In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Ringforts, ring forts or ring fortresses are circular fortified settlements that were built during the Bronze age up to about the year 1000. They are found in Northern Europe in Ireland. There are many in South Wales and in Cornwall, where they are called rounds. Ringforts may be made of stone or earth. Earthen ringforts would have been marked by a circular rampart with a stakewall. Both stone and earthen ringforts would have had at least one building inside. In Irish language sources they are known by a number of names: ráth, caiseal, cathair and dún; the ráth and lios was an earthen ringfort. The caiseal and cathair was a stone ringfort; the term dún was used for any stronghold of importance, which may or may not be ring-shaped. In Ireland, over 40,000 sites have been identified as ringforts and it is thought that at least 50,000 ringforts existed on the island, they are common throughout the country, with a mean density of just over one ringfort within any area of 2 km2. It is that many have been destroyed by farming and urbanisation.
However, many hitherto unknown ringforts have been found thanks to early Ordnance Survey maps, aerial photography, the archaeological work that has accompanied road-building. In Cornwall and south Wales, enclosed settlements share many characteristics with their Irish counterparts, including the circular shape and souterrains, their continuing occupation into the early medieval period. Few Cornish examples have been archaeologically excavated, with the exception of Trethurgy Rounds. Hillforts are known from Scandinavia, of which nineteen can be found on the Swedish island of Öland alone; these hillforts are not to be confused with Viking ring fortresses, of which seven are known from Denmark and southern Sweden, all from around 980 in the Viking Age. The Viking forts all share a strikingly similar design and are collectively referred to as Trelleborgs, after the first excavated fortress of that type in 1936. All the Viking ring fortresses are believed to have been built within a short timeframe, during the reign of Harold Bluetooth, but for yet unknown military purposes.
They might have served as boot camps for Sweyn Forkbeard's men before his invasion of England in 1013. The debate on chronology is a result of the huge number of ringforts and the failure of any other form of settlement site to survive to modern times in any great quantity from the period before the Early Christian period or from Gaelic Ireland after the Anglo-Norman arrival. Three general theories mark the debate on the chronology of Irish ringforts. According to the authoritative New History of Ireland, "archaeologists are agreed that the vast bulk of them are the farm enclosures of the well-to-do of early medieval Ireland"; the theories that the ringfort either pre- or post-dates the Early Middle Ages in Ireland, are both based on the same premise, as is highlighted here by Tadhg O'Keefe in relation to the latter argument. The a priori case for attributing some ringforts to the Later Middle Ages... is based on the absence of any other settlement form of appropriate date in those landscapes.
In other words, if the Gaelic-Irish did not live in ringforts, where did they live? The conjecture that ringforts can be seen to have evolved from and be part of an Iron Age tradition has been expanded by Darren Limbert; this hypothesis is based on a number of re-interpretations of the available evidence, as well as concern over the available evidence. As only a small portion of ringforts have undergone total excavation, the fact that these excavations have not taken place on anything like a national level, the evidence is insufficient to place all ringforts and the origins of them within the Early Christian period. Limbert argues instead, that the ringfort should be seen in the context of a variety of similar developments in Britain and the European Continent in Iberia and Gaul. While conceding that most ringforts were built in the Early Christian period, he suggests a link between the arrival of Eóganachta dynasty in Munster c. 400 AD, the introduction of ringforts. In support of this he notes that: "The other major Eoganachta ringforts of Ballycatten and Garryduff, despite limited stratigraphic discernment, have produced artefacts of ambiguously early origins.
Their defensive nature... supports an intrusion of a Celtic warrior caste..." The similarity with South Welsh'raths' and Cornish'rounds' suggests a degree of cultural interaction between Western British and Irish populations, however differences in dates of occupation mean this cannot be confirmed. On the island of Öland, nineteen ringforts have been identified, including Eketorp, a site, excavated and that one may visit. Excavations are ongoing at Sandby borg, the site of a massacre in the 5th century A. D, it is possible that the Hill
A bent entrance is a defensive feature in mediaeval fortification. In a castle with a bent entrance, the gate passage turns sharply, its purpose is to slow down attackers attempting to rush the gate and impede the use of battering rams against doors. It is combined with means for an active defence, such as machicolations, in effect confining intruders to a narrow killing zone, its defensive function is related to that of a barbican in front of the gate. Bent entrances are typical of Arab fortifications and crusader castles; the Citadel of Aleppo is a good example of the former, with a massive gate tower enclosing a complicated passage. The most elaborate bent entrance among crusader castles is the turning entrance ramp at Crac des Chevaliers, defensible from several towers and via machicolations. In addition to the main gate, postern gates could feature a bent entrance on a smaller scale. For instance, in the ruined crusader castle at Belvoir, posterns open into the moat at the angle between the outer wall and the corner towers.
