyer and have filed suit to receive the money rather than the land as compensation. This has caused a great deal of animosity among tribal members, some who feel that taking money for the Black Hills was the equivalent of giving up their identities as Indians.2012 The monetary compensation gained through the longest legal battle in U.S. history remained unclaimed; the settlement is now worth about $1 billion. The map to the left shows the orginal land promised by the 1868 treaty (gold), the land - including the Black Hills - illegally taken by the U.S. government in the 1877 (orange), and the Lakota reservations as they appeared after 100 years of court actions (brown).Pine Ridge Reservation, home to many of the Lakota people, is one of the poorest communities in the United States.Transcript of "America's native prisoners of war"Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851Eric W. WeberCite Weber, Eric. "Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851 (accessed March 15, 2018).Painting by Frank B. Mayer, a witness to the negotiations and signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. Painted in 1885.The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux of 1851 is an agreement between the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Dakota and the U.S. government. It transferred ownership of much of southern and western Minnesota from the Dakota to the United States. Along with the Treaty of Mendota, signed that same year, it opened twenty-four million acres of land to settler-colonists. For the Dakota, these treaties marked another step in the process that saw them increasingly marginalized in and dismissed from land that was their home.During the early decades of the 1800s, white immigrants began moving west of the St. Croix River into land held by American Indians. Though their numbers were relatively small at first, they were eager to use the land for farming and industry. They wanted to move further west, deeper into Indian lands. Influential men, including Alexander Ramsey and Henry Sibley, convinced the U.S. government to negotiate the purchase of land from American Indian groups living in the region. Through this transaction, Ramsey and Sibley also hoped to recoup debts that fur traders claimed various Indian bands owed to them.By 1850, both the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Dakota were in a difficult situation. Animals that they had hunted for food and trade were not abundant enough to support their people anymore. Some groups saw selling their land as a way to gain resources they needed to survive. A land cession treaty, with guaranteed annuity payments, could help them through these tough times and, for some Dakota, offered a way to rebuild their communities.In July 1851, Sibley, Ramsey, and federal commissioner Luke Lea chose Traverse des Sioux as the site for treaty negotiations. It took several weeks for enough representatives of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands to arrive. Once they had arrived, however, it did not take long to come to an agreement. The Dakota were in a very weak bargaining position because they believed that if they did not sell their land, the United States would take it. Negotiations took several days, and some Dakota leaders initially resisted the demands made by the commissioners because they asked for so much. Ultimately however, the Dakota gave in.On July 23, the Dakota signed the treaty with the government commissioners. The Treaty had three primary results. First, it ceded much of the southern and western portion of Minnesota to the U.S. for about seven and a half cents an acre. Second, it provided for a reservation of ten miles on each side of the Minnesota River. Finally, the treaty arranged for payment to the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands for the land they had ceded. They were to receive a portion of the money immediately. Some funds were set aside for the construction of schools and other services. The rest was to be placed in an account managed by the federal government. From that account, the bands were to receive an annual interest payment in both cash and goods.After the Dakota leaders had signed two copies of the treaty, they were directed to a third piece of paper held by Joseph R. Brown, a prominent fur trader. All but two of them also signed this agreement. The paper, known as the Traders' Paper, directed the government to pay off various debts claimed by white and mixed-race fur traders using the money owed to the bands from the treaty. This repayment method was common at the time, and the Dakota, given the chance, would perhaps have agreed to it. However, the deceptive methods that Brown and other traders used to get the leaders to sign angered the Dakota. No one read the paper aloud or translated it for the Dakota, many of whom believed it to be another copy of the treaty. Many Dakota felt cheated by this process, and they added this incident to a growing list of reasons to distrust the federal government.Following the treaty, Sibley, Ramsey, and Lea negotiated a similar treaty at Mendota with other Dakota bands, which was signed on August 5. In the decade after the signing of these treaties, over 100,000 white immigrants moved to Minnesota to live on the land that Indigenous peoples had ceded.CiteWeber, Eric. "Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851." MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851 (accessed March 15, 2018).© Minnesota Historical SocietySioux Treaty of 1868Spotted Tail, Sinte Gleska, Sicangu or Brulé Lakota Sioux Chief of Great Renown, about 1880.Background"This war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land from us without price."--Spotted TailThe report and journal of proceedings of the commission appointed to obtain certain concessions from the Sioux Indians, December 26, 1876The history of Native Americans in North America dates back thousands of years. Exploration and settlement of the western United States by Americans and Europeans wreaked havoc on the Indian peoples living there. In the 19th century the American drive for expansion clashed violently with the Native American resolve to preserve their lands, sovereignty, and ways of life. The struggle over land has defined relations between the U.S. government and Native Americans and is well documented in the holdings of the National Archives. (From the American Originals exhibit script.)From the 1860s through the 1870s the American frontier was filled with Indian wars and skirmishes. In 1865 a congressional committee began a study of the Indian uprisings and wars in the West, resulting in a Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes , which was released in 1867. This study and report by the congressional committee led to an act to establish an Indian Peace Commission to end the wars and prevent future Indian conflicts. The United States government set out to establish a series of Indian treaties that would force the Indians to give up their lands and move further west onto reservations.In the spring of 1868 a conference was held at Fort Laramie, in present day Wyoming, that resulted in a treaty with the Sioux. This treaty was to bring peace between the whites and the Sioux who agreed to settle within the Black Hills reservation in the Dakota Territory.The Black Hills of Dakota are sacred to the Sioux Indians. In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer's detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.The DocumentsSioux Treaty of 1868Click to EnlargeView Pages: 1 | 2 | 3National Archives Identifier: 299803General Alfred Terry's TelegramClick to EnlargeView Pages:Endorsement1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 910 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 1617 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21National Archives Identifier: 300379Letter from Captain John S. PolandClick to EnlargeView Pages: Endorsement | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6National Archives Identifier: 301973Selected Photographs of Custer's 1874 Expedition 519425Click to EnlargeColumn of Cavalry, Artillery, and Wagons, 1874National Archives Identifier: 519427This article was written by Linda Darus Clark, a teacher at Padua Franciscan High School, in Parma, OH.Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) - WikipediaThe Treaty of Fort Laramie (also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868 was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation signed on April 29, 1868 at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, guaranteeing the Lakota ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all whites. The treaty ended Red Cloud's War.BackgroundMap showing the major battles of Red Cloud's War along with major treaty boundariesThe first Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed in 1851, attempted to resolve disputes between tribes and the US Government, as well as among tribes themselves, in the modern areas of Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. It set out that the tribes would make peace among one another, allow for certain outside access to their lands (for activities such as travelling, surveying, and the construction of some government outposts and roads), and that tribes would be responsible for wrongs committed by their people. In return, the US Government would offer protection to the tribes, and pay an annuity of $50,000 over 10 to 15 years. However, the 1851 treaty had a number of shortcomings which contributed to the deterioration of relations and subsequent violence over the next several years. The federal government never kept its obligation to protect tribal resources and hunting grounds, and only made a single payment toward the annuity. Although the federal government operated via representative democracy, the tribes did so through consensus, and although local chiefs signed the treaty as representatives, they had limited power to control others who themselves had not consented to its terms. Finally, the discovery of gold in the west, and the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad led to substantially increased travel through the area, and conflicts between the tribes, settlers, and the US government, and eventually open war beginning in 1866.Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) Native American ImagesIndian Peace CommissionThat year the United States Department of the Interior called on tribes to negotiate safe passage through the Bozeman Trail, while the United States Department of War moved Henry B. Carrington along with a column of 700 men into the Powder River Basin, sparking Red Cloud's War. After losing resolve to continue the war, following defeat in the Fetterman Fight, sustained guerrilla warfare by the Native Americans, exorbitant rates for freight through the area, and difficulty finding contractors to work the rail lines, the US Government, organized the Indian Peace Commission to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities.A peace counsel chosen by the government arrived on April 19, 1868, at Fort Laramie in what would later become the US state of Wyoming.ArticlesThe treaty was laid out in a series of 17 articles:Article IArticle one called for the cessation of hostilities, stating "all war between the parties to this agreement shall for ever cease." If crimes were committed by "bad men" among white settlers, the government agreed to arrest and punish the offender, and reimburse any losses suffered by injured parties. The tribes agreed to turn over criminals among them, any "bad men among the Indians," to the government for trial and punishment, and to reimburse any losses by suffered by injured parties.These terms effectively relinquished the authority of the tribes to punish crimes committed against them by white settlers. It also provided that if the tribes failed to deliver their wrongdoers to the government, the government was authorized to reimburse losses out of annuities owed to the tribe.Similar provisions appeared in nine such treaties between the government and tribes. In practice, the "bad men among the whites" clause was seldom enforced. The first plaintiff to win a trial case on the provision did so in 2009, based on the provision in the 1868 Fort Laramie treaty.Article IIFront page of 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, from US Government archivesArticle two of the treaty changed the boundaries for tribal land and established the Great Sioux Reservation, to include areas of present day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, which included the Black Hills, and set aside for the "absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians". In total, it set aside about 25% of the Dakota Territory as it exited at the time.It made the total lands smaller and moved it further eastward. This was to "take away access to the prime buffalo herds that occupied the area and encourage the Sioux to become farmers."The government agreed that no parties, other than those authorized by the treaty, would be allowed to "pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory".According to one source writing on article two, "What remained unstated in the treaty, but would have been obvious to Sherman and his men, is that land not place in the reservation was to be considered United States property, and not Indian territory."Article IIIArticle three provided for allotments of up to 160 acres (65 ha) of tillable land to be set aside for farming by members of the tribes.By 1871, 200 farms of 80 acres (32 ha) and 200 farms of 40 40 acres (16 ha) had been established including 80 homes. By 1877, this had risen to 153 homes "50 of which had shingle roofs and most had board floors" according to an 1876 report by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.Article IVThe government agreed to build a number of buildings on the reservation: Warehouse, Store-room, Agency Building, Physician residence, Carpenter residence, Farmer residence, Blacksmith residence, Miller residence, Engineer residence, School house and Saw mill.Article four also provided for the establishment of an agency on the reservation for the purpose of government administration, although in practice, five were constructed and two more later added. These original five were composed of the Grand River Agency (Later Standing Rock), Cheyenne River Agency, Whetstone Agency, Crow Creek Agency, and Lower Brulé Agency. Another would be set up on the White River, and another on the North Platte River, later moved to also be on the White.Article VThe government agreed the agent for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and keep his office open to complaints, which he will investigate and forward to the Commissioner. The decision of the Commissioner, subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior, "shall be binding on the parties".Article VIArticle six laid out provisions for members of the tribes to take legal individual ownership of previously commonly held land, up to 320 acres (130 ha) for the heads of families, and 80 acres (32 ha) for any adult who was not the head of a family.This land then "may be occupied and held in the exclusive possession of the person selecting it, and of his family, so long as he or they may continue to cultivate it."Article VIIArticle seven addressed education for those aged six to 16, in order to, as the treaty states, "insure the civilization of the Indians entering into this treaty".The tribes agreed to compel both male and females to attend school, and the government agreed to provide a schoolhouse and teacher for every 30 students who could be made to attend.Article VIIIIn article eight, the government agreed to provide seeds, tools, and training for any of the residents who selected tracts of land, and agreed to farm them. This was to be in the amount of up to $100 dollars worth for the first year, and up to $25 worth for the second and third years.These were one of a number of provisions of the treaty designed to encourage farming, rather than hunting, and move the tribes "closer to the white man's way of life."Article IXAfter ten years the government may withdraw the individuals from article 13, but if so, will provide $10,000 annually "devoted to the education of said Indians ... as will best promote the education and moral improvement of said tribes." These are to be managed by a local Indian agent under the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.Article XArticle 10 provided for an allotment of clothes, and food, in addition to one "good American cow" and two oxen for each lodge or family who moved to the reservation.It further provided for an annual payment over 30 years of $10 for each person who hunted, and $20 for those who farmed, to be used by the Secretary of the Interior for the "purchase of such articles as from time to time the condition and necessities of the Indians may indicate to be proper."Article XIOne of the signature pages from the treaty, including X marks for the tribal leaders, as a substitute for signed namesArticle eleven included several provisions stating the tribes agreed to withdraw opposition to the construction of railroads, military posts and roads, and will not attack or capture white settlers or their property. The government agreed to reimburse the tribes for damages caused in the construction of works on the reservation, in the amount assessed by "three disinterested commissioners" appointed by the President.It guaranteed the tribes access to the area to the north and west of the Black Hills[c] as hunting grounds, "so long as the buffalo may range thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase."As one source examined the treaty language with regard to "so long as the buffalo may range", the tribes considered this language to be a perpetual guarantee, because "they could not envision a day when buffalo would not roam the plains"; however:The concept was clear enough to the commissioners … [who] well knew that hide hunters, with Sherman’s blessing, were already beginning the slaughter that would eventually drive the Indians to complete dependence on the government for their existence.Article XIIArticle seven required the agreement of "three-fourths of all the adult male Indians" for a treaty with the tribes to "be of any validity".Hedren reflected on article 12 writing that the provisions indicated the government "already anticipated a time when different needs would demand the abrogation of the treaty terms."These provisions have since been controversial, since subsequent treaties amending that of 1868 did not include the required agreement of three-fourths of adult males, and so under the terms of 1868, are invalid.Article XIIIThe government agreed to furnish the tribes with a "physician, teachers, carpenter, miller, engineer, farmer, and blacksmiths".Article XIVThe government agreed to provide $100 in prizes for those who "in the judgment of the agent may grow the most valuable crops for the respective year."Article XVOnce the promised buildings were constructed, the tribes agreed to regard the reservation as their "permanent home" and make "no permanent settlement elsewhere"Article XVIArticle 16 stated that country north of the North Platte River and east of the Big Horn Mountains would be "unceded Indian territory" that no white settlers could occupy without the consent of the tribes.This included 33,000,000 acres (13,000,000 ha) of land outside the reservation which were previously set aside by the 1851 treaty, as well as around an additional 25,000,000 acres (10,000,000 ha).As part of this, the government agreed to close the forts associated with the Bozeman Trail. Article 16 did not however, address issues related to important hunting grounds north and northwest of the reservation.Article XVIIThe treaty, as agreed to "shall be construed as abrogating and annulling all treaties and agreements heretofore entered into."SigningOver the course of 192 days ending November 6, the treaty was signed by a total of 156 Sioux, and 25 Arapaho, in addition to the commissioners, and an additional 34 signatories as witnesses.Although the commissioners signed the document on April 29 along with the Brulé, the party broke up in May, with only two remaining at Fort Laramie to conclude talks there, before traveling up the Missouri River to gather additional signatures from tribes elsewhere.Throughout this process, no further amendments were made to the