Dawes Act Analysis Emma Wixom 1b

-I think the Dawes Act was originally intended to help Native Americans. “Dawes felt that the law, once fully realized, would actually save Native Americans from the alternative, which was their total extermination.” (Study.com)
-The Dawes Act effected the Native Americans in many ways. Including farming, inheritance, etc. “In addition, the techniques of self-sufficient farming were much different from their tribal way of life. Many Indians did not want to take up agriculture, and those who did want to farm could not afford the tools, animals, seed, and other supplies necessary to get started.” (Archives.gov)
-For the Native Americans, they gained their land through inheritance. But European Americans gained their land through paying for it, or fighting for it. “It explicitly sought to destroy the social cohesion of Indian tribes and to thereby eliminate the remaining vestiges of Indian culture and society. Only by disavowing their own traditions, it was believed, could the Indians ever become truly “American.”” (Khanacadamy.com)
-The Dawes Act completely rearranged the whole territory of Native land in Oklahoma; and took a lot of it away.
-The Act was specifically meant for those that were still Indians, and of the Indian culture. Not for those that come from Indian culture/heritage.
-Henry Dawes was in charge of dispersing the native land.
-There are a lot of reasons as to why the Dawes Act would have been made and put into action. Maybe the European Americans felt that these people were too uncivilized and uncultured to be around. But since they fought for a new country that is about equality, they made the Dawes Act to put these Native Americans at their level of equality.
My three problems: Settlers moving West into Native Land. Broken promises made to Native Americans by U.S. Government. Fear of violence between the Natives and the settlers. (Both sides)
Perspective: Native American

-As a Native American in early America, this new law is going to made an already racially unsure country go into chaos. This can make life for the Native Americans very difficult because they are seen as different and not civilized like these European Americans. The American Government talks about equality, but where is it?

One of the main problems associated with the Dawes Act is that they are trying to vaporize a culture that has existed long before American settlers arrived. They say that they want the Natives to become truly “American,” when in reality these people are the original Americans. Personally, that is the biggest problem with the concept of the Dawes Act. Shouldn’t it be reversed? If the settlers want to be truly “American” then wouldn’t they want to try and aspire to be like the Native Americans.

Even through the attempts to make this plan work, things did not go as planned. For example, when the Native’s land was being dispersed white Americans were gaining control of the land. There were people who did not agree with the Act, but those in charge were determined to make sure the law would be put into action. Now, the Dawes Act did not apply to all of the Native American tribes, but only the ones that the Government classified as ‘uncivilized.’ This did not last long though, because the Act had to be adjusted so it would apply to all Native American tribes; called the Curtis Act of 1898.

To be completely fair, I do see where the newly settled Americans were coming from when they thought of the concept of the Dawes Act. This is because back then, when they saw something different or abnormal they thought it needed to be fixed and be what they are used to. If this was a problem in the 21st century, I would say to just leave them be and live the life they are used to having. They live their lives, and you live yours. However, this is a concept that members of the United States had to learn over time. At the time, with what they knew and experienced, I would either have them leave the Natives alone or come up with a compromise with them. That compromise being that the Natives are given a section of land in the country where they can keep their practices, but also have unity with the U.S. Government. This way they can keep their traditions and lifestyle, while a newly created country can keep things as civilized as possible. This way, there will be less violence in-between the Americans and the Natives.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.