citizenship

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To what extent was the acquisition of US citizenship in 1924 the most important turning point in the development of Native American civil rights 1865-1992? Whilst it can be argued that there were only very few turning points in Native American history, and most of them would be said to have been in the final third of the period 1865-1992, it can also be stated that there were lots of important turning points for the Natives whether they be good or bad. All through the period different events can be seen as important turning points, from the Battle of Little Bighorn early in the period but then later on the citizenship act or foundation of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). However it is important to put these events in context with the government policy and also the time that they occurred in relation to other events as the Native Americans changed and adapted to their new circumstances as the period went on. An example of this would be the unsuccessful government policy of assimilation that proved to have an extremely adverse effect on the Natives so this could also be seen as the most important turning point in Native American history. During the first third of the period (1865-1900), it can be stated that there are not many turning points in the development of Native American civil rights. Since the White Americans had journeyed across America (1860’s) the Natives were practically under their control as they were being rounded up and caged in reservations by the Whites. One of the main events in this period was the massacre at Wounded Knee as it brought an end to the Sioux tribe’s freedom and was seen as the final protest by the Native Americans. It was called a massacre due to the fact that 200 unarmed men, women and children were slaughtered by the federal governments military. To the Natives this slaughter brought home the realisation that they would not be able to stand up to Whites which would mean that they would therefore have to either...