terms. As one writer phrased it, "the commissioners essientially cycled Sioux in and out of Fort Laramie ... seeking only the formality of the chiefs' marks and forgoing true agreement in the spirit that the Indians understood it." ChiefsMembers of the Peace Commission at Fort Laramie, 1868Following initial negotiations, those from the Peace Commission did not discuss the conditions of the treaty to subsequent tribes who arrived over the following months to sign. Rather, the treaty was read aloud, and it was allowed "some time for the chiefs to speak" before "instructing them to place their marks on the prepared document."As the source continues:These tribes had little interest in or understanding of what had taken place at the Fort Laramie councils. They wanted the whites out of their country and would fight as long as necessary.The process of abandoning the forts associated with the Bozeman Trail, as part of the conditions agreed to, proved to be a long process, and was stalled by difficulty arranging the sale of the goods from the fort to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Fort C.F. Smith was not emptied until July 29, and Fort Phil Kearny and Fort Reno until August 1. Once abandoned, Red Cloud and his followers, who had been monitoring the activities of the troops rode down and burned what remained.The peace commission dissolved on October 10 after presenting its report to Congress, which among other things, recommended the government "cease to recognize the Indian tribes as domestic dependent nations," and that no further "treaties shall be made with any Indian tribe."William Dye, the commander at Fort Laramie was left to represent the commission, and met with Red Cloud, who was among the last to sign the treaty on November 6.The government remained unwilling to negotiate the terms further, and after two days, Red Cloud is reported to have "washed his hands with the dust of the floor" and signed, formally ending the war.The US Senate ratified the treaty on Feb. 16, 1869.SignatoriesNotable signatories presented in the order they signed are as follows. Two exceptions are included. Henderson was a commissioner, but did not sign the treaty. Red Cloud was among the last to sign, but is listed out-of-order along with the other Oglala.CommissionersNathaniel Green Taylor, Commissioner of Indian AffairsWilliam Tecumseh Sherman, then lieutenant general, US ArmyWilliam S. Harney, then brevetted as major general, US ArmyJohn B. Sanborn, former general, US Army, and former member of a previous peace commission organized by Alfred SullySamuel F. Tappan, journalist, abolitionist, and activist who rose to prominence after investigating the Sand Creek massacreChristopher C. Augur, then brevetted as major general, and director of the Department of the PlatteAlfred Terry, then brevetted as major general, US ArmyJohn B. Henderson, then US Senator and Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Indian AffairsChiefs and headmenBruléIron ShellSpotted TailWhite BullOglalaYoung Man Afraid Of His HorsesSitting BullAmerican HorseBlue HorseRed CloudMiniconjouLone HornSpotted ElkBig EagleYanctonaisLittle SoldierRed HorseLittle ShieldAftermath and legacyMap of the 1868 Great Sioux Reservation, and the subsequent changes in reservation borders. Although the treaty required the consent of three fourth of the males of the tribes, many did not sign or recognize the results. Others would later complain that the treaty contained complex language that was not well explained in order to avoid arousing suspicion.Yet others would not fully learn the terms of the agreement until 1870, when Red Cloud returned from a trip to Washington D.C.The treaty overall, and in comparison with the 1851 agreement, represented a departure from earlier considerations of tribal customs, and demonstrated instead the government's "more heavy-handed position with regard to tribal nations, and ... desire to assimilate the Sioux into American property arrangements and social customs."According to one source, "animosities over the treaty arose almost immediately" when a group of Miniconjou were informed they were no long welcome to trade at Fort Laramie, being south of their newly establish territory. This was notwithstanding that the treaty did not make any stipulation that the tribes could not travel outside their land, only that they would not permanently occupy outside land, and only expressly forbid the traveling of white settlers on the reservation.Both the tribes and the government chose to ignore portions of the treaty, or to "comply only as long as conditions met their favor," and between 1869 and 1876, at least seven separate skirmishes occurred.The government eventually broke the terms of the treaty following the Black Hills Gold Rush and an expedition into the area by George Armstrong Custer in 1874, and failed to prevent white settlers from moving onto tribal lands. Rising tensions eventually lead again to open conflict in the Great Sioux War of 1876.The 1868 treaty would be modified three times by the US Congress between 1876 and 1889, each time taking more land originally granted, including unilaterally seizing the Black Hills in 1877.However, as of 2018, Congress does not recognize these subsequent modifications.United States v. Sioux Nation of IndiansOn June 30, 1980, in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the government had illegally taken the land. It upheld an award of $15.5 million for the market value of the land in 1877, along with 103 years worth of interest at 5 percent, for an additional $105 million. The Lakota Sioux, however, have refused to accept payment and instead continue to demand the return of the territory from the United States. As of 24 August 2011 the Sioux interest on the money has compounded to over 1 billion dollars.CommemorationMarking the 150th anniversary of the treaty, the South Dakota Legislature passed Senate Resolution 1, reaffirming the legitimacy of the treaty, and according to the original text, illustrating to the federal government that the Sioux are "still here" and are "seeking a future of forward-looking, positive relationships with full respect for the sovereign status of Native American nations confirmed by the treaty."On March 11, 2018, the Governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead signed a similar bill into law, calling on "the federal government to uphold its federal trust responsibilities," and calling for a permanent display of the original treaty, on file with the National Archives and Records Administration, in the Wyoming Legislature.See alsoBlack Hills Land Claim, ongoing dispute between the Sioux and the US GovernmentDakota Access Pipeline, underground oil pipeline, opposed by some Sioux based on the terms of the 1851 and 1868 treatiesIndian Appropriations Act, series of legislation passed by the US government related to tribal landsFort Laramie Treaty of 1868American Indian Rights And Treaties – The Story Of The 1868 Treaty Of Fort Laramie, video from Insider ExclusiveFort Laramie Treaty: Case Study from the National Museum of the American IndianCollection of Photographs by Alexander Gardner (photographer), from his travels with the Peace Commission at Fort Laramie in 1868, from the Minnesota Historical SocietyBlack Hills of South Dakota and WyomingThe signing of a peace treaty by William T. Sherman and the Sioux at Fort Laramie, Wyoming.Describe the agreement the dakota sioux made the U.S. government and the reason for their uprising? ( Answer: Reason for their Uprising -Land dispute between the government and the Siuox Tribe in Minnesota.Agreement-The US set aside two reservations for the Sioux along the Minnesota River, each about 20 miles (30 km) wide and 70 miles (110 km) long.The Upper Sioux Agency was established near Granite Falls, Minnesota, while the Lower Sioux Agency was established about thirty miles downstream near Redwood Falls, Minnesota. The Upper Sioux were satisfied with their reservation, since it included several of their old villages.The Lower Sioux were displaced from their traditional woodlands, and were dissatisfied with their territory. The Sioux were also resentful of the separate "trader's paper" included in the treaty, which paid $400,000 of the promised treaty total to fur traders and mixed-bloods who had financial claims against the Indians.Peace, War, Land and a Funeral: The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868

Why do Russians still miss the Soviet era?

I wasn’t born in Russia. My family comes from another part of Europe. But I have great love for the people of the former USSR. In studying the history of the Soviet Union, I have seen a great and beautiful people who have suffered much.In this video an Englishman who speaks fluent Russian travels to places that tourists often don’t go. Some areas were left to wither after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In some it was as if time itself stopped. In this village there is a monument to those who died during the Great Patriotic War. A small town lost so many people at the hands of the German invaders. Walking through the very thick mud, his feet getting stuck, the narrator is reminded of how that same mud slowed down the Germans, and inevitably would assist in defeating them.This village was nearly abandoned after secondary radiation contamination after Chernobyl. He is warned not to walk alone on the streets at night because of the wolves. Despite being destitute, the people invest in the gravestones of their deceased loved ones. Some of them have photos engraved on them. There is a little bench with a table, so those visiting on a birthday can sit down and have a toast to their deceased loved one. Some leave a shot glass on the headstone, as if their loved ones had a drink too.Throughout history these people have had to be strong to survive the brutal winters, foreign invaders, corrupt governments, famines, and outbreaks. At the beginning of the Soviet Union the revolutionary spirit invigorated the nation. The Soviets brought electrification, jobs, healthcare, education, and hope. But it wasn’t long before there was the bloody war with the White Army, a famine, then WWII, and the long haul of rebuilding once again. But there was hope. Things