Bent entrances of such complexity as at Crac are less common in European castles, where in defended keep-gatehouses the entrance passage tends to be straight. See for example the long gate passage at Harlech Castle, which uses multiple doors and murder-holes, but no turns. Cathcart King has argued that the bent entrance was less widespread in Europe than in the Crusader states because transport in Europe tended to be based on carts pulled by draft animals, which makes negotiating a twisting passage impractical, whereas camels, as used in the East, would have less difficulty. Kennedy, Hugh. Crusader Castles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79913-9. David James Cathcart King; the castle in England and Wales: an interpretive history. Routledge
A military prison is a prison operated by the military. Military prisons are used variously to house prisoners of war, unlawful combatants, those whose freedom is deemed a national security risk by the military or national authorities, members of the military found guilty of a serious crime. Thus, military prisons are of two types: penal, for punishing and attempting to reform members of the military who have committed an offense, confinement-oriented, where captured enemy combatants are confined for military reasons until hostilities cease. Most militaries have some sort of military police unit operating at the divisional level or below to perform many of the same functions as civilian police, from traffic-control to the arrest of violent offenders and the supervision of detainees and prisoners-of-war; the Australian Defence Force has a single prison, the Defence Force Correctional Establishment at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney. This prison houses military personnel sentenced to between 14 days to two years imprisonment.
In addition, there are 15 detention centres located within military bases across Australia. The Canadian Forces have one military prison, the Canadian Forces Service Prison and Detention Barracks, located at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton. Canadian Forces personnel who are convicted by military courts and receive a sentence of 14 days or more are incarcerated at CFSPDB. Men, although in the same prison, are kept separate from women; the prison is maintained and controlled by the Canadian Forces Military Police, although NCOs from various branches of the Canadian Forces serve at the prison as staff. Service personnel who are convicted of less serious offences are considered to be in "detention", undergo a strict military routine aimed at rehabilitation for their return to regular military service, whereas personnel convicted of more serious offences are considered to be in "prison" and upon completion of their sentence they are released from the military. Serious offenders with sentences longer than 2 years are transferred to the Canadian federal prison system after serving 729 days, to complete their sentence in the civilian prison system, followed by release from the Canadian Forces.
Any service personnel serving a sentence of 14 days or less are held in local base Military Police Detachment cells at the various Canadian Forces Bases within Canada. In Italy only one military jail now exists: the Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Under Italian law, only those in government service who are under investigation in front of a military court or are sentenced to the penalty of Reclusione Militare by a military or civil court are held there; those serving in the police corps are held in military jail. In Switzerland there are no special military prisons. Sentences are to be served in civilian prisons; the British have one military correctional facility and no establishments that are considered a prison, the Military Corrective Training Centre, in the town of Colchester where all non commissioned servicemen and women who are convicted by military courts and sentenced to more than 28 days, but less than 3 years will be incarcerated. Women, although in the same prison, are kept separate from men.
This prison is controlled by the British Army's Military Provost Staff. More serious offenders with longer sentences are transferred to HM Prison Service as part of their dishonourable discharge. There are three categories of prisoner: Those from the RN, RM, British Army and RAF who are to remain in the Services after sentence and will serve their detention in A Company; those from the RN, RM, British Army and RAF who are to be discharged after their sentence and will serve their detention in D Company. Those held in Military custody either awaiting the outcome of an investigation, or awaiting HM Prison or YOI placement The United States military's equivalent to the county jail, in the sense of "holding area" or "place of brief incarceration for petty crimes," is known colloquially as the guardhouse or stockade by the army and air forces and the brig by naval and marine forces. U. S. military forces maintain several regional prisoner holding facilities in the U. S.. S. military prisons for names and locations.
In the United States, differential treatment seems to be suggested, but by no means mandated, by the Founding Fathers in the Fifth Amendment to its constitution. Members of the U. S. armed forces are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Male non-commissioned military personnel convicted by courts martial and sentenced to five or more years' confinement, male commissioned officers and male prisoners convicted of offenses related to national security end up at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Enlisted male military convicts who received sentences of less than five years are confined at various regional confinement facilities operated by the U. S. Military both in the continental United States and abroad. All female military personnel convicted of felonies serve their sentences at the Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar located at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, California. In former times, criminals in the naval services, including those convicted of sodomy, were sent to the once-infamous Portsmouth Naval Prison, closed in 1974.
