Native Americans and Westward Expansion
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The paper discusses the Trail of Tears as a harbinger of what was to come in the century ahead as attempts were made to make Native Americans into model American citizens. The paper explains that in addition to the physical force and relocation, Native Americans also had to combat the terrible weapon of disease and suffer murders by vigilantes, and so their population dropped significantly. The paper notes the similarities between the racial subordination of the Native Americans and the blacks and also addresses the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 and the fact that children were taken from their parents and sent to white Christian boarding schools. The paper clearly shows how the Whites only succeeded in settling the American West at the expense of the region's indigenous peoples.
From the Paper:"When the American settlers began moving westward at the beginning of the 19th century, they saw the Indian nations as a major obstacle to their new frontier lives. In 1830, President Jackson signed the "Indian Removal Act," giving him power to negotiate treaties with Indians east of the Mississippi to exchange their land for lands to the west. Few Cherokee agreed to move, and they were given two years to migrate voluntarily. Just 2,000 had migrated by 1838, and 16,000 stayed on their original land. The federal government sent 7,000 troops to coerce them to leave. They were not given time to collect their belongings, which the whites looted. This began the Trail of Tears, a march westward where 4,000 Cherokees died of cold, hunger, and disease (Ehle 1997). For the Native Americans, this deathly migration was a harbinger of what was to come in the century ahead as attempts were made to make them model American citizens.
"One of the major concerns of the settlers was how to eliminate the rebelliousness of the Indians, who refused to be relegated to their new reservations in the West and to accept the ways of the white pioneers. There were those who truly many who believed the saying, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." More "humane" were individuals such as Richard Pratt, who was concerned about the way the Indians were being treated, but for the wrong reasons."
Sample of Sources Used:
- American Eras. 8 vols. Gale Research, 1997-1998. "Disease and Westward Expansion (1800-1860)." Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. http://galenet.galegroup.com.libdb.fairfield.edu/servlet/HistRC/
- Brinkley, A. 2009. American History A survey--13th Edition. New York: McGraw Hill.
- Crenshaw, K. 1995 Critical Race Theory. New York: New Press
- Ehle, J. 1997 Trail of Tears: Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. New York: Doubleday.
- Johnson, M.P. 2008. Reading the American Past, Volume 11: From 1865: Selected Historical Documents. New York: Bedford, St. Martin
Cite this Term Paper:
Native Americans and Westward Expansion (2011, December 13) Retrieved January 18, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/native-americans-and-westward-expansion-149392/
"Native Americans and Westward Expansion" 13 December 2011. Web. 18 January. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/native-americans-and-westward-expansion-149392/>