had improved. During the 1960’s it seemed that maybe the Soviet Union might even prevail over Western imperialism. The space program with Yuri Gargarin united the nation. “We are a people that are so strong we are going to explore the stars!”And then the Party grew more corrupt. The elites were more concerned with themselves and their own power, they grew entitled. Not even pulling the levers of power was enough for them anymore—they wanted to own the factories too. The average person had no say in any of this. As Gorbachev’s “reforms” set in, long lines, shortages of basic goods like toilet paper, the people became demoralized. And to make matters worse dissidents funded by the U.S. and others began a full on assault on the Soviet system. Every day there was a new expose about “Stalin’s atrocities,” “The horrors of the gulag system,” “Solzhenitsyn’s fictional portrayal dressed up as fact,” followed by the Soviet version of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” telling people that if only they surrendered socialism could they live like Western Europeans and Americans. They were told they would be welcomed into NATO and the international community. Any why would they not believe it? Things couldn’t get worse, could they? Not only could they get worse—they did.There are no words to describe the hell that these poor people were tossed into as the oligarchs plundered the public assets and the people were subject to the “Shock Doctrine,” which meant the most vile forms of austerity. The death toll from the collapse of the USSR was in the millions.No wonder 60% of members of the former USSR say they miss it. No wonder 70% of the people regard Stalin as a strong leader, even more than Putin. These people have suffered through unspeakable horrors.Inside Russia’s poorest townThe capital of Moldova is in decay. It was once an important place for people to visit. A huge hotel was built for visiting Soviets. It is now boarded up. When he speaks with older people, they talk about how much they miss the Soviet Union, because things were better then.Forget about wealthy Russians living in Moscow. That might as well be another planet for many of these people. Their lives are objectively worse, and no amount of rubbish about the wonders of “free markets” and capitalism can change that.We Lived Better ThenOver two decades ago Vaclav Havel, the pampered scion of a wealthy Prague family, helped usher in a period of reaction, in which the holdings and estates of former landowners and captains of industry were restored to their previous owners, while unemployment, homelessness, and insecurity—abolished by the Reds– were put back on the agenda. Havel is eulogized by the usual suspects, but not by his numberless victims, who were pushed back into an abyss of exploitation by the Velvet revolution and other retrograde eruptions. With the fall of Communism allowing Havel and his brother to recover their family’s vast holdings, Havel’s life—he worked in a brewery under Communism—became much richer. The same can’t be said for countless others, whose better lives under Communism were swept away by a swindle that will, in the coming days, be lionized in the mass media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s demolition. The anniversary is no time for celebration, except for the minority that has profited from it. For the bulk of us it ought to be an occasion to reflect on what the bottom 99 percent of humanity was able to achieve for ourselves outside the strictures, instabilities and unnecessary cruelties of capitalism.Over the seven decades of its existence, and despite having to spend so much time preparing, fighting, and recovering from wars, Soviet socialism managed to create one of the great achievements of human history: a mass industrial society that eliminated most of the inequalities of wealth, income, education and opportunity that plagued what preceded it, what came after it, and what competed with it; a society in which health care and education through university were free (and university students received living stipends); where rent, utilities and public transportation were subsidized, along with books, periodicals and cultural events; where inflation was eliminated, pensions were generous, and child care was subsidized. By 1933, with the capitalist world deeply mired in a devastating economic crisis, unemployment was declared abolished, and remained so for the next five and a half decades, until socialism, itself was abolished. Excluding the war years, from 1928, when socialism was introduced, until Mikhail Gorbachev began to take it apart in the late 1980s, the Soviet system of central planning and public ownership produced unfailing economic growth, without the recessions and downturns that plagued the capitalist economies of North America, Japan and Western Europe. And in most of those years, the Soviet and Eastern European economies grew faster.The Communists produced economic security as robust (and often more so) than that of the richest countries, but with fewer resources and a lower level of development and in spite of the unflagging efforts of the capitalist world to sabotage socialism. Soviet socialism was, and remains, a model for humanity — of what can be achieved outside the confines and contradictions of capitalism. But by the end of the 1980s, counterrevolution was sweeping Eastern Europe and Mikhail Gorbachev was dismantling the pillars of Soviet socialism. Naively, blindly, stupidly, some expected Gorbachev’s demolition project to lead the way to a prosperous consumer society, in which Soviet citizens, their bank accounts bulging with incomes earned from new jobs landed in a robust market economy, would file into colorful, luxurious shopping malls, to pick clean store shelves bursting with consumer goods. Others imagined a new era of a flowering multiparty democracy and expanded civil liberties, coexisting with public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, a model that seemed to owe more to utopian blueprints than hard-headed reality.Of course, none of the great promises of the counterrevolution were kept. While at the time the demise of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was proclaimed as a great victory for humanity, not least by leftist intellectuals in the United States, two decades later there’s little to celebrate. The dismantling of socialism has, in a word, been a catastrophe, a great swindle that has not only delivered none of what it promised, but has wreaked irreparable harm, not only in the former socialist countries, but throughout the Western world, as well. Countless millions have been plunged deep into poverty, imperialism has been given a free hand, and wages and benefits in the West have bowed under the pressure of intensified competition for jobs and industry unleashed by a flood of jobless from the former socialist countries, where joblessness once, rightly, was considered an obscenity. Numberless voices in Russia, Romania, East Germany and elsewhere lament what has been stolen from them — and from humanity as a whole: “We lived better under communism. We had jobs. We had security.” And with the threat of jobs migrating to low-wage, high unemployment countries of Eastern Europe, workers in Western Europe have been forced to accept a longer working day, lower pay, and degraded benefits. Today, they fight a desperate rearguard action, where the victories are few, the defeats many. They too lived better — once.But that’s only part of the story. For others, for investors and corporations, who’ve found new markets and opportunities for profitable investment, and can reap the benefits of the lower labor costs that attend intensified competition for jobs, the overthrow of socialism has, indeed, been something to celebrate. Equally, it has been welcomed by the landowning and industrial elite of the pre-socialist regimes whose estates and industrial concerns have been recovered and privatized. But they’re a minority. Why should the rest of us celebrate our own mugging?Prior to the dismantling of socialism, most people in the world were protected from the vicissitudes of the global capitalist market by central planning and high tariff barriers. But once socialism fell in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and with China having marched resolutely down the capitalist road, the pool of unprotected labor available to transnational corporations expanded many times over. Today, a world labor force many times larger than the domestic pool of US workers — and willing to work dirt cheap — awaits the world’s corporations. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what the implications are for North American workers and their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan: an intense competition of all against all for jobs and industry. Inevitably, incomes fall, benefits are eroded, and working hours extended. Predictably, with labor costs tumbling, profits grow fat, capital surpluses accumulate and create bubbles, financial crises erupt and predatory wars to secure investment opportunities break out.Growing competition for jobs and industry has forced workers in Western Europe to accept less. They work longer hours, and in some cases, for less pay and without increases in benefits, to keep jobs from moving to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other former socialist countries — which, under the rule of the Reds, once provided jobs for all. More work for less money is a pleasing outcome for the corporate class, and turns out to be exactly the outcome fascists engineered for their countries’ capitalists in the 1930s. The methods, to be sure, were different, but the anti-Communism of Mussolini and Hitler, in other hands, has proved just as useful in securing the same retrograde ends. Nobody who is subject to the vagaries of the labor market – almost all of us — should be glad Communism was abolished.Maybe some us don’t know we’ve been mugged. And maybe some of us haven’t been. Take the radical US historian Howard Zinn, for example, who, along with most other prominent Left intellectuals, greeted the overthrow of Communism with glee [1]. I, no less than others, admired Zinn’s books, articles and activism, though I came to expect his ardent anti-Communism as typical of left US intellectuals. To be sure, in a milieu hostile to Communism, it should come as no surprise that conspicuous displays of anti-Communism become a survival strategy for those seeking to establish a rapport, and safeguard their reputations, with a larger (and vehemently anti-Communist) audience.But there may be another reason for the anti-Communism of those whose political views leave them open to charges of being soft on Communism, and therefore of having horns. As dissidents in their own society, there was always a natural tendency for them to identify with dissidents elsewhere – and the pro-capitalist, anti-socialist propaganda of the West quite naturally elevated dissidents in socialist countries to the status of heroes, especially those who were jailed, muzzled and otherwise repressed by the state. For these people, the abridgement of civil liberties anywhere looms large, for the abridgement of their own civil liberties would be an event of great personal significance. By comparison, the Reds’ achievements in providing a comfortable frugality and economic security to all, while recognized intellectually as an achievement of some note, is less apt to stir the imagination of one who has a comfortable income, the respect of his peers, and plenty of people to read his books and attend his lectures. He doesn’t have to scavenge discarded coal in garbage dumps to eke out a bare, bleak, and unrewarding existence. Some do.Karol, 14, and his sister Alina, 12, everyday trudge to a dump, where mixed industrial waste is deposited, just outside Swietochlowice, in formerly socialist Poland. There, along with their father, they look for scrap metal and second grade coal, anything to fetch a few dollars to buy a meager supply of groceries. “There was better life in Communism,” says Karol’s father, 49, repeating a refrain heard over and over again, not only in Poland, but also throughout the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. “I was working 25 years for the same company and now I cannot find a job – any job. They only want young and skilled workers.” [2] According to Gustav Molnar, a political analyst with the Laszlo Teleki Institute, “the reality is that when foreign firms come here, they’re only interested in hiring people under 30. It means half the population is out of the game.” [3] That may suit the bottom lines of foreign corporations – and the overthrow of socialism may have been a pleasing intellectual outcome for well-fed, comfortable intellectuals from Boston – but it hardly suits that part of the Polish population that must scramble over mountains of industrial waste – or perish. Maciej Gdula, 34, a founding member of the group, Krytyka Polityczna, or Political Critique, complains that many Poles “are disillusioned with the unfulfilled promises of capitalism. They promised us a world of consumption, stability and freedom. Instead, we got an entire generation of Poles who emigrated to go wash dishes.” [4] Under socialism “there was always work for everybody” [5] – at home. And always a place to live, free schools to go to, and doctors to see, without charge. So why was Howard Zinn glad that Communism was overthrown?That the overthrow of socialism has failed to deliver anything of benefit to the majority is plain to see. One decade after counterrevolution skittered across Eastern Europe, 17 former socialist countries were immeasurably poorer. In Russia, poverty had tripled. One child in 10 – three million Russian children – lived like animals, ill-fed, dressed in rags, and living, if they were lucky, in dirty, squalid flats. In Moscow alone, 30,000 to 50,000 children slept in the streets. Life expectancy, education, adult-literacy and income declined. A report by the European Children’s Trust, written in 2000, revealed that 40 percent of the population of the former socialist countries – a number equal to one of every two US citizens – lived in poverty. Infant mortality and tuberculosis were on the rise, approaching Third World levels. The situation, according to the UN, was catastrophic. And everywhere the story was the same. [6, 7, 8, 9]Paul Cockshot points out that:The restoration of the market mechanism in Russia was a vast controlled experiment. Nation, national character and culture, natural resources and productive potential remained the same, only the economic mechanism changed. If Western economists were right, then we should have expected economic growth and living standards to have leapt forward after the Yeltsin shock therapy. Instead the country became an economic basket-case. Industrial production collapsed, technically advanced industries atrophied, and living standards fell so much that the death rate shot up by over a third leading to some 7.7 million extra deaths.For many Russians, life became immeasurably worse.If you were old, if you were a farmer, if you were a manual worker, the market was a great deal worse than even the relatively stagnant Soviet economy of Brezhnev. The recovery under Putin, such as it was, came almost entirely as a side effect of rising world oil prices, the very process that had operated under Brezhnev. [10]While the return of capitalism made life harsher for some, it proved lethal for others. From 1991 to 1994, life expectancy in Russia tumbled by five years. By 2008, it had slipped to less than 60 years for Russian men, a full seven years lower than in 1985 when Gorbachev came to power and began to dismantle Soviet socialism. Today “only a little over half of the ex-Communist countries have regained their pretransition life-expectancy levels,” according to a study published in the medical journal, The Lancet. [11]“Life was better under the Communists,” concludes Aleksandr. “The stores are full of things, but they’re very expensive.” Victor pines for the “stability of an earlier era of affordable health care, free higher education and housing, and the promise of a comfortable retirement – things now beyond his reach.” [12] A 2008 report in the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, noted that “many Russians interviewed said they still grieve for their long, lost country.” Among the grievers is Zhanna Sribnaya, 37, a Moscow writer. Sribnaya remembers “Pioneer camps when everyone could go to the Black Sea for summer vacations. Now, only people with money can take those vacations.” [13]Ion Vancea, a Romanian who struggles to get by on a picayune $40 per month pension says, “It’s true there was not much to buy back then, but now prices are so high we can’t afford to buy food as well as pay for electricity.” Echoing the words of many Romanians, Vancea adds, “Life was 10 times better under (Romanian Communist Party leader Nicolae) Ceausescu.” [14] An opinion poll carried out last year found that Vancea isn’t in the minority. Conducted by the Romanian polling organisation CSOP, the survey found that almost one-half of Romanians thought life was better under Ceauşescu, compared to less than one-quarter who thought life is better today. And while Ceauşescu is remembered in the West as a Red devil, only seven percent said they suffered under Communism. Why do half of Romanians think life was better under the Reds? They point to full employment, decent living conditions for all, and guaranteed housing – advantages that disappeared with the fall of Communism. [15]Next door, in Bulgaria, 80 percent say they are worse off now that the country has transitioned to a market economy. Only five percent say their standard of living has improved. [16] Mimi Vitkova, briefly Bulgaria’s health minister for two years in the mid-90s, sums up life after the overthrow of socialism: “We were never a rich country, but when we had socialism our children were healthy and well-fed. They all got immunized. Retired people and the disabled were provided for and got free medicine. Our hospitals were free.” But things have changed, she says. “Today, if a person has no money, they have no right to be cured. And most people have no money. Our economy was ruined.” [17] A 2009 poll conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that a paltry one in nine Bulgarians believe ordinary people are better off as a result of the transition to capitalism. And few regard the state as representing their interests. Only 16 percent say it is run for the benefit of all people. [18]In the former East Germany a new phenomenon has arisen: Ostalgie, a nostalgia for the GDR. During the Cold War era, East Germany’s relative poverty was attributed to public ownership and central planning – sawdust in the gears of the economic engine, according to anti-socialist mythology. But the propaganda conveniently ignored the fact that the eastern part of Germany had always been less developed than the west, that it had been plundered of its key human assets at the end of World War II by US occupation forces, that the Soviet Union had carted off everything of value to indemnify itself for its war losses, and that East Germany bore the brunt of Germany’s war reparations to Moscow. [19] On top of that, those who fled East Germany were said to be escaping the repression of a brutal regime, and while some may indeed have been ardent anti-Communists fleeing repression by the state, most were economic refugees, seeking the embrace of a more prosperous West, whose riches depended in large measure on a history of slavery, colonialism, and ongoing imperialism—processes of capital accumulation the Communist countries eschewed and spent precious resources fighting against.Today, nobody of an unprejudiced mind would say that the riches promised East Germans have been realized. Unemployment, once unheard of, runs in the double digits and rents have skyrocketed. The region’s industrial infrastructure – weaker than West Germany’s during the Cold War, but expanding — has now all but disappeared. And the population is dwindling, as economic refugees, following in the footsteps of Cold War refugees before them, make their way westward in search of jobs and opportunity. [20] “We were taught that capitalism was cruel,” recalls Ralf Caemmerer, who works for Otis Elevator. “You know, it didn’t turn out to be nonsense.” [21] As to the claim that East Germans have “freedom” Heinz Kessler, a former East German defense minister replies tartly, “Millions of people in Eastern Europe are now free from employment, free from safe streets, free from health care, free from social security.” [22] Still, Howard Zinn was glad communism collapsed. But then, he didn’t live in East Germany.So, who’s doing better? Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright turned president, came from a prominent, vehemently anti-socialist Prague family, which had extensive holdings, “including construction companies, real estate and the Praque Barrandov film studios”. [23] The jewel in the crown of the Havel family holdings was the Lucerna Palace, “a pleasure palace…of arcades, theatres, cinemas, night-clubs, restaurants, and ballrooms,” according to Frommer’s. It became “a popular spot for the city’s nouveau riches to congregate,” including a young Havel, who, raised in the lap of luxury by a governess, doted on by servants, and chauffeured around town in expensive automobiles, “spent his earliest years on the Lucerna’s polished marble floors.” Then, tragedy struck – at least, from Havel’s point of view. The Reds expropriated Lucerna and the family’s other holdings, and put them to use for the common good, rather than for the purpose of providing the young Havel with more servants. Havel was sent to work in a brewery.“I was different from my schoolmates whose families did not have domestics, nurses or chauffeurs,” Havel once wrote. “But I experienced these differences as disadvantage. I felt excluded from the company of my peers.” [24] Yet the company of his peers must not have been to Havel’s tastes, for as president, he was quick to reclaim the silver spoon the Reds had taken from his mouth. Celebrated throughout the West as a hero of intellectual freedom, he was instead a hero of capitalist restoration, presiding over a mass return of nationalized property, including Lucerna and his family’s other holdings.The Roman Catholic Church is another winner. The pro-capitalist Hungarian government has returned to the Roman Catholic Church much of the property nationalized by the Reds, who placed the property under common ownership for the public good. With recovery of many of the Eastern and Central European properties it once owned, the Church is able to reclaim its pre-socialist role of parasite — raking in vast amounts of unearned wealth in rent, a privilege bestowed for no other reason than it owns title to the land. Hungary also pays the Vatican a US$9.2 million annuity for property it has been unable to return. [25] (Note that a 2008 survey of 1,000 Hungarians by the Hungarian polling firm Gif Piackutato found that 60 percent described the era of Communist rule under Red leader Janos Kadar as Hungary’s happiest while only 14 percent said the same about the post-Communist era. [26])The Church, former landowners, and CEOs aside, most people of the former socialist bloc aren’t pleased that the gains of the socialist revolutions have been reversed. Three-quarters of Russians, according to a 1999 poll [27] regret the demise of the Soviet Union. And their assessment of the status quo is refreshingly clear-sighted. Almost 80 percent recognize liberal democracy as a front for a government controlled by the rich. A majority (correctly) identifies the cause of its impoverishment as an unjust economic system (capitalism), which, according to 80 percent, produces “excessive and illegitimate inequalities.” [28] The solution, in the view of the majority, is to return to socialism, even if it means one-party rule. Russians, laments the anti-Communist historian Richard Pipes, haven’t Americans’ taste for multiparty democracy, and seem incapable of being cured of their fondness for Soviet leaders. In one poll, Russians were asked to list the 10 greatest people of all time, of all nations. Lenin came in second, Stalin fourth and Peter the Great came first. Pipes seems genuinely distressed they didn’t pick his old boss, Ronald Reagan, and is fed up that after years of anti-socialist, pro-capitalist propaganda, Russians remain committed to the idea that private economic activity should be restricted, and “the government [needs] to be more involved in the country’s economic life.” [29] An opinion poll which asked Russians which socio-economic system they favor, produced these results.• State planning and distribution, 58%;• Based on private property and distribution, 28%;• Hard to say, 14%. [30]So, if the impoverished peoples of the formerly socialist countries pine for the former attractions of socialism, why don’t they vote the Reds back in? Socialism can’t be turned on with the flick of a switch. The former socialist economies have been privatized and placed under the control of the market. Those who accept the goals and values of capitalism have been recruited to occupy pivotal offices of the state. And economic, legal and political structures have been altered to accommodate private production for profit. True, there are openings for Communist parties to operate within the new multiparty liberal democracies, but Communists now compete with far more generously funded parties in societies in which their enemies have restored their wealth and privileges and use them to tilt the playing field strongly in their favor. They own the media, and therefore are in a position to shape public opinion and give parties of private property critical backing during elections. They spend a king’s ransom on lobbying the state and politicians and running think-tanks which churn out policy recommendations and furnish the media with capitalist-friendly “expert” commentary. They set the agenda in universities through endowments, grants and the funding of special chairs to study questions of interest to their profits. They bring politicians under their sway by doling out generous campaign contributions and promises of lucrative post-political career employment opportunities. Is it any wonder the Reds aren’t simply voted back into power? Capitalist democracy means democracy for the few—the capitalists—not a level-playing field where wealth, private-property and privilege don’t matter.And anyone who thinks Reds can be elected to office should reacquaint themselves with US foreign policy vis-a-vis Chile circa 1973. The United States engineered a coup to overthrow the socialist Salvador Allende, on the grounds that Chileans couldn’t be allowed to make the ”irresponsible” choice of electing a man Cold Warriors regarded as a Communist. More recently, the United States, European Union and Israel, refused to accept the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territories, all the while hypocritically presenting themselves as champions and guardians of democracy.Of course, no forward step will be taken, can be taken, until a decisive part of the population becomes disgusted with and rejects what exists today, and is convinced something better is possible and is willing to tolerate the upheavals of transition. Something better than unceasing economic insecurity, private (and for many, unaffordable) health care and education, and vast inequality, is achievable. The Reds proved that. It was the reality in the Soviet Union, in China (for a time), in Eastern Europe, and today, hangs on in Cuba and North Korea, despite the incessant and far-ranging efforts of the United States to crush it.It should be no surprise that Vaclav Havel, as others whose economic and political supremacy was, for a time, ended by the Reds, was a tireless fighter against socialism, and that he, and others, who sought to reverse the gains of the revolution, were cracked down on, and sometimes muzzled and jailed by the new regimes. To expect otherwise is to turn a blind eye to the determined struggle that is carried on by the enemies of socialism, even after socialist forces have seized power. The forces of reaction retain their money, their movable property, the advantages of education, and above all, their international connections. To grant them complete freedom is to grant them a free hand to organize the downfall of socialism, to receive material assistance from abroad to reverse the revolution, and to elevate the market and private ownership once again to the regulating principles of the economy. Few champions of civil liberties argue that in the interests of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press, that Germans ought to be allowed to hold pro-Nazi rallies, establish a pro-Nazi press, and organize fascist political parties, to return to the days of the Third Reich. To survive, any socialist government, must, of necessity, be repressive toward its enemies, who, like Havel, will seek their overthrow and the return of their privileged positions. This is demonized as totalitarianism by those who have an interest in seeing anti-socialist forces prevail, regard civil and political liberties (as against a world of plenty for all) as the pinnacle of human achievement, or have an unrealistically sanguine view of the possibilities for the survival of socialist islands in a sea of predatory capitalist states.Where Reds have prevailed, the outcome has been far-reaching material gain for the bulk of the population: full employment, free health care, free education through university, free and subsidized child care, cheap living accommodations and inexpensive public transportation. Life expectancy has soared, illiteracy has been wiped out, and homelessness, unemployment and economic insecurity have been abolished. Racial strife and ethnic tensions have been reduced to almost the vanishing point. And inequalities in wealth, income, opportunity, and education have been greatly reduced. Where Reds have been overthrown, mass unemployment, underdevelopment, hunger, disease, illiteracy, homelessness, and racial conflict have recrudesced, as the estates, holdings and privileges of former fat cats have been restored. Communists produced gains in the interest of all humanity, achieved in the face of very trying conditions, including the unceasing hostility of the West and the unremitting efforts of the former exploiters to restore the status quo ante.1. Howard Zinn, “Beyond the Soviet Union,” Znet Commentary, September 2, 1999.2. “Left behind by the luxury train,” The Globe and Mail, March 