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Transformation of the Indian Society Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on March 31, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 557 words

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Below is an essay on "Transformation of the Indian Society" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Government policy attempted to destroy tribal culture and assimilate Indian people into mainstream culture with many negative results. The Ghost Dance represented a last attempt to resist American policies and practices. Throughout the nation, Indian tribes adjusted to their circumstances with mixed results. In 1871, the U.S government formally ended the treaty system, but not completely abolishing the sovereignty of Indian nations. Majority of Indian people lived in poverty and misery, deprived of their traditional means of survival and more often than not, subjected to fraud by corrupt government officials and private suppliers. The most tenacious tribes were those occupying land rejected by white settlers or those distant from their new communities. Many tribes found it difficult to survive in the proximity of white settlers. A majority of tribes, especially smaller ones, sooner or later reached numbers too low to maintain their collective existence.
In 1887, the United States government inaugurated a new "Indian policy" with the Dawes Severalty Act. The technical term "severalty" actually meant something quite simple (and from the point of view of many Native Americans, drastic). It meant that the ownership of land in reservations would no longer be tribal or common, but individual. The law, in other words, was designed to establish the white notion of the land as "private property" as the new norm for Native American societies. Primarily, the act, passed by the Congress facilitated the division of lands held by tribal in individually-owned parcels. This opened 'surplus lands' to non-Indian settlements and rail road development. The Dawes Act of 1887 brought into focus 4 primary concepts and which were believed to be the objectives of this act.
The Ghost Dance was an attempt of a group of North American Indian tribes to further separate themselves from the white man and the religious doctrines they were forcing upon the tribal peoples. Among the Sioux and...

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