To What Extent Was The Dawes Act a Turning Point for NA Rights?

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  • Created on: 03-05-19 12:57
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  • To What Extent Was The Dawes Act a Turning Point for NA Rights?
    • Political.
      • Before Dawes Act.
        • Treaties.
          • Fort Laramie Treaties 1851 & 1868.
            • 1968: Federal commissioners set apart the 'Great Sioux Reservation' which stretched from the Missouri River through the Black Hills. However, Sioux rights to adjacent land was left deliberately vague.
          • Fort Wise Treaty 1861.
          • Medicine Lodge Treaty 1867.
      • After Dawes Act.
      • Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Tribal self Govt. restored but limited by Congressional amendments.
        • NAs not consulted & only 37% voted for it.
      • After the Indian Re-Organisation Act.
        • 'Indian New Deal' ended during WW2 & not until LBJ & Nixon from 1968 onwards was fed govt. policy again as supportive.
        • Indian Civil Rights Re-Organisation Act 1968 extended Civil Rights to NAs living in tribes but fed govt. support for NAs declined after mid 70s SC made series of decisions favourable to NAs 1974-86.
    • Activism.
      • Before Dawes Act.
        • NAs tried to resist & won some victories like Little Bighorn 1876 but by 1887 resistance had virtually ceased.
        • Ghost dances.
      • From Dawes Act 1887 to Indian Citizenship Act 1924.
        • Ghost Dances continued.
        • Attempts to flee from reservations provoked massacres like Wounded Knee 1890, after which resistance ceased.
        • SAI set up 1911 but broke up in 1920s b/c of tribal divisions.
        • Pueblo tribe lost land 1921 & had dances banned.
      • After the Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • NCAI set up 1944, NIYC 1961 & NARF 1970 to campaign for NA Civil Rights.
        • NARF won a series of SC victories 1974-86.
        • AIM formed 1968 & organised a series of occupations which had a short term impact on fed govt. policy but after mid-70s it faded b/c NA violence lost white sympathy.
          • Wounded Knee 1973.
          • BIA 1972.
          • Mount Rushmoor 1971.
          • Alcatraz 1969.
    • Social.
      • Before Dawes Act.
        • Some food & education provided but limited & funds often stolen by corrupt white officials.
          • Indian Boarding Schools from 1879 onwards taught basic literacy, numeracy & agricultural skilled. Aimed to 'kill the Indian, save the man'.
      • After Dawes Act 1887.
        • Didn't cover education but Indian Boarding Schools extended.
      • From Indian Citizenship Act 1924-Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Meriam Report 1928 led to improvements in education & health with many Indian Boarding Schools being closed down & NAs allowed to attend white schools.
      • Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Closure of Indian Boarding Schools, enabled NAs to attend white schools.
          • A few NAs went to uni & got jobs in BIA New Deal agencies funded improvements in health & education services on reservations but this ceased after 1941.
      • After Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Health & education on reservations gradually improved including Indian Education Act 1972.
        • NAs still most disadvantaged ethnic group in the USA WW2.
        • Termination led to increased urbanisation: % NAs living in cities rose 8-30% 1940-60.
          • NAs were confined to poor areas & many returned to reservations in old age.
        • By end of 1960s for 1st time significant no. of NAs had acquired uni education.
    • Cultural.
      • Before Dawes Act.
        • Economic basis of traditional culture destroyed but reservation system preserved it to some extent.
        • Traditional dances banned 1883.
      • From Dawes Act 1887 to Indian Citizenship Act 1924.
        • Aim of Act was to assimilate NAs into white society by destroying their traditional culture & make them think & act as whites did.
      • From Indian Citizenship Act 1924 - Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Aim of Act was to assimilate NAs into white society by destroying their culture & making them like whites individually rather than tribally.
      • Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • For 1st time in NA culture officially respected.
        • Bans on traditional dances & religious practices repealed.
        • Termination after WW2 marked return to forcible assimilation.
      • After the Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Urbanisation 1940-60 weakened traditional culture but it survived on reservations.
        • Culture was revived from 1960s onwards with rise of 'Red Power' & books like 'I lost my heart at Wounded Knee' 1970.
        • SC decision 1986- Charrier v Bell- enforced respect for NA burial grounds.
        • Uni education enabled young activists to overcome tribal decisions & engage in direct action.
    • Economic.
      • Before Dawes Act.
        • Buffalo virtually exterminated by 1885.
        • Most NAs land taken, destroying their traditional lifestyle.
        • NAs put on reservations but less aid provided than promised.
      • From Dawes Act 1887 to Indian Citizenship Act 1924.
        • Aimed to turn NAs into independent farmers by giving them 160 acres each with 'sirplus' land sold to whites.
        • NAs generally failed as farmers, except Navajo), fell into debt & had to sell land so 2/3 of what little land they had lost.
      • From Indian Citizenship Act 1924 to Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Did nothing to help NAs escape poverty; Meriam Report 1928 admitted NAs most impoverished ethnic group in USA.
        • No land restored until 1934.
      • Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Allotment abandoned & land restoration started but limited by congressional amendments & lack of funds.
        • Some govt. support for NA handicrafts.
        • By 1938, NA population rising faster than US average.
      • After the Indian Re-Organisation Act 1934.
        • Further land seizures & withdrawal of economic support during WW2 Indian Claims Commission 1946-78 offered only financial compensation not land return.
        • Termination policy 1953-68 aimed to free fed govt. from having to support NAs economically.
  • AIM formed 1968 & organised a series of occupations which had a short term impact on fed govt. policy but after mid-70s it faded b/c NA violence lost white sympathy.
    • Wounded Knee 1973.
    • BIA 1972.
    • Mount Rushmoor 1971.
    • Alcatraz 1969.

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