Why the US Army tried to exterminate the bison

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Månad sedan

And then took credit for “saving” them.

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In 1894, a notorious poacher, Ed Howell, was caught in Yellowstone National Park slaughtering bison, which were on the brink of extinction. US Army soldiers patrolling the park brought him into custody, and the story led to the first US federal law protecting wildlife. The soldiers were thought of as heroes for stopping the killer. But it was the US Army who had been responsible for driving bison to near-extinction in the first place.

In the mid-1800s, a cultural belief known as “manifest destiny” dictated that white settlers were the rightful owners of the entire North American continent - even though Native Americans had inhabited the land for centuries. In order to clear that land for white settlers, the US Army engaged in violent scorched-earth tactics against the Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains. One big part of that campaign was to eliminate their crucial food source: the bison.

By the end of the 1800s, a combination of commercial and recreational hunting, plus the actions of the US Army, had depleted the bison population to under a thousand, down from tens of millions at the beginning of the century. Around the same time, the US government set aside some of the land once inhabited by the Plains Indians as a national park, and in 1872 Yellowstone was established.

A key mission of Yellowstone was to conserve the land and the animals that roamed there, including the bison. Today, the soldiers that once patrolled the park are celebrated for having “saved” the bison in Yellowstone, obscuring their own violent contribution to the animal’s near-extinction.

Darkroom is a history and photography series that anchors each episode around a single image. Analyzing what the photo shows (or doesn't show) provides context that helps unravel a wider story. Watch previous episodes here: www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

Sources and further reading:

"The extermination of the American bison," 1887 Smithsonian survey by William T. Hornaday:

"Poaching Pictures," by Alan Braddock:

"The frontier army and the destruction of the buffalo," by David T. Smits:

