US Government policy and the Plains Indians

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  • US Government policy and the Plains Indians
    • Key Events
      • 1830 - Indian Removal Act - forces Indians in eastern states to move west of the Mississipi River
        • The US Government forced 46,000 eastern Indians to give up their lands in return for the new lands west of the Mississippi River. Whites now thought this land was worthless - 'Great American Desert'
      • 1834 - Indian Trade and Intercourse Act - sets out the frontier between the USA and Indian territory
        • A permanent Indian frontier divided Indian Territory from the eastern states. Forts guarded the frontier to stop whites crossing over to settle in Indian Territory
      • 1848 - US victory in the Mexican-American War
        • Situation changed when the USA gained new territories in the West. Instead of being on the western edge, Indian territory was now sandwiched in the middle of the USA
      • 1851 - Indians Appropriations Act - money allocated for setting up Indian reservations in modern day Oklahoma
    • Government support for western expansion
      • US government needed US citizens to go and live in it's new territories in the west
        • Meant that people needed to be able to travel on trails across Indian lands
      • The US army forced Indians to move away from trails in case Indians attacked travellers migrating from east to west
        • Consequence - US policy started to change - permanent Indian Frontier was still marked the boundary with Indian lands, but now whites were allowed to cross the frontier
    • Indian Appropriations Act, 1851
      • This act paid for moving Indians in Indian Territory onto reservations.
      • As well as keeping whites and Indians apart the government hoped that reservations would help Indians learn to farm and live like the white Americans
      • Reservations would allow white people to teach Indians about new ways of living. Also they could become a way of controlling where Indians went and what they did

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