US History and Policies towards Native Americans

The Great Britain having colonized the Native Americans imposed anumber of policies. After the conclusion of the American War ofIndependence in 1783, the responsibility for directing relationsbetween the white population of North America and the Native Americanpopulation passed from the Great Britain to the new U.S government.Therefore, the New United States imposed their control over theNative Americans through a Civilization Program. According to Perdue(4), the program led to the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The paperwill discuss the policies made by the British to the NativeAmericans, the U.S. `right of conquest` policy of the 1780s/90s, theU.S. `civilization program` of the 1790s/ early 1800s, and the U.S.Indian Removal program of the 1830s

During the French and Indian war, the colonies of Britain had to seekthe help of their colonial master. While Britain gave the support, itcame along with some policies that were inevitable for the coloniesto follow. After succeeding in the French and Indian War, the GreatBritain introduced some imperialistic policies as a way of assertingits sovereignty over rebellious colonies in Native America (David19). Having had eyed the west part of the Appalachian Mountains, theydrove away the people settling there and they settled there. Due tovulnerability to future conflicts, they issued Proclamation Act of1763 that cleared all settlements around the area officially(Lesaffer and Jan 400).

Britain had already incurred a lot of cost in the war. Therefore,they needed to come up with a way of raising money. Since there wasalready tax from their citizens, they could not extract more moneyfrom them. They later came up with a way of sourcing money from theircolonies through imposing tax exports. That was reinforced by theSugar Act of 1764 (Zinn 350). However, the act was ineffective due tosmuggling of Sugar. Since there was a more pressing need for thecolonial master, they decided to form a new law where they would taxdocuments such as newspapers and diplomas (Perdue 5). The Stamp Actof 1765 became effective. However, it was re-appealed in 1766.

The Stamp Act of 1765 was followed by the Declaratory Act of 1766,which stated the main purpose of Britain is keeping its colonists(Lesaffer and Jan 400). The Act claimed that the Native Americanswere subordinate to their colonial master and should serve theirparent country. Eventually, Britain had an upper hand in parliament,and the first decision they made was the Quartering Act of 1765 thatdeclared the Britain soldiers had rights to food and shelter in anylocation of their colonists (Dell`Orto 58). There were alsopersistent funds crisis and they had to pass the Townshend Acts of1767 that placed a duty on the import of tea, paper, glass, andpaint. At this point, there was reduced smuggling, but taxes werepoorly collected. They had to re-appeal the act in 1770.

The Tea Act of 1773 would give the British Indian Company a trademonopoly (Lesaffer and Jan 400). They would offer tea at a lowerprice to suppress other people interested in the markets. TheAmericans thought it was a bribe to acknowledge the parliament`sright to taxation. They, therefore, held a boycott. On being provedwrong, Britain enforced the Coercive Acts of 1774 as a punishment(Perdue 17). The Act led to the closure of the port of Boston andbanning regular meetings in Massachusetts. The act reduced the rightsof the colonies to self-governance. The colonial master would nowexercise maximum control over their colonies. They did so through theQuebec Act of 1774 where they extended rights to royalist Canