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The Dawes Act of 1887
Transcript of The Dawes Act of 1887
Who Created the Act?
The Dawes Act of 1887 was created by President Grover Cleveland on February 8, 1887. The Act was named after the Republican Senator Henry Dawes, who was the Act's chief sponsor. The Act was passed by Congress and enforced by the entire U.S government.
What Did the Act Claim to Do?
The Dawes Act separated the Indians' lands and made them all live on their own instead of together as tribes. Families received 160-acre plots of land while single adults received 80-acre plots of land. The Dawes Act also promised American citizenship to every single Indian living on the reservations.
The Native Americans were given very little land. Families received 160 acres of land, single grown men were given 60 acres of land while boys were given 40 acres of land. Women did not receive any land at all. The Native Americans were not happy about the act at all because in total, they eventually lost 86 million acres of land and 62% of pre-1887 belongings.
A General Overview
What Caused the Act?
The U.S. government felt as if the Native Americans needed to adopt their culture in order to become more "civilized". The Dawes General Allotment Act was created to speed up the assimilation process of the Native Americans.
What Did Native Americans Think of This Act?
Republican Senator Henry Dawes was the chief sponsor and namesake of the Act.
What Did this Act Actually Accomplish?
The Dawes General Allotment Act only succeeded in making the Native Americans suffer even more than before. After the U.S. government split up the Indians' land, they sold the remaining territory and left the Indians with only 1/3 of their original land. Also, the Dawes Act did not give every single Native American citizenship like it promised it would.
Grover Cleveland, the President of the United States from 1885 to 1889, created the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887.
Helen Hunt Jackson published the book A Century of Dishonor, explaining how the American Indians were treated unfairly, and how they deserved citizenship.
The Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887
After the Indians' land was broken up, the remaining territory was sold by the U.S. government. This is an advertisement for the land.
This political cartoon shows that the Dawes Act "ate up" the Indians' land
The Dawes Act was created by President Grover Cleveland on February 8, 1887 and was named after Republican Senator Henry Dawes.
The Act split up the Indians' land and promised them all American citizenship.
The Act was unsuccessful because the Indians lost 2/3 of their land and were not granted American citizenship.
The Native Americans were not happy about the Dawes Act at all. They were forced to set aside their own beliefs, follow the ways of the whites, and give up their land.
“A Century of Dishonor.” CioccaHistory. PB Works, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
“Cleveland Signs Devastating Dawes Act into Law.” History. A&E Television
Networks, 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
“Cleveland Signs the Dawes Severalty Act.” History. A&E Television
Networks, 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
“The Dawes Act (February 8, 1887).” PBS. The West Film Project, 2001.
Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
Works Cited Cont.
The Dawes Act of 1887. By JOHNFITZAMH2020. YouTube.
YouTube, 23 Jan. 2011. Web. 10
Sept. 2014. <
“Dawes Act (1887).” OurDocuments.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
“Grover Cleveland.” NNDB. Soylent Communications, 2014. Web. 10
Sept. 2014. <http://www.nndb.com/people/433/000026355/grovercleveland.gif>.
“Henry L. Dawes.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Sept.
Works Cited Cont.
“Marty Two Bulls, ‘Dawes Act.’” Indian Country. Indian Country Today Media Network, 2014.
Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://d1jrw5jterzxwu.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/styles/cartoon_header_image/public/uploads/2012/02/marty-two-bulls-dawes-act.jpg>.
Rzeczkowski, Frank. "Dawes General Allotment Act." Dictionary of American History.
Ed.Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 506-507. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 Sept. 2014.
By Jerry Castillo, Aswini Madugula, Ben Pokorny, and Sophia Skurnick
The Ghost Dance
The Indians could forget about their own religious beliefs, adopt the ways of the whites, and receive land off of the reservations.
The Indians could refuse to change their ways and choose to stay on the reservations, where they would die a slow and painful death from starvation.
The Indians could choose not to assimilate or live on the reservations and be exterminated.
Wovoka, a Paiute Indian, began a religious movement known as the Ghost Dance. He predicted the arrival of a paradise for American Indians, and in this paradise, the buffalo herds would return and the settlers would disappear. Indians who performed the dance believed that it would lead to a new life free from suffering. This Ghost Dance caused the Native Americans to begin rebelling because it gave them a newfound sense of hope.