29, 2000.3. “Support dwindling in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland,” The Chicago Tribune, May 27, 2001.4. Dan Bilefsky, “Polish left gets transfusion of young blood,” The New York Times, March 12, 2010.5. “Support dwindling in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland,” The Chicago Tribune, May 27, 2001.6. “An epidemic of street kids overwhelms Russian cities,” The Globe and Mail, April 16, 2002.7. “UN report says one billion suffer extreme poverty,” World Socialist Web Site, July 28, 2003.8. Associated Press, October 11, 2000.9. “UN report….10. Paul Cockshott, “Book review: Red Plenty by Francis Spufford”, Marxism-Leninism Today, David Stuckler, Lawrence King and Martin McKee, “Mass Privatization and the Post-Communist Mortality Crisis: A Cross-National Analysis,” Judy Dempsey, “Study looks at mortality in post-Soviet era,” The New York Times, January 16, 2009.12. “In Post-U.S.S.R. Russia, Any Job Is a Good Job,” New York Times, January 11, 2004.13. Globe and Mail (Canada), June 9, 2008.14. “Disdain for Ceausescu passing as economy worsens,” The Globe and Mail, December 23, 1999.15. James Cross, “Romanians say communism was better than capitalism”, 21st Century Socialism, October 18, 2010. “Opinion poll: 61% of Romanians consider communism a good idea”, ActMedia Romanian News Agency, September 27, 2010. “Bulgarians feel swindled after 13 years of capitalism,” AFP, December 19, 2002.17. “Bulgaria tribunal examines NATO war crimes,” Workers World, November 9, 2000.18. Matthew Brunwasser, “Bulgaria still stuck in trauma of transition,” The New York Times, November 11, 2009.19. Jacques R. Pauwels, “The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War,” James Lorimer & Company, Toronto, 2002. p. 232-235.20. “Warm, Fuzzy Feeling for East Germany’s Grey Old Days,” New York Times, January 13, 2004.21. “Hard lessons in capitalism for Europe’s unions,” The Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2003.22. New York Times, July 20, 1996, cited in Michael Parenti, “Blackshirts & Reds: Rational Fascism & the Overthrow of Communism,” City Light Books, San Francisco, 1997, p. 118.23. Leos Rousek, “Czech playwright, dissident rose to become president”, The Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2011.24. Dan Bilefsky and Jane Perlez, “Czechs’ dissident conscience, turned president”, The New York Times, December 18, 2011.25. U.S. Department of State, “Summary of Property Restitution in Central and Eastern Europe,” September 10, 2003. “Poll shows majority of Hungarians feel life was better under communism,” May 21, 2008, http://www.politics.hu27. Cited in Richard Pipes, “Flight from Freedom: What Russians Think and Want,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2004.28. Ibid.29. Ibid.30. “Russia Nw”, in The Washington Post, March 25, 2009.Source: We Lived Better ThenWhat the collapse looked likeStalin predicted perfectly what would happen if the USSR collapsed. The result was “The End of History,” as capitalist apologists would claim. Neoliberalism has overtaken the West, but has brought Russia with it.These people greatly miss the Soviet UnionQuorans on the USSR:Michael Buleev:It was monstrous. My parents were representatives of the working intelligentsia - qualified specialists who worked in the defense industry. At the time, we were roughly in the middle class. After the collapse of the Soviet Union was a terrible inflation, rampant crime, hunger, lack of work and lack of prospects for life. This lasted until the arrival of Putin in 1999. Only after this moment the situation in the country stabilized, and then there was a slow rise in living standards. By the way, the collapse of the USSR divided me and my relatives - my cousins and their parents suddenly turned out to be Ukrainians, and I and my parents - Russians. And now, for example, I am banned from entering Ukraine only because I have Russian citizenship. So I haven't seen my cousins in 27 years.Source: Mikhail Buleev's answer to How did the collapse of the Soviet Union affect you?Nick Levin's answer to What was everyday life like for people in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin?Cristian A. Rodriguez's answer to What were the good things done by the Soviet Union?Alexander Finnegan's answer to Is it true that a single mother with one job was able to live well in the Soviet Union?Sergey Bobyk's answer to Do you miss living in the USSR?Jimmy Brown's answer to What was life like in the Soviet Union?Nikolay Pavlov:I was born in 1973 and remember that period quite well. I would say that a lot of problem usually get exaggerated. Also, was the rest of the world totally free of any problems of any sort? Ye,there were things like - again depending on the place - a long queue, years to get you telephone installed (well, we and neighbours get ours easily). The hunting for clothe, goods and food items that people mentioned was mostly driven by the fact that it was rare for a moment. In society with roughly same monetary capabilities that was a way to show up which most people put a big effort to. The number of private cars were perhaps x2 less than Western Europe of that time which I guess again itself was x2 behind USA. Again, the way the life was organized most people lived within walking distance of their job or were provided company run buses. The motivation to have a car was often because of “dacha” (some private piece of land outside of the city, which was quite common).The individual’s future was quite secure, it was easy to find almost any kind job you want and with free education (well, it was not totally free till 1950s or so) . People who choose to just chase money (that was possible if going to Siberian construction sites, achieving good results in work paid not on hours but on quantity, ’ grey’ business) were rather looked at with suspicion. Also, even for low level workers and engineers there was a system set to get paid for inventions and process innovations. Some people could double their income that way. Overall attitude was relatively lay down but of course it does not mean people did not compete e.g. for promotion and such competition would involve some exercises in demagogy (surprisingly similar to modern corporate world). The fact that you would not be immediately terminated from your job if e.g. drunk or you can still easily find another job had obvious negative effect. There was some chance to build your carrier up to the very top starting anywhere - e.g. looking at Soviet leaders most of them were not even from Moscow.Regarding things like ‘freedom of speech’ I would say that certainly modern corporate world gives you way more narrow way (talking post-Stalin mostly). The bosses were rather limited in a way they can screw you up while there were more way for the opposite. Note that is not necessary good thing regarding overall efficiency of the company.And one has to say overall standards of living were not too bad. E.g. there was a lot of long distance flights for vacations,etc. Regarding food - yes the choices were smaller but in principle if you desperately want something there were ways to get almost anything if paying extra. And general obesity was an issue already back then.But let’s face the question - why this topic bring interest more than 25 years after?We obviously see inequality, unemployment, overall pessimism growing all over the world ( well , don’t know about China,etc). I guess people ask whether the alternative systems are possible. I think it was shown it is possible, and it is important to say that de-facto the current logistics (centrally-driven, thanks to Internet) and economy occupied by creating workplaces rather than products becoming more of the same type. However, the growing inequality in distribution of wealth, decline of mass culture, science and education give rather pessimistic view.Source: Nikolay Pavlov's answer to What was life like in the Soviet Union?N Kuncewicz:I see so many Westerners telling here how bad it was, so I feel like I have to share with you my Father’s experience ( as I was born during the collapse of the union).In general, both of my parents (born in 1970′s) sincerely miss the old soviet times. My grandparents came from random small villages across modern day Russia and Belarus. Eventually, they were offered jobs in the coastal town of Jurmala, Latvian SSR. A huge bonus to that was that the government would also give them flat with a walking distance to the new offered jobs ( Now imagine that the government is offering you a job and a flat within 10 min walking to the coast. Pretty neat, right?) Obviously it was a no brainer for most people. Going back to my dad. He was about like any average teenager in the 80’s. Riding moped, bleach-colouring his t-shirts, listening to Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden (they were censored , but it was widely available anyway) on his boombox and styling his hair in a funny way. He travelled quite a lot within USSR for cheap. He went to Polytechnic for free and gained education which allowed him straight away to work in his field after competition. As he was sharing one bedroom flat with his mother, he was given 1 bedroom flat in the same apartment block (for free, from government) at the age of 18!!!He didn’t have to worry about money as there was always work available (it was illegal to be unemployed, you would be arrested). Which means there was no fear of becoming homeless.Most people I know had not just flats, but also a “dacha” ( summer house) where they were able to live outside the city’s life and grow their own crops.There was not lots of food available in the shops, but it was ENOUGH! Nobody starved in the 70’s or 80’s . There was no need to eat excess junk food, drink caramel lattes or many other things you cannot imagine your life without. If you cannot get something in the shop. Fine! You can go fishing, you can grow your vegetables or fruits or you can get your ass and go berry or mushroom harvest in the forest!The major drawback in USSR I can see is the border restriction. It really bummers me to think that those people were not able to see the world. However, it seems that it didn’t bother much people as they believed they have all they need in