Native Americans and the Declaration of Independence

Topics: Wounded Knee Massacre, Lakota people, Sioux Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: March 13, 2006
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, have the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and have control of the government when it becomes destructive, these rights , although stated in Americas constitution, were not granted to the Native Americans. The Native Americans were made to endure the hardships of being forced out of their land, being killed, thrown into countless wars, and promised lies.

The 1830's and 1890's proved to be some of the worst times for the Native Americans in U.S. History. In the 1830's, for the most part, Native Americans still lived in their native lands. However, white men considered them a threat to peace. So, in 1838, the Federal government had what they called the "Five Civilized Tribes" removed from their native lands. These tribes were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. They were forced to march 800 miles from their home's to the "Indian Territory", which is modern-day Oklahoma. Under cruel conditions, the army forced the peaceful tribes through the cold, winter weather to their new homes. During this ordeal, known as the "Trail of Tears", over 4,000 Cherokees alone died, out of the 15,000 moved. They died due to disease, exposure, and starvation. Even when the Indian Territory was reached, the US Government was not satisfied. Slowly, more and more of the land was taken away from the Native American's. A government who maintained ideas of equality and freedom, were showing that these ideas obviously did not pertain to everyone. In 1902, several hundred thousand acres were cleared out for white settlers. In 1907, the Indian Nations ceased to exist, and when Oklahoma became a state, all Native American territory was assimilated into the Union.

The Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 is known as the event that ended the last of the Indian wars in America. As the year came to a close, the Seventh Cavalry brought an end to the century-long U.S. government-Indian...
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