US Government policy towards the Plains Indians 1830-1851

US Government policy towards the Plains Indians 1830-1851

Conflict over land

Most white Americans saw the Plains Indians as savages who did nothing to improve the land. That meant that they, the white Americans, had better rights to own the land because they would improve it by digging it up for farming, using minerals for manufacturing, clearing its forests for timber and developing America into a civilised country.

They didn’t see why the Plains Indians should have good land and that they should either learn to farm it or move off it and let others farm it.

Throughout the century the Federal government (the main government) struggled for a solution to the ‘Indian problem’. As the numbers of white people grew conflict increased. The government had two main approaches to tackling this problem:

·         Keeping white settlers and Plains Indians apart

·         Encouraging Plains Indians to become like white settlers

Individual states were not allowed to negotiate with the Indians –

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