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The Assimilation of American Indians in the Late 1800's
Transcript of The Assimilation of American Indians in the Late 1800's
It destroyed American Indian culture and tradition.
The US government admitted to its failure and granted the Navajo tribe reservations in New Mexico and Arizona.
The government tried to rebuild Indian communities, but only to a very small degree.
Gradually, the Indian population began to increase again and the American economy eventually improved.
Native Americans are regarded as one of the many ethnic minorities within modern-day America.
There have been several recent attempts to restore and preserve native culture.
For example, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 which stated that all "cultural items" must be returned to Native American lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes.
Effects of the Attempted American Indian Assimilation American Nation in the Modern Era. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2003. Print.
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The US government wanted the Native American culture to become more Westernized.
George Washington and Henry Knox were the first to propose the idea of assimilation.
They wanted to "civilize" Native Americans.
The United States was trying to establish a national identity, so it encouraged all people living in America to be educated in order to instill similar cultural values in all American people.
They believed that education is the best way to acculturate minorities.
The US government hoped that Americanizing the Indians would be the most successful way to peacefully integrate them into American culture and society. Forced assimilation begins... The American government abolished a great deal of American Indian communities and lands and forcibly moved them onto reservations. The United States government attempted to assimilate American Indians through education. They established American Indian boarding schools for children.
Mission schools were built that provided boarding school training for Indian children.
At the schools, the children are ...
forced to learn and speak English
forced to wear "proper" (Western) clothes
forced to change names to American names
forced to convert to Christianity
Tribal governments were forced to make changes to be more connected with the American government.
The United States altered traditional voting and governance procedures on reservations.
They decreased the influence of chief councils and religious leaders.
They banned traditional ceremonies and rituals because the government believed that Christianity was the only "civilized" religion.
The US also encouraged handling of American money.
Many organizations like the Boston Citizenship Committee, the Women's National Indian Association, and the Indian Rights Association worked to promote assimilation .
Political, Religious, & Economic Assimilation In the late 1860's, President Ulysses S. Grant proposed a solution to the American Indian conflicts.
"Peace Policy" :
relocated various tribes from their ancestral homes to allocated parcels of land for American Indian inhabitation
replaced government officials with religious leaders to manage the Indian agencies and to convert the natives to Christianity
Indian Agencies managed and controlled all Indian affairs and their assimilation.
Disadvantages to this policy:
a great deal of corruption among the Indian Agencies
very poor conditions in relocated tribes
many of the Indian tribes are of a nomadic nature and restricting them to a certain area of land did not work with their way of life
the US army had to force tribes back into reservation areas, which led to many brutal and bloody battles and massacres
Battle of Little Bighorn
In the end, this policy was a failure. It was eventually replaced by Dawes General Allotment Act which gave parcels of land to individuals rather than entire tribes.
Dawes General Allotment Act 1887
The creation of individual homesteads for American Indians.
This act allotted tribal lands to individuals in exchange for Indians becoming US citizens and giving up some of their tribal self-government
It required Indian lands to be surveyed.
It required that American Indian families receive 160 acres of reservation land for farming. Any remaining land would be sold.
Some of the land was sold to settlers and developers as surplus.
The Indians were often sold or cheated out of allotments.
Effects of the Act: American Indians lost two thirds of their reservation lands.
In the end, 93 million acres of Indian land was sold.
Many American Indians rejected the offers for individual family farming.
Most of the allotted Indian lands passed to non-Indians because of sale, tax liens, and fraud.
The immense loss of Indian land and culture put American Indians in poverty for a long period of time.
The United States' government's attempt to forcibly integrate and assimilate the Native Indians into American culture and society was ultimately a failure. Although assimilation acts by the government in the late 1800's were unsuccessful, the integration of American Indians continues to this day.