Treaties Between Native Americans and the U.S. Government

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 5 (2194 words) Published: March 20, 2007
When the first Hispanic colonists came to North America in 1769, the population of the Native Americans dropped critically. There used to be over 300,000 Native Americans in California. The Hispanics forced the Native Americans into slave labour and in no time, European diseases such as smallpox, influenza, measles, and typhus which the Spanish and French settlers brought from Europe to America broke out and killed over 100,000 Native Americans in California alone. The first treaties guaranteed reservations and in some cases even economic aid for the Native Americans. For example, the first ever treaty with Native Americans, was the "Treaty with the Delawares" on the 28th September 1778, which not only asked the Delawares to forgive the past disagreements, but also asked for peace between the U.S. and Natives and the allowance for American troops to pass through their land. In Article 6 of the "Treaty with the Delawares", the Americans in turn guaranteed to respect the territorial rights to the fullest as long as the Delawares stay friendly towards the Americans. This treaty did not totally free the Native Americans from the U.S., they still had to ask for permission if the tribes wanted to invite other tribes, and such cases were only granted, if it was also in the interest of the United States. In the "Treaty of Greenville", in 1795, the U.S. government forced twelve tribes, among them the Delawares, Miamis and Wyandots, to sign a peace agreement. When more and more European settlers came to America and settled down especially in lands east of the Mississippi, the U.S. Government decided to reposition the natives living in the east, to the west of the Mississippi. Because of the purchase of vast landscapes, today known as Louisiana, from the French, President Jefferson had enough space to resettle the Native Americans. This procedure was called the "Indian Removal Act" and was carried out by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. Any tribes that refused to leave their homes were fought against by the U.S. Army. The Sauk declined and got beaten by the Army. The Fox and the Sauk were affected most. On July 15th 1830, the Treaty with the Sauk and Fox, forced these Tribes to give away an enormous amount of land which ranged from the upper fork of the Demoin River, along the little Sioux and the Floyds rivers, then back to the fork of the Demoin River which then leads to the Big Sioux. Afterward the border goes along the Calumet River, to the Missouri River and along the Missouri State border until the north west corner is reached, then along the Highlands and back to the Demoin River. After the Blackhawk war in 1832, the Americans took advantage of the Fox and the Sauk state, and made them sign a treaty in which the two tribes were obliged to cede all their land in eastern Iowa, within fifty miles of the Mississippi, except one small reservation belonging to Keokuk, a famous Sauk leader. The Americans paid them 20,000 dollars annually for a period of thirty years, 20,000 dollars in goods and in addition the Americans would pay the amount of 40,000 dollars they were in dept with a well-known company. In 1836, Keokuk agreed on another treaty with the Americans, in which the Foxs and the Sauks sold 1,25 million acres of land because most of it was already inhabited by white settlers. Once again Keokuk's reservation near the Iowa River stays untouched. For this sale, the Foxs and the Sauks became 30,000 dollars annually for a period of ten years, 10,000 dollars every year after these ten years and 200 horses. With the increasing prosperity in the Fox and Sauk Tribes, other problems appeared. A lot of these people used the money to drink themselves to death. John Marshall, a member of the Supreme Court in 1832, changed the Constitution of the United States, by stating that the Native American Tribes were inhabitants of independent regions that don't fall into state-authority, but only into the jurisdiction of the federal government....
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