To What Extent Was Policy of the Federal Government the Most Important Factor Inhibiting the Progress of Native Americans in Achieving Their Civil Rights Between 1865 and 1992?

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To what extent was policy of the federal government the most important factor inhibiting the progress of Native Americans in achieving their civil rights between 1865 and 1992?

In this essay I am going to analyse whether it was the policy of the federal government which caused the progress of Native Americans to deter in achieving their civil rights between 1865 and 1992 or whether other factors like the lack of unity, discrimination and charitable organisation played a part in inhibiting their progress within this period.

First of all the American governments main aim was to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society between 1887 and 1933 which native Americans did not agree with as they wanted to be known as native Americans and not have to be part of the western society. The Americans governments plan to assimilate native Americans had been failing for hundreds of years when Roosevelt introduced the daws act which senator henry M. Teller said "...the real aim of [the Dawes Act] is to get at the Indians land and open it up for resettlement." This inhibited Native American progress of achieving civil rights because it restricted them to 160 acres of land per family in advance of the land rush and was the beginning of 100 years of genocide. Although the American government made out the Dawes act was for American welfare it was viewed the opposite by natives. In 1924 the citizenship act was able to be acquired by all native Americans however many native Americans were still not allowed to vote and the meriam report showed that Indians lived in poverty and restricted health care. This is significant because it shows that despite the federal government’s plan to assimilate Native Americans they opposed the Native American request to be what they wanted and deprived them of their culture.

However although the government played a part in inhibiting the progress of Native Americans they did gain help for example president Nixon who...
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