Early on in the text we learned about a time period in our history that took the land from the Native American’s, making them promises of a better life if they would move to different locations in the country and live on a Tribal Reservation. This period of time was called manifest destiny and caused an everlasting effect upon the Native American’s in this country. The Native American’s went from complete freedom, which included being able to roam and move about as they wished, and each tribe valued in most cases other tribes land and laws. Manifest Destiny caused isolation and hardships in many ways for those that were native to America long before settlers came to the new land. Today there are still many issues that face the Native American people and continue to isolate them as a people, which has led to their isolation in many ways, and still today the tribal nations fight for their rights and to practice their beliefs against the American Government. What changed so drastically that turned the Indians against the white man? Were these the same white men that were welcomed with open arms by the Indians when they first stepped foot on American soil? Did and has the American governments greed caused the continued struggle for the Native Americans when it comes to isolation issues? These are just a few of the issues that will be explored in this paper.
Manifest Destiny was a term first used in the 1840’s by the Americans. It was the belief of Americans that they had the inalienable right to expand its western frontier from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans, “from sea to shining sea”, and claim the entire North American continent for itself (Bowles, Mark, D., 2011). The following are just a few steps that Americans took in the Assimilation of the Native Americans:
Step One: This began when the United States government passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. This Act allowed the government to move the Native Americans westward away from the approaching white civilization, also during this period; several treaties began to establish Tribal Reservations. The structures of those agreements were violated during the westward expansion which led to much friction between the American people and the Native Americans. Prior to the Civil War, The One Big Reservation policy relocated numerous tribes in the upper northern plains, and many thought this would ensure a peaceful coexistence. However, during the 1850’s the American migration west continued to expand in ever-great numbers. With settlers travelling by Conestoga wagon and even greater penetration allowed by transportation technologies such as the railroad, the Big One Reservation stood in the way. The problem was the railroads needed to pass through the heart of the native American territory in Kansas and Nebraska. To make way for the steam engines and the towns they spawned along the way, the American government broke many treaties they had made and signed with the Indian chiefs. This pushed the native Americans further North against their will into lands that were less fertile and less conductive to their tribal customs. (Brinkley, 2010).
This now brought the end to the One Big Reservation policy and ushered in a new era of what the white mans’ government called “concentration” where they isolated the Native Americans to approved reservation lands. In 1851, the U.S government and the chiefs had a meeting, in which the government gave the leaders of the Plains tribes’ gifts and bounties in return for them relocating, and accepting these tribal limitations. The U.S government gave the Dakota region north of the Platte River to the Sioux, west of the Powder River to the Crows, and the foothills of Colorado and Nebraska to the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Page 3
The Bureau of Indian Affairs set up agents who tended to their needs with a certain amount of success. These agents promised each tribal chief that concentration in...
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