The time from 1860 to 1890 is marked by the final push for expansion and control by the United States. During the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad, the establishment of land-grant universities, and the Homestead Act lie the groundwork for the settlement from coast to coast. The fact that federal and state governments will implement these plans is shown by the banishment of the Dakota from Minnesota in 1863.
A series of treaties and conflicts after the Civil War turns the plans for breaking Native resistance into reality. At the same time that the causes for these conflicts are seen with clarity to lie with government policies and actions, these policies are enforced by the army.
1871 marks the end of treaty-making with Native nations, which demonstrates a shift in federal policies: no longer are tribes to be seen as equal, sovereign, partners.
In the 1880s, the Major Crimes Act, the General Allotment Act, and education policies shift the emphasis from taking control over territory to the forced assimilation of American Indians into mainstream society.