Finding a solution Natalie Warth 2B

My name is Natalie Warth. I am a US Senator. In our country right now, there has been conflicts between the native Americans and the European settlers. Being a US senator, I care deeply for this country and its success. These conflicts have caused fear of violence between natives and settlers. And with fear and discontent in the country we won’t be able to expand westward peacefully.

Custer's last stand

Problems in the US 1890's: Different beliefs about land ownership, valuable resources on native lands, settlers moving west and into native lands, and native american citizenship in the US.

DIFFERENT BELIEFS ABOUT LAND OWNERSHIP: The native Americans believe that land cannot be owned or bought. They believe in being in harmony with the land and that it is everyone’s to share. The settlers believed in buying and owning the land. This caused conflict because the settlers wanted to own land that the natives were using and make the natives land owners. Because of their cultural differences they did not see these conflicts the same way.
VALUABLE RESOURCES ON NATIVE LANDS: When the settlers found out that there was valuable resources- like gold- on native lands, the settlers took the land from them. The president was able to do this through the Dawes Act. According to the Dawes Act, the president could take land away from the natives at any time he deemed it fit. This is a conflict because it takes away the rights of the natives and treats them as less than the settlers, even though they wanted the natives to be more like the settlers.
SETTLERS MOVING WEST: Settlers began moving west because they believed in manifest destiny. So when they moved west they also wanted to spread their ideas. Because of this they not only took away the natives land by moving in, they also wanted them to abandon their culture for the “American way”.
NATIVE AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP IN THE US: All the other conflicts built up to one big conflict which was whether or not the natives should be American citizens. This shows the divide between certain beliefs people had back then. Many American citizens wanted the natives to become citizens (manifest destiny) but a lot of natives did not.

Previous Attempts

The Dawes Act was an attempt at solving some of the problems. It removed the natives from their culture and made them American citizens by giving each family or single person land. It attempted to solve the solution of different views of land ownership but just forced the natives to be subject to the settlers’ views. It was also an attempt to solve the issue of who got valuable resources found on land. It made it so the president would get to survey land he felt was valuable and could distribute it however he wanted. This only “solved” the problem for the settlers but was unfair to the natives. So in reality it did not solve the problem but favored the settlers.

"While Senator Dawes may have been well meaning in his intentions, the results were less than satisfactory for the Indians. It provided for each head of an Indian family to be given 160 acres of farmland or 320 acres of grazing land. The remaining tribal lands were to be declared "surplus" and opened up for whites. Tribal ownership, and tribes themselves, were simply to disappear. The story would be much the same across much of the West. Before the Dawes Act, some 150 million acres remained in Indian hands. Within twenty years, two-thirds of their land was gone. The reservation system was nearly destroyed". -From Effects of the Dawes Act

Native territory Before the dawes aCt
Native territory After The dawes act

Solving the Problem:

My solution is for the settlers to live in harmony/coexist with the natives because this would solve any of the problems mentioned before. This would be possible because it is what the Native Americans already believe in. They believe in living in harmony with everything on earth. I would also pass acts to protect the natives’ beliefs and the settlers' beliefs.

Different beliefs about land ownership- The natives do not believe in owning land so they also believe in sharing it. I would pass an act that allows the settlers to move west but cannot settle in areas already occupied by the natives. (ACT #1)

Valuable resources- This would be part of the before mentioned act. If the resources are found in native land, it’s the natives. If it’s on the settlers’ land, it’s theirs.

Settlers moving west- This would be solved the same way as the first problem. Share the land, don’t take over.

No native American has to become an American citizen or give up their culture and tribes. But they can become citizens if they choose to. If they choose to become citizens they can also remain in their tribes but would have to follow the laws of the US not the tribe. (ACT #2)

This might result in the same way it already did but it would come about in a better way than taking over land, killing, and making the natives abandon their culture. It solves the problem of that time. It makes the natives and settlers separate but equal if they choose to or become one united group.

Created By
Natalie Warth

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