Montanans in Conflict
Conflict has been part of the Montana story since prehistoric times. Although much intertribal contact involved peaceful exchange, Native American tribes also vied with each other to control territory and resources. During the Indian Wars era, tribal warriors staunchly defended their homelands against Euro-American encroachment. After Montana joined the Union, when the United States entered the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II, Montanans enlisted at a per capita rate far above the national average and proudly served in all branches of the military. Other Montanans protested against these same wars on ideological grounds. Although non-military conflict has sometimes been marked by violence—the vigilantes of the gold rush and labor strife during World War I—discord has most often been settled without bloodshed in the voting booth or courtroom.