Greediness and the desire to expand more to the West, in order to acquire more lands, were the main reasons for conflict and wars between the white population of America and the Native American Indians. They could not mutually agree, as they both wanted the best for themselves. The Native Americans were sceptical towards the whites and the whites on the other hand didn’t trust the Native Americans. Many of the white population were running out of room on the East Coast of America. As the US believed in the concept of “Manifest Destiny”, which consisted in filling the whole continent with loyal white Americans, this would inevitably lead to conflict, as the Native Americans wouldn’t have anywhere to live. It must also be noted, the importance of religion in the Indian tradition, it was even considered as a way of communication with foreigners. Indeed, the Indian religion was profoundly different to that of whites, it involved a belief in the sacredness of the land. The chief of the tribe did not have a total power over the actions of his tribe. This was a good system, but the whites could not understand it. Hence, the presence of racial misunderstandings and conflicts between the white population and the Indians. One must be also aware, that unlike other ethnic groups that now dwell in the United States, Native Americans were the original residents of this country, they were neither brought to America by force, nor by immigration. Many anthropologists and historians including Philippe Jacquin, who was specialized in the American West, wrote several books regarding the issues between the United States and Indians recounting the history and reasons behind the strained and hostile relations, they have maintained with each other. Jacquin was born in France at Donville-les-Bains in January, 1942 and died at Lyon in September 2002. Among the books he has published, there is “The Indian Policy of the United States (1830-1890)”. Along this book, he outlined the history of American Indians and their hostile relations with the American settlers; including the inconstant policy that the US had adopted with Indians along history, in order to conquer the American West. In examining the issue of American Indian policy in Jacquin’s book, and the extent to which it exploited the Native Americans, it is fundamental to investigate the historical relationship between the Native Indians and the white settlers, throughout the colonial period and through the later stages of American development. One should additionally study the principles of land ownership, the varying attitudes towards the Indians following removal, from exclusion to Americanisation, and whether the experiences of the different tribal groups were universal or as diverse as their own cultures and customs. First and foremost, the Industrial Revolution in the early nineteenth century had an enormous impact on the lives of Native American Indians. As white settlers continued to move west, Indian inhabitants became an obstacle to achieving the “American Dream” of prosperity and social progress. Hence, there was a growing support for legalised means of removing Indians. Indeed, between 1825 and 1840, the American government created the permanent running along the 95th meridian. However, the US broke its promises, within eleven years, as White started going across into Native American lands. Despite being under the legitimacy of the US federal government, the American constitution did not really contribute in protecting Native American Indians as Jacquin asserted in his book, “La constitution américaine les ignore. Les pères Fondateurs ne souhaitent pas les legitimiser” (p.19, l.14-15). Hence, many white settlers believed that because land was a means of attaining success, and that the native, who had been living on this land had done little to cultivate it, so they thought that they were acting in a good manner by seeking to eliminate Native American Indians from the American...
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4- Francis Paul Prycha, Americanising the American Indians, University of Nebraska Press, 1973.
5- Edmund Jefferson Danzinger, Jr. United States Indian Policy During the Late Nineteenth Century: Change And Continuity. http://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/content/files/hayes_historical_journal/usindianpolicyhhj.htm
6- David L. Ghere, Jan F. Spreeman, US Indian Policy, 1815-1860: Removal To Reservations. http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/pdf/USIndianPolicy_LOne.pdf
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