American Indian Studies
US Dakota War of 1862
“Holding governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights, norms and international human rights instruments; promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities; promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity; assist efforts to reform and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Commission on Human Rights; and coordinate human rights activities with important allies, including the EU, and regional organizations” (U.S. Department of State.) This statement written by the United States Government is what the term human rights means to our government, and according to these laws, the United States should be considered guilty on the accounts of violating rules of this document. These charges come about as the result of the treatment the United States Government held toward the American Indian people. Euro-American settlers first came to America in the late 1500’s. What they saw when they arrived was opportunity. In their minds, they saw the opportunity for booming life. This life, however, would have to be on already owned land by the American Indian people. For many years the American Indian people were taken advantage of by the Euro-American foreigners. With the sole purpose of greed, the Euro-Americans swindled the American Indians until they had nothing left. Of course, the American Indian people did not give in easily, and fought for their right to their homeland and everything it provided for them for centuries.
Starting in 1805, the U.S. Government started forming treaties with the American Indian people for the land, which is now Minnesota. A treaty is, a formal agreement between two or more sovereign nations (Cantemaza, class lecture Oct 5, 2012.) The treaties made between the United States and the American Indians did not always follow the basic rules of a fair treaty, and unfortunately at the cost of the Indians. The land was valued at two hundred thousand dollars, however, the U.S. ended up paying only two thousand dollars (Kaplan, Anne R.) This new land was then made into a military post, Fort Snelling. The U.S. would almost never fulfill their part of the treaty to which they agreed upon. They would simply lie or change their side of the treaty when confronted by the American Indians of whom they made the treaty with. Even if the United States did hold their part of the treaty it was always almost an unfair trade. Most American Indian tribes did not know the value of their land and possessions, giving them an unfair disadvantage. With the American Indians being unaware of their disadvantage, the Euro-American settlers and United States generated a large profit from the treaties trades. These unjust treaties forced the American Indians to give up their land and homes for hardly anything of value in return. These trades and treaties continued for many years throughout American history. Personally, I think that these trades were extremely unfair to the American Indians; the Euro-Americans would knowingly rip them off. These one-sided treaties and trades were one of the reasons of war between the two.
In 1858, a treaty was made where the Dakota would give up their land in Minnesota, which is located north of the Mississippi River in return for money, food, clothing, and supplies. Even with the new land given to the U.S. Government, settlers went south of the Mississippi River and into what was left of the Dakota’s land. This angered me because, even when the Dakota moved to smaller areas, other settlers would still go there with no remorse. They would not follow the treaties, and the U.S. Government would do nothing to hold the settlers accountable. As time went on, like the past few years,...
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