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Unyie thorle
Unyie thorle 6 timmar sedan
21 century but are we still destroying?
Wayne Polek
Wayne Polek Dag sedan
Could someone explain the loss of the bison herds in Canada and Mexico?
Ben Chilton
Ben Chilton Dag sedan
Man so much white bashing. Native american helped decimate the bison, competition with wild horses and droughts too, and anthrax. Yeah don't mention none of the other major factors just blame white people.
MarDaDon G.
MarDaDon G. 2 dagar sedan
Bob Marley was trying to tell y’all this
Matthew Hinojosa
Matthew Hinojosa 2 dagar sedan
The superb hate holoprosencephaly pretend because religion characteristically scare toward a flaky gateway. stingy, tight trumpet
Nova Prime's guide to the multiverse
Nova Prime's guide to the multiverse 3 dagar sedan
This is the most horrifying kind of heros syndrome I've ever seen.
vaticinus 4 dagar sedan
Be afraid of what Conservatives are capable of. Be very afraid.
Anthony LeRoux
Anthony LeRoux 5 dagar sedan
The origin of Global Smokescreen Legacy of Lies that Capitalists began using to disguise their agenda's the real "humanity" that is everyone else.
mynameisdude 123
mynameisdude 123 5 dagar sedan
Well atleast they nearly wipeout bison(dont get me wrong im against hunting animals to extinction) unlike australia when they declared war against Emu and was defeated.
Jordan Unknown
Jordan Unknown 6 dagar sedan
This angers me so much. American history is disgustingly dark
Huh? 2 dagar sedan
Sure, but my family would have all died if they hadn’t come to America.
Zailogy 6 dagar sedan
phoolo ki lasho me tajgi chata hai admi chutya hai kuch bhi chata hai
quail king
quail king 7 dagar sedan
Ecocide Moment!
Noe Giducos
Noe Giducos 7 dagar sedan
The mind of these generals were fantastic.
D'Urkel D'Wakanda
D'Urkel D'Wakanda 7 dagar sedan
I love America here in zambia africa I am lucky to see a wild animal. Going to Pennsylvania last spring I was amazed at all the wild life that I could see looking out the back window into the bush (woods). I can't wait to go back to america but this time I will stay away from Philadelphia those young black boys were not very nice to me or my family. Told me to speak better English and go back to zululand.
Ale 8 dagar sedan
The rest of the world should invade the us
Ale 8 dagar sedan
Afghanistan seems like heaven by comparison
000 Attoumani
000 Attoumani 8 dagar sedan
Because it's America 🙄
Dursun Sahin
Dursun Sahin 9 dagar sedan
environmental terrorism in the name of oppression.. humans are inhumane
Jonathan Feinstein
Jonathan Feinstein 9 dagar sedan
This explains why Charles was so upset when they were hunting bison in red dead redemption 2
El Jéve
El Jéve 10 dagar sedan
They have to learn our peaceful way, BY FORCE!! -US by God A to the native American
Shalom CCS
Shalom CCS 10 dagar sedan
They killed them to move the natives Americans out from the plains .
Tucker Gary
Tucker Gary 10 dagar sedan
killing bison was part of the holoceust of native Americans in brief: "Custer had it coming"
S. L.
S. L. 10 dagar sedan
In addition to reading Empire of the midnight sun as per my other comment. Read it I don’t think that photo perpetuates manifest destiny. That’s a leap of thinking. Those men had nothing to do with the wiping out of the bison and the only thing connecting the two events are their race/employer. They were early conservationists saving what they likely believed were precious animals who deserve to exist.
S. L.
S. L. 10 dagar sedan
Read the book: “Empire of the Summer Moon” - a fantastic book (and Pulitzer price nominee) on this vary issue and highlights the Camanche Native American tribe’s conflict with the whites. Deep stuff. Brutal times
A J 10 dagar sedan
Truly grotesque.
Brian Thomason
Brian Thomason 10 dagar sedan
Well this depressed me
Really Squishy
Really Squishy 11 dagar sedan
is it better to born good or become good through great effort?
B. M.
B. M. 11 dagar sedan
Nothing née European Americans doing wrong and then nope we’re here to save the day.
 Verticals
 Verticals 11 dagar sedan
We like hanging heads too.
Jack J
Jack J 11 dagar sedan
Has the US got a single piece of nice history?
Jack J
Jack J 8 dagar sedan
@Kthe VSAMIG enlighten me
Kthe VSAMIG 11 dagar sedan
la mulata linda Martinez
la mulata linda Martinez 12 dagar sedan
This is a culture of sociopathy. Wt supemacy highlights not supremacy but a demonic mental neurosis
Joel Del Rio
Joel Del Rio 12 dagar sedan
The US Killed the Native American food source so they can do the biggest genocide in the worlds history oh by the way by Christians .
Inga Mgoduka
Inga Mgoduka 12 dagar sedan
This has broken my heart as South African my ancestors are related to buffalos even our clan name is Nyathi which means Buffalo in Xhosa this is disturbing who harms such a peaceful harmless animal.
Mr Jackson
Mr Jackson 13 dagar sedan
Overwrite-white washing
garbage collector
garbage collector 13 dagar sedan
The White 👨 man. ? Hello
the boybrutus
the boybrutus 13 dagar sedan
jordandino417 13 dagar sedan
Straight up hypocritical
Khánh Huyền Văn
Khánh Huyền Văn 14 dagar sedan
Everything about the US seems to be so ironic to me now -_-
