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The Great Plains cover the central two-thirds of the United States, and during the nineteenth century they were home to some of the largest and most powerful Native American tribes on the continent. The conflict between those tribes and the newcomers from Europe lasted 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 finally 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.