Today’s American military prison systems are designed to house criminals who commit an offense while holding the job title of being in a branch of the military. Military prisons have a tier system, based on the length of a prisoner’s sentence
A wagon fort is a mobile fortification made of wagons arranged into a rectangle, a circle or other shape and joined with each other, an improvised military camp. It is known as a laager. Ammianus Marcellinus, a Roman army officer and historian of the 4th century, describes a Roman army approaching "ad carraginem" as they approach a Gothic camp. Historians interpret this as a wagon-fort. Notable historical examples include Hussites, which called it vozová hradba, known under the German word Wagenburg, tabors in the armies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Cossacks, the Laager of the settlers in South Africa. Similar, ad hoc, defensive formations were used in the United States, were called corrals; these were traditionally used by 19th century American settlers travelling to the West in convoys of Conestoga wagons. When faced with attack, such as by hostile Native American tribes, the travellers would form a circle out of their wagons, bringing the draft animals and women and children to the center of the circle.
The armed men would man the perimeter, the circled wagons serving to break up the enemy charge, to create a certain amount of concealment from observation and shelter from enemy firearms fire. They would slow down and separate any warriors who attempted to get past the wagons into the circle, making them easier to dispatch, although they never formed a perfect barricade as a true wall would; this tactic was popularly known as "circling up the wagons", survives into the modern day as an idiom describing a person or group preparing to defend themselves from attack or criticism. One of the earliest examples of using conjoined wagons as fortification is described in the Chinese historical record Book of Han. During the 119 BC Battle of Mobei of the Han–Xiongnu War, the famous Han general Wei Qing used armored wagons known as "Wu Gang Wagon" in ring formations to neutralise the Xiongnu's cavalry charges, before launching a counteroffensive which overran the nomads. In the 15th century, during the Hussite Wars, the Hussites developed tactics of using the tabors, called vozová hradba in Czech or Wagenburg by the Germans, as mobile fortifications.
When the Hussite army faced a numerically superior opponent, the Bohemians formed a square of the armed wagons, joined them with iron chains, defended the resulting fortification against charges of the enemy. Such a camp was easy to establish and invulnerable to enemy cavalry; the etymology of the word tabor may come from the Hussite fortress and modern day Czech city of Tábor, which itself is a name derived from biblical Jezreel mountain Tavor. The crew of each wagon consisted of 18 to 21 soldiers: 4 to 8 crossbowmen, 2 handgunners, 6 to 8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails, 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers; the wagons would form a square, inside the square would be the cavalry. There were two principal stages of the battle using the wagon fort: counterattack; the defensive part would be a pounding of the enemy with artillery. The Hussite artillery was a primitive form of a howitzer, called in Czech a houfnice, from which the English word howitzer comes, they called their guns the Czech word píšťala, meaning that they were shaped like a pipe or a fife, from which the English word pistol is derived.
When the enemy would come close to the wagon fort and hand-gunners would come from inside the wagons and inflict more casualties on the enemy at close range. There would be stones stored in a pouch inside the wagons for throwing whenever the soldiers were out of ammunition. After this huge barrage, the enemy would be demoralized; the armies of the anti-Hussite crusaders were heavily armored knights, Hussite tactics were to disable the knight's horses so that the dismounted knights would be easier targets for the ranged men. Once the commander saw it fit, the second stage of battle would begin. Men with swords and polearms would come out and attack the weary enemy. Together with the infantry, the cavalry in the square would attack. At this point, the enemy would be eliminated or nearly so; the wagon fort's effect on Czech history was lost, but the Czechs would continue to use the wagon forts in conflicts. After the Hussite Wars, foreign powers such as the Hungarians and Poles who had confronted the destructive forces of Hussites, hired thousands of Czech mercenaries.
