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Native Americans in the Gilded Age
Transcript of Native Americans in the Gilded Age
Gilded Age: The Gilded age is a period spanning approximatley the 1870's to the turn of the twentieth century.
Negative Impacts on Native Americans
The problem in brief was that the Native American on his reservation remained unincorporated into mainstream culture.
The Indian Problem is, in a sentence, how to get rid of it in the easiest and quickest way possible, and to bring the Indian and every Indian into the same
Native Americans witnessed the brutal and forced assimilation of themselves and their culture into that of mainstream white America.
In addition to disregarding tribal languages and religions, schools often forced the pupils to dress like eastern Americans.
Positive Impacts on Native Americans
Other whites attempted to solve the "Indian Problem" by devoting themselves to "Indian Work." These missionaries used teaching, preaching, and advising as means by which to transform the "Indian" into the "American" through the auspices of the Reservation agency. Boarding schools, detention facilities, and reservations acted as the institutions of Native American incorporation.
The Way They Lived
Each Native American family was offered 160 acres of tribal land to own outright. Although the land could not be sold for 25 years, these new land owners could farm it for profit like other farmers in the West.
Even when there wasn't fighting, many Indian nations suffered; more people meant fewer resources for everyone. Hide-hunters decimated the bison herds, on which many Plains Indians depended for survival. Resentment and mistrust brewed on both sides, and both were in the wrong on different occasions.
The experience of the Native Americans during the gilded age signifies the dangers of mass cultural incorporations.