Kthe VSAMIG 11 dagar sedan
Canada also has a equally violent history with native Americans.
Kthe VSAMIG 11 dagar sedan
Have you herd about China 🇨🇳
Kthe VSAMIG 11 dagar sedan
Have you heard about the UK 🇬🇧
no name
no name 14 dagar sedan
the more i see white people in this video the more i hate them....
100% Original
100% Original 13 dagar sedan
wow !
wow ! 14 dagar sedan
That frantic stutter is crippling guilt spilling out of him. |
DGENER8s 14 dagar sedan
the way the indians were killing and using the bison was completely unsustainable
Nizam Zakaria
Nizam Zakaria 14 dagar sedan
Such beautiful animals… Such dispicable humans.
Tom Peprika
Tom Peprika 14 dagar sedan
The Ava Stark
The Ava Stark 15 dagar sedan
The world has a dark past, get over it
Christy McKee
Christy McKee 15 dagar sedan
...because they were trying to exterminate the Natives...
Alf 14 dagar sedan
Food as a weapon. They still do it to this day.
Yiren Lu
Yiren Lu 15 dagar sedan
Am curious about the images that are included in this video -- are they all under creative commons license or did you guys have to contact the original creator? Curious for making my own vox-style videos.
Harsh Truth
Harsh Truth 15 dagar sedan
We can thank Jesus 🙂
Digital Lurke
Digital Lurke 15 dagar sedan
They were trying to starve the plains tribes. Plus white folks would have went N8v. Why work some Hellish job when you could live off the land and in harmony w nature?
Brick Master
Brick Master 15 dagar sedan
I’m in no way agreeing with nor supporting how the american/the western colony treat the natives for the sake of expanding the former’s civilization, however, in my personal opinion, at the very least the officials of the western colony thought about their people and looking for ways to make them prosper even if unfortunately they chose poorly. For me, the worst condition is that governing officials of a certain state with their egoistic and ignorant greed, neglect their people while using the people’s money for their own benefits, hence in the long term will also deteriorate the condition of the state, both nationally and internationally, which is happening a lot in developing countries
Wood TV
Wood TV 16 dagar sedan
Kyle Davies
Kyle Davies 16 dagar sedan
This is a really good video. I remember learning about this in school. We were given a chart or infographic to learn about all the different ways in which the Plains Indians used every part of the buffalo they killed. It's sad to see these animals killed simply for sport, hides, or to starve Native Americans. The world is fortunate that bison weren't forced into extinction.
B-Tiger 16 dagar sedan
I hate humanity
The Void&Corrupted
The Void&Corrupted 16 dagar sedan
MURICA' built by murderers and slavers.
cherryTIE 17 dagar sedan
Natives can run hundreds of buffalo off cliffs for it's "survival" even though they couldn't possibly use it ALL before rot set in... But a culture can't try for a bigger idea or "civilization"? I get that the "white man" and the European settlers didn't make great choices... but where were you 200 years ago? It's easy to judge from your comfortable couch over your wifi... but the world was evolving and STILL IS. People make mistakes and we will look back on choices we make right now in distain. This isn't a perfect world and neither are you or your words... Bison are no longer in danger. YOU ARE.
syed waleed
syed waleed 17 dagar sedan
Sir Charles Brown: Charity begins at home. Americans: Destruction begins at home. 😁
lmz 17 dagar sedan
such a democratic country.
Haroon Nawaz
Haroon Nawaz 18 dagar sedan
Evil America 🇺🇸
pgp 18 dagar sedan
The cruelty of humans have no bounds
Anime TV
Anime TV 19 dagar sedan
Us have a creepy history
Zelda Williams
Zelda Williams 19 dagar sedan
It was manifest destiny! 👀😳 (Sing it with me?)☹️🎵
Anthony Ramirez
Anthony Ramirez 19 dagar sedan
Racism and white supremacy 101 illustrated, what a terrible mentality
Nunya _
Nunya _ 19 dagar sedan
Thank you for not calling them buffalo as some "educated" people do.
Lucifer 19 dagar sedan
USA has one of the most cruel history.
Toby George
Toby George 19 dagar sedan
The big child lovely alert because jellyfish cytogenetically squash regarding a glib canada. coordinated, dispensable interactive
Tinna Gigja
Tinna Gigja 19 dagar sedan
The only thing that would have made this story more Murcan is if Ed Howell had been Native American.
Ryan Ott
Ryan Ott 19 dagar sedan
Was not taught this in school!
CanadianSkylights 19 dagar sedan
Thank you for telling the truth
Michael james
Michael james 19 dagar sedan
Maybe, one day, Israel will look back at the theft of Palestine, with the same, safe 'regret'. Might name sports teams, or drinks and weapons=systems after them.
crazycutz 19 dagar sedan
What I have learned is that America is the most evil country among the worst countries.. No one is sparred when it comes to turning anything into a dollar. Afterwards the wholesale of other cultures via movies and other methods are also a way to turn things into money
TSMskaterz 19 dagar sedan
I hate that I was never taught this stuff in school.
John Grzeskowiak
John Grzeskowiak 19 dagar sedan
