Native American Policy

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Native American Policy

After the Civil War, the Native Americans that lived on the land west of the American citizens have been put through misery. They had to deal with constant war with the American people. They were forced out of their homes and off of their lands. After being pushed off of their lands they were given these small sections of reservations to live on. It seemed as if the American citizens wanted nothing to do with the Native Americans. The only thing that they wanted from them was their land and crops so that they could expand the U.S.

Before the Civil War it seemed as if the American people tolerated and accepted the presence of the Native Americans. In 1787, Congress declared the Northwest ordinance. The Northwest Ordinance basically stated that the land that the Indians currently reside on would be reserved for them and that it should never be taken away from them. Just a century later all of that changed. In 1830, former president Andrew Jackson authorized the Indian Removal Act. This act gave the president permission to exchange Indian land east of the Mississippi River for lands farther west of the Mississippi River. The American colonies put pressure upon the Indian leaders to sign the treaties so that they could pass over their land. Once those treaties were signed, more than 100,000 Native Americans had to relocate.

After the Civil War, things didn’t get any better for the Natives. During the 1840’s the American citizens began to feel cramped and over populated in what “little” land that they had. So they decided to push farther west to obtain all of the American land that we now have today. People believed that it was their God given right to own all of that land. While the Americans saw this as a good thing, the Indians only saw it as trouble. This was when the federal government began to assign boundaries to each of the Indian tribes. These boundaries were known as “reservations.” With each reservation assigned the government...