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Transforming the West. Federal Land Grants, Homestead Act, Exodusters Review: Reservations , Attempts at Assimilation, Dawes General Allotment Act. Indian Removal .

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transforming the west

Transforming the West

Federal Land Grants, Homestead Act, Exodusters

Review: Reservations, Attempts at Assimilation, Dawes General Allotment Act

indian removal
Indian Removal
  • Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 into law in order to remove Native Americans from east of the Mississippi River to the west.
  • Trail of Tears and the Five Civilized Tribes
    • Cherokees and Seminole resist removal as long as possible
    • President promises they will have “land of their own, which they shall possess as long as Grass grows or water runs. [He] will protect them and be their friend and father.”
      • Empty promises
things begin to change in i ndian territory
Things begin to change in Indian territory
  • As had happened in Georgia prior to Indian Removal, Gold was discovered in Indian Territory
  • By the late 1860s, Native Americans were forced on reservations—they were no longer free to roam
new settlers come to indian territory
New Settlers come to Indian Territory
  • As the restrictions on white settlement were lifted or ignored Native Americans fought to keep their land
  • The government waged war against the Sioux
  • Sand Creek Massacre, 1864
    • Colorado militia killed Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe members, including women and children
what does it take for peace
What does it take for peace?
  • Red Cloud and some of his followers ambushed troops from the U.S. army
  • Public was shocked by the loss of life and the inhumanity of these events
  • Government’s Indian policy was being questioned by reformers and humanitarians
    • Did not want another Trail of Tears
indian peace commission
Indian Peace Commission
  • Thought the best solution was for Native Americans to settle on farms and adapt to white culture
  • Many Native Americans signed treaties agreeing to stay on reservations
  • After a while, the confinement became too much
    • The area was fraught with disease and poverty
    • More broken promises led to frustration and violence
battle of little big horn
Battle of Little Big Horn
  • The Black Hills God Rush in 1875 attracted prospectors to Sioux hunting grounds
  • Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull tried to drive out the prospectors when the U.S. Army sent troops in—George Custer and his troops arrived ahead of the other U.S. forces
    • They were greatly outnumbered by the Sioux and were all killed
the ghost dance
The Ghost Dance
  • It is a religious revival ritual that hoped to get rid of the white settlers and restore the buffalo to the Plains
  • As government officials heard about the movement, they became concerned
  • They arrested Sitting Bull—he was killed along with several others
  • A fight broke out at Wounded Knee, South Dakota
    • Unarmed Native Americans were slaughtered by cavalry
    • This event sealed the fate of most Native Americans
a century of dishonor
A Century of Dishonor
  • Helen Hunt Jackson, 1881

“There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected…it makes little difference where one opens the record of the history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain…”

forced assimilation
Forced Assimilation
  • Has the result of making sure the Native Americans belong to neither culture
  • By taking on white cultural behaviors and values, they could become alien to their own people
  • Likewise from the white perspective, the assimilated Native Americans still were not White
dawes act
Dawes Act
  • This act replaces the reservation system with an allotment system
    • Each family was granted 160 acres for farming
    • Generally, with the dry climate of the West, this allotment was not big enough to support a family
    • Families could not sell or transfer their land for 25 years in the hopes that younger Native Americans would eventually take up farming
railroads and open range
Railroads and Open-Range
  • The railroads tied the nation together and stimulated the growth of towns and cities
    • The railroads also increase white greed for Native American lands
  • The railroads also provided the means to move meat to eastern markets
  • Open-range system means the land isn’t fenced, ranchers knew their own boundaries and branded their livestock
cattle drives
Cattle drives
  • Cows were rounded up after the winter and the railroads took them east
  • These men worked long hours and combed thousands of acres on trained horses
    • Bands of men often included former slaves and Mexicans among whites
  • The invention of barbed wire helped to end open-range ranching as did the excess in supply of beef
    • Not enough demand
homestead act 1862
Homestead act, 1862
  • The government offered plots for farms to people willing to live on the farm for five years as well as build a road and dig a well
  • The Great Plains were the last part of the country to be heavily settled because it was viewed as too dry--“if the trees don’t grow, neither will the crops” was the mindset
  • Some former slaves called Exodusters looked to Oklahoma and Kansas as the promised land
life on the plains is different
Life on the Plains is different
  • Many can’t afford lumber so houses are made out of sod
  • People constantly battled drought, windstorms, locusts and harsh winters
    • Many headed back to the east