The USA truly deserves every misfortune that befalls it
Kthe VSAMIG 11 dagar sedan
So dose every other country
Merry Machiavelli
Merry Machiavelli 19 dagar sedan
Slightly off topic, but I remember reading somewhere that the mass-culling of the American Bison probably resulted in a slight drop in global methane levels in the 19th century. Like cows and other ruminants, American Bison produce methane as a by-product of digestion. Their herds were so massive, the amount of methane produced may have had a small impact on the global climate. Of course, as the land was converted to ranches and farmland, cows replaced the bison, but I think there was a dip in the middle.
Knightmare 19 dagar sedan
Tell me what isn't wrong with the History and present of America?
AWcinema AWcinema
AWcinema AWcinema 20 dagar sedan
We are coming to the end of the time which is called the Fulfillment of the Gentiles. The Torah has taught us that both Jay fet and Ishmael are the Wildman they will be many and numbers and they'll be against the people in the people be against them this is nothing new this is been foretold in the Torah over thousands of years
RIZKI AFRIZAL SUPRIYANTO 171524027 21 dag sedan
just american, doing their weird sports (again)..
Aditya Ambulkar
Aditya Ambulkar 21 dag sedan
It seems USA is among the nations with darkest history
eekee 21 dag sedan
Probably not *the* darkest, but still much darker than anyone really likes to think of.
Joshua Parker
Joshua Parker 24 dagar sedan
And this why black people are always quic to call racism, for nearly 400 years everything america did was to work directly against us now all of sudden we are supposed to feel like that changing? But hoooooooow sway? A zebra doesnt change it strips
The Indo-german Guy
The Indo-german Guy 24 dagar sedan
America and Britain means the darkest and hellish part on earth
Kristaps Ozoliņš
Kristaps Ozoliņš 24 dagar sedan
Whites were not the only ones that settled the west. They were the majority of settlers, but not only ones.
i am the news
i am the news 25 dagar sedan
So much “manifest destiny” 🙃🙃🙃
i am the news
i am the news 25 dagar sedan
I mean… if this is what people are dying for then cancel the army 🙃🙃🙃
Ivan Ganev
Ivan Ganev 26 dagar sedan
Replace "bison" with "the environment" and fast forward to this century.
limbeboy7 27 dagar sedan
Ahhh yes, and this isn't taught in American Middle school and high schools why? All our history book thought us was the good parts...
King Fishy III
King Fishy III 21 dag sedan
Have you been to American schools? I definitely learned all the bad parts of American history
Michael Sanger
Michael Sanger 27 dagar sedan
Not even watching the video...knowing it will p. I $$ me off
Saurabh Awasthi
Saurabh Awasthi 27 dagar sedan
The most advanced nations stand on the genocide of nature. Every second football field size forests are wiped out in Canada. Hope it becomes another nation to exploit nature
Crown 995
Crown 995 28 dagar sedan
As gruesome as it is that was some 300IQ move of the US gov, "Do not attack the enemy, attack his strategy" Sun Tzu would be proud :D
Pazmanian⭕ 28 dagar sedan
just cuz a 3 world nation is wearing a gucci belt doesnt mean its not a 3rd world country
Alex Schuyler
Alex Schuyler 28 dagar sedan
And then they protected them
Iggy Perez
Iggy Perez 29 dagar sedan
Makes me cry but it's the sad reality
J Poupart
J Poupart 29 dagar sedan
Simple it was done on genocide type efforts to decimate the food chain for indigenous people so called Native Americans. Pure racist intent.
Asiah Johnson
Asiah Johnson 29 dagar sedan
Americans have no idea what has come through our border since this administration took over. If you thought crime in America was bad before, just wait. Our politicians, on both sides, are disgusting... |
Freedom Song
Freedom Song Månad sedan
And who said white people aren't the devil?
100% Original
100% Original 13 dagar sedan
Any race can do this
Jimmi Q
Jimmi Q Månad sedan
God I love this series so much
Ojas Jha
Ojas Jha Månad sedan
They almost did anyway
Timothy Harrington
Timothy Harrington Månad sedan
Notice how when they show up, things become extinct? That's yt...
quail king
quail king 7 dagar sedan
Colonialism is responsible for 800 wildlife extinctions since 1500
Fat Head
Fat Head Månad sedan
Fun fact :Hispanic , latino nor Spanish is a race.Hispanic and latino only means you come from a Spanish speaking country that's all.Spanish is a white European language and nationally.There is literally every race in all Spanish speaking countries.Most Hispanics but not all are a mix of North, Central and South indigenous American Indians and white European Spaniards .Look it up if you doubt this comment.
Pan African Brother
Pan African Brother Månad sedan
Pure evil.
Nilo Baranda
Nilo Baranda Månad sedan
Well, Manifest Destiny turned out to be good for America. It's the reason why Americans today are able to express their opinions (useful or useless) on the internet through the use of expensive electronic devices in the comfort of their homes and workplaces.
Rafael ⭐
Rafael ⭐ Månad sedan
Harse Reality of US!
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