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The Great Plains cover the central two-thirds of the United States, and during the nineteenth century were home to some of the largest and most powerful Indian tribes on the continent. The conflict between those tribes and the newcomers from the Old World lasted about one hundred and fifty years, and required the resources of five nations - Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States - before fighting ended in the mid 1890s. This masterly exposition explains the background, causes and long term effects of these bitter wars, whose legacy can still be felt today.