European Expansion and Native American Losses
When the European colonies arrived to the land we now call America, the Native Americans’ way of life was destroyed. Europeans brought over diseases such as smallpox, measles, and malaria, all of which were never before exposed to the Native Americans. Disease wasn’t the only thing that the Europeans brought over. Along with Disease, Europeans also brought their culture, lifestyle, and their lust for land.
The population of the Native Americans dramatically declined from the 16th through the 19th centuries (Wikipedia). Epidemic disease contributed an overwhelming amount of decline in the Native American population due to the Native Americans lacking immunity from diseases the Europeans brought from overseas. Diseases would rarely be fatal to the European population, but often proved themselves deadly to many Native Americans. An estimate of 360,00 Native Americans remained by the end of the civil war (1865 to the Present 25), compared to the approximated two million to eighteen million there were before European expansion. It was not until 1832 that the federal government passed The Indian Vaccination Act of 1832, the first government aid program addressing the Native Americans’ health problems (Wikipedia).
To accommodate the increasingly white settlements in the West, Andrew Jackson passed The Indian Removal Act of 1830. The act forced eastern tribes to move west of the Mississippi River. The U.S. government assigned sections of land for the Native Americans to relocate to, divided up by tribe. To help the Native Americans adjust to life on reservations, The Bureau of Indian Affairs was established. While on the reservations the Native Americans were forced to give up their culture, and adopt European culture including speaking english, practicing christianity, and to farm rather than hunt. One of America’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, also wrote at length how the Native Americans needed to be...
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