Was the period from 1865-1890 a turning point for Native Americans?

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  • 1865 - 1890
    • 1862 - homestead act
      • The federal government collapsed the plains via the Homestead Act of 1862 which made settlers populate homesteads or farms with up to 20,000 covering an area of 280 million acres of land. The creation of homesteads on the plains forced NA's onto reservations for the government's intent for farming. Reservations were often poor quality and had over 130K NA's living in them
    • 1851 - 1868 - Indian treaties: put on reservations
    • 1862 - 67 - Plains Wars
      • Many tribes like the Sioux and Cheyenne were hostile to white settlers and the army during the Civil War. Evidence of this hostility is seen by the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and the Plains Wars 1862-7.
    • 1864 - Sand Creek Massacre
    • 1865 - Construction of Union Pacific Railway/ Migration to railroads and gold mining towns
      • The union pacific railway encouraged more settlers onto the plains and further west which disrupted buffalo herds and leeched off their tribal lands.
    • 1868 - Fort Laramie Treaty
      • Many reservations were created as a result of treaties. The Fort Laramie treaty for example created the great Siox reserve for example. The government allowed a degree of self-determination via these reservations though after 1871 congress usurped all authority.
    • 1876 - Battle of Little Big Horn
      • Eroded the great sioux reserve and reduced to just 6 small reserves
    • 1870s - education - sent off to reservation boarding schools
      • Education was also a key in 'Americanising' the Native Americans. Children were taught English, though this was limited as many teachers were fustrated by the language barrier and conditions. They established vocational schools and in the 1870s did provide trades for boys such as mansory and girls cooking. But few found employment and many moved back to the reserves.
    • 1882 - Indian Rights Association
      • Promoted the ending of tribal lifestyle and wanted NA's to fully addimilate into society. This would be done via the reform of faith and customs.
    • 1887 - Dawes Act
      • By the late 1880s, it was evident that the reservation policy was failing to assimilate the NA's. Congress, thereforem divided the reservations into homesteads or allotments for NA's. This was done via the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887, The DA was successful at removing reservations with more than 78m acres remaining in 1990 and 150 in 1887.
    • 1898 - Curtis Act
      • The 1898 Curtis Act which suspended their self-determination and wanted to change the Indian territory to Oklahoma.

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