At the Battle of Varna in 1444, it is said that 600 Bohemian handgunners defended a wagon fortification. The Germans would use wagons for fortification, they would use much cheaper materials than the Hussites, they would have different wagons for the infantry and the artillery. The Russians used a type of movable fortress, called a guliai-gorod in the 16th century. Another use of this tactic would be similar to the infantry squares used by Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo and the South African laager; the wagon forts would form into squares. Whenever an enemy charged between two forts, marksmen from both of them would exploit the advantage and kill many of the enemy; the wagon fort was used by the crusading anti-Hussite armies at the Battle of Tachov. However, the anti-Hussite German forces, being inexperienced at this type of strategy, were defeated; the Hussite wagon fort would meet its demise at the Battle of Lipany, where the Utraquist faction of Hussites defeated the Taborite faction by getting the Taborites inside a wagon fort on a hill to charge at them by at first attacking retrea
The Latin noun līmes had a number of different meanings: a path or balk delimiting fields, a boundary line or marker, any road or path, any channel, such as a stream channel, or any distinction or difference. The term was commonly used after the 3rd century AD to denote a military district under the command of a dux limitis. Limes has sometimes been adopted in modern times for a border defence or delimiting system of Ancient Rome marking the boundaries and provinces of the Roman Empire, but it was not used by the Romans for the imperial frontier, fortified or not; some experts suggested that the so-called limes may have been called Munimentum Traiani, Trajan's Bulwark, referring to a passage by Ammianus Marcellinus, according to which emperor Julian had reoccupied this fortification in 360 AD. The limites represented the border line of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 2nd century AD, it stretched more than 5,000 km from the Atlantic coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.
The remains of the limites today consist of vestiges of walls, forts and civilian settlements. Certain elements of the line have been excavated, some reconstructed, a few destroyed; the two sections of the limes in Germany cover a length of 550 km from the north-west of the country to the Danube in the south-east. The 118 km long Hadrian's Wall was built on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian c. AD 122 at the northernmost limits of the Roman province of Britannia, it is a striking example of the organization of a military zone and illustrates the defensive techniques and geopolitical strategies of ancient Rome. The Antonine Wall, a 60 km-long fortification in Scotland, was started by Emperor Antoninus Pius in AD 142 as a defense against the "Barbarians" of the north, it constitutes the northwestern-most portion of the Roman Limes. The most notable examples of Roman limites are: Hadrian's Wall – Limes Britannicus Antonine Wall – in Scotland Saxon Shore, late Roman limes in South-East England Limes Germanicus, with the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes Limes Arabicus, the frontier of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea facing the desert Limes Tripolitanus, the frontier in modern Libya facing the Sahara Limes Alutanus, the eastern border of the Roman province of Dacia Limes Transalutanus, the frontier in the lower Danube Limes Moesiae, the frontier of the Roman province Moesia, from Singidunum Serbia along the Danube to Moldavia.
Limes Norici, the frontier of the Roman province Noricum, from the River Inn along the Danube to Cannabiaca in Austria. Limes Pannonicus, the frontier of the Roman province Pannonia, along the Danube from Klosterneuburg Austria to Taurunum in Serbia. Fossatum Africae, the southern frontier of the Roman Empire, extending south of the Roman province of Africa in North-Africa. A mediaeval limes is the Limes Saxoniae in Holstein; the stem of limes, limit-, which can be seen in the genitive case, marks it as the ancestor of an entire group of important words in many languages, for example, English limit. Modern languages have multiplied its abstract formulations. For example, from limit comes the abbreviation lim, used in mathematics to designate the limit of a sequence or a function: see limit. In metaphysics, material objects are limited by matter and therefore are delimited from each other. In ethics, men are wise if they do. An etymology was given in some detail by Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch.
According to him, it comes from Indo-European el-, elei-, lei-, "to bow", "to bend", "elbow". The Latin meaning was discussed in detail by W. Gebert; the sense is. The limes was a cross-path or a cross-wall, which the Romans meant to throw across the path of invaders to hinder them, it is a defensive strategy. The Romans never built limites; as the emperor had ordered the army to stay within the limites, except for punitive expeditions, these were as much a mental barrier as material. The groups of Germanic warriors harrying the limes during summer used the concept to full advantage, knowing that they could concentrate and supply themselves outside the limes without fear of preemptive strikes. In a few cases, they were wrong; the limit concept engendered a sentiment among the soldiers that they were being provoked by the Germanic raiders and were held back from just retaliation by a weak and incompetent administration: they were being sold out. So they mutinied; the best remedy for a mutiny was an expedition across the limes against the enemy.