USSR. They have open borders in Latvia now, but what is the point if people are so poor they cannot afford to go abroad?I understand that life in the Soviet Union was not perfect and was not so culturally and technically advanced as in the west. But you have to realise that It is completely different culture, different people and environmental conditions. Why do you people have to compare quality of life using US as some kind of “gold standard”? It is just like any other country with its own advantages and disadvantages. Leave us be.Source: N Kuncewicz's answer to What was life like in the Soviet Union?Anna Hag:I am jewish and I was born in 1972 USSR in Leningrad and my life was prosperous there. I loved it very much, it was a rich peaceful country, so huge, diversious and most beautiful one. Since 1991 I live abroad. I wouldn't left my beautiful USSR if it wouldn't collapse. Since then I lived in Israel, Canada, Japan, now in Finland. However USSR is always the best. I am still a patriot of USSR despite that USSR doesn't exist anymore.I was living in USSR my first 18 years and I really enjoyed to grow up there. It was a peaceful beautiful prosperous country with kind and beautiful people around.I would never leave USSR if it wouldn't be collapsed. It was an unforgivable mistake of my generation to let it collapse. So sad. Obviously Russia is still beautiful and peaceful country as always but USSR was definitely much bigger, stronger and better in general.In USSR the education and a medicine was free. Every family owned a summer house outside of my city that government provided for free. Government provided apartments in the city for free as wellSummer houses had a sufficient amount of the land where we planted strawberries, apples, greens, carrots and other berries and vegetables. Those who lived in villages owned chickens, pigs and cows additionally to growing fruits and vegetables. So we enjoyed ecologically clean our own food all summer aroundUSSR was a dream come true for the average liberal in the modern EU, and as they are majority in EU now. So they work hard to re-enact USSR in EU. So far they are succeeding.I am a jewish and I am an Israeli citizen since 1991. In USSR jewish population was reach and prosperous. I never met any poor jews in USSR.In 1991 I left USSR.What I've seen in terms of poverty and deprivation in the West, I hadn't seen even in the most downtrodden Soviet village. Pravda was telling the truth! The problem is that when we were seeing the "pretty pictures" of the West, we thought everyone lives like that. Far from it.....I think the biggest mistake the USSR made was to stop people from travelling to the West. They should have said, go on, live there for 6 months, let's see how you get along. :)That said, at the time, the Western governments were spending shed-loads of money to attract and keep the "escapees from Communism". Funnily how that dried up exactly in the early 1990s. There was no need to spend that money any more.The other tragedy that bothers me if how many people actually died because of the USSR collapse: either from actual military conflicts (including thousands in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), as well as from hunger (the Leningrad hunger 1991), poverty, and rampant banditism. How many children were never born, because people didn't know if they could survive another day. If that was not a genocide..... then there is no justice in the world.The loss of the Soviet Union was an enormous blow to the advancement of humankind. After its fall the U.S. had no one to stop it from its aggression, colonialism, and imperial power. Look what a distraction Obama did in the Middle East.Yeltzin was set up by Americans to destroy Russia to the end. Unfortunately he carried through its task and meet the expectations of the westerns. In 1917 Westerns destroyed the Russian empire and in 1991 they did the same with USSR.If only we knew then what we know now, we would probably have fought for the preservation of the USSR. I was stupid enough, as a student, to support the "freedom and democracy" movements. If I knew that we were going to be robbed blind, treated as "dumb natives" that gave their birthright away for the promise of shiny beads, and that everything that our parents and grandparents had worked and died for would be so blatantly abused..... It really breaks my heart to see what we have done...... And I, personally, am really sorry. We had it all, that's why we wanted more, and didn't realize what we had until we lost it. Oh well, I'll just have to live with it....Life in Russia in 1982:More about the life in USSR and the state of mind of homo sovieticus you can gather from here:I noticed many people who were never living in USSR think that they are qualified to give a description and the judgement about USSR. Their description of USSR is not credible because as a tourist you cannot understand the beautiful sides of the life in USSR. Tourist perception is very superficial therefore nonessential and only as a tourist perception the opinion can be valid, and that's why such opinion is deeply incorrect from the point of local SU citizen.The Western europeans cannot understand that it is basically wrong to compare USSR with small countries. Russia can be comparable with other big countries of the Russian size. To live in big countries is always better than in small countries. I tried both. There is something especially deep about the Russian psyche, the Russian soul, just the way the Russians are, their frankness, their simplicity. In Russia everything is very much. Large areas, large and diverse cities, large and severe frosts in winter. People in Russia, if they love it very much and if they have happiness, then it is great happiness, and if woe, then it is also big woe. Russians and Americans have the closest understanding of physical and metaphysical space. It has been said that Russians have “large souls” and it may be because they have a sense of space and time that is incompatible with either Western Europeans or Asians. The Russian sense of time is non linear.Any comparison of USSR or Russia with any of microscopic European countries is absolutely invalid and irrelevant. The size is the matterThe judgement of european tourists could be absolutely different and even opposite from the local SU people judgement. I can give two examples from my personal life experience :a) Israel. When tourists visit Israel they got excited about Tel Avivian paradise: beaches, sea, sunbathing, swimming all year around , tasty food, smiley half-naked happy people everywhere. However when they become citizens and live there permanently the reality turned on 180 degree and shows its ugly dark sides: everything is expensive, lack of parkings, no public transportation in the weekends, military conflicts etc. All those dark Israeli sides are absolutelyinvisible for tourists. Not everything that looks shiny is a gold .b) Canada. When I came to Canada, first few weeks it seemed to me absolutely worthless place on the earth. I didn't understood why people are so struggling to immigrate there. However after I settled down in Montreal I understood how prosperous rich life there with the highest living standard that I ever experienced. It took me a year to realistically value the canadian life. All those beautiful Canadian sides absolutely invisible for tourists. Canada is a huge low populated country always reminded me former USSR in the end of 1980′s.Conclusion:Not everything that look dirty is a trash . Not everything that looks shiny is a gold. Watch deeply.Source: Anna Hag's answer to What was life like in the Soviet Union?It is instructive to remember that only nine months before Yeltsin dissolved the USSR, an overwhelming majority of Soviet voters, in a referendum, were in favor of maintaining the union. For a surprising number of people today in the former Soviet Union, the terror does not wholly negate achievements such as universal literacy, one of the best technological-education systems in the world, the first man in space, free education and health care, and security in old age. Maybe these social gains, too, were an illusion, but we risk another kind of illusion by not including the few but important pluses with the mountains of minuses. The West need not be generous in its victory over communism, but we might be more balanced in our obituaries……Admittedly, besides its moral failure, communism failed in its crusade to convert the whole world and in the end succeeded in lastingly converting no significant part of it. But communism's impact was and still is enormous. In addition to provoking significant changes in capitalist economies, such as vastly increased military spending and the growth of a military-industrial complex, the USSR's existence changed Western social development in fundamental ways.Labor reform in the West in the past century came about under the threat of a radicalized international labor movement protected and supported by the USSR. President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was in part meant to steal the thunder of radicals who looked to Moscow and therefore could not be ignored. Social goals that are commonplace today, including women's rights and racial integration, were planks of the Communist Party platform long before mainstream American parties took them seriously. It was Communists who first went to the American South and began organizing African-Americans and poor whites around issues of social justice. The more politically acceptable young people who followed them in the sixties are heroes today. On the international scene the Soviet Union provided support for Nelson Mandela and other reformers. Communism made life difficult for Western establishments, and it is doubtful that reforms would have come when they did if the USSR had not existed. Communists always rejected reform in favor of revolution. Ironically, however, the existence of the Soviet Union helped the capitalist West reform itself and avoid the bloody revolutions of the East. Twentieth-century communism was no passing illusion; its legacies are everywhere.Source: Anonymous's answer to Why do Russians still miss the Soviet era?

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