Toward the empire, the soldiers assassinated emperors who preferred diplomacy and put their own most popular officers into the vacant office. Roman writers and subsequent authors who depended on them presented the limes as some sort of sacred border beyond which human beings did not transgress, if they did, it was evidence that they had passed the bounds of reason and civilization. To cross the border was the mark of a savage, they wrote of the Alemanni failing to respect the limes as if they had passed the final limitation of character and had committed themselves to perdition. The Alemanni, on the other hand, never regarded the border as legitimate in the first place, they viewed the Romans as foreigners, who changed native place names and intruded on native homes and families. They were only to be tolerated because they were willing to pay cash for the privilege and offered the blandishments of civilized life. According to Pokorny, Latin limen, "threshold"
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict between the United States and Native Americans led by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks and Kickapoos, known as the "British Band", crossed the Mississippi River, into the U. S. state of Illinois, from Iowa Indian Territory in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but he was hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on tribal land, ceded to the United States in the disputed 1804 Treaty of St. Louis. U. S. officials, convinced that the British Band was hostile, mobilized a frontier militia and opened fire on a delegation from the Native Americans on May 14, 1832. Black Hawk responded by attacking the militia at the Battle of Stillman's Run, he led his band to a secure location in what is now southern Wisconsin and was pursued by U. S. forces. Meanwhile, other Native Americans conducted raids against forts and settlements unprotected with the absence of U. S. troops. Some Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi warriors with grievances against European-Americans took part in these raids, although most tribe members tried to avoid the conflict.
The Menominee and Dakota tribes at odds with the Sauks and Meskwakis, supported the U. S. Commanded by General Henry Atkinson, the U. S. troops tracked the British Band. Militia under Colonel Henry Dodge caught up with the British Band on July 21 and defeated them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. Black Hawk's band was weakened by hunger and desertion and many native survivors retreated towards the Mississippi. On August 2, U. S. soldiers attacked the remnants of the British Band at the Battle of Bad Axe, killing many or capturing most who remained alive. Black Hawk and other leaders escaped, but surrendered and were imprisoned for a year; the Black Hawk War gave the young captain Abraham Lincoln his brief military service, although he never participated in a battle. Other participants who became famous included Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, Jefferson Davis; the war gave impetus to the U. S. policy of Indian removal, in which Native American tribes were pressured to sell their lands and move west of the Mississippi River and stay there.
In the 18th century, the Sauk and Meskwaki Native American tribes lived along the Mississippi River in what are now the U. S. states of Iowa. The two tribes had become connected after having been displaced from the Great Lakes region in conflicts with New France and other Native American tribes after the so-called Fox Wars ended in the 1730s. By the time of the Black Hawk War, the population of the two tribes was about 6,000 people; as the United States expanded westward in the early 19th century, government officials sought to buy as much Native American land as possible. In 1804, territorial governor William Henry Harrison negotiated a treaty in St. Louis in which a group of Sauk and Meskwaki leaders sold their lands east of the Mississippi for more than $2,200, in goods and annual payments of $1,000 in goods; the treaty became controversial because the Native leaders had not been authorized by their tribal councils to cede lands. Historian Robert Owens argued that the chiefs did not intend to give up ownership of the land, that they would not have sold so much valuable territory for such a modest price.
Historian Patrick Jung concluded that the Sauk and Meskwaki chiefs intended to cede a little land, but that the Americans included more territory in the treaty's language than the Natives realized. According to Jung, the Sauks and Meskwakis did not learn the true extent of the cession until years later; the 1804 treaty allowed the tribes to continue using the ceded land until it was sold to American settlers by the U. S. government. For the next two decades, Sauks continued to live at Saukenuk, their primary village, located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. In 1828, the U. S. government began to have the ceded land surveyed for white settlement. Indian agent Thomas Forsyth informed the Sauks that they should vacate Saukenuk and their other settlements east of the Mississippi; the Sauks were divided about. Most Sauks decided to relocate west of the Mississippi rather than become involved in a confrontation with the United States; the leader of this group was Keokuk, who had helped defend Saukenuk against the Americans during the War of 1812.
Keokuk was not a chief, but as a skilled orator, he spoke on behalf of the Sauk civil chiefs in negotiations with the Americans. Keokuk regarded the 1804 treaty as a fraud, but after having seen the size of American cities on the east coast in 1824, he did not think the Sauks could oppose the United States. Although the majority of the tribe decided to follow Keokuk's lead, about 800 Sauks—roughly one-sixth of the tribe—chose instead to resist American expansion. Black Hawk, a war captain who had fought against the United States in the War of 1812 and was now in his 60s, emerged as the leader of this faction in 1829. Like Keokuk, Black Hawk was not a civil chief, but he became Keokuk's primary rival for influence within the tribe. Black Hawk had signed a treaty in May 1816 that affirmed the disputed 1804 land cession, but he insisted that what had been written down was different from what had been spoken at the treaty conference. According to Black Hawk, the "whites were in the habit of saying one thing to the Indians and putting another thing down on paper."
Black Hawk was determined to hold onto Saukenuk, where he had been born. When the Sauks returned to the village in 1829 after their annual winter hunt in the west, they found that it had been occupied by white squatters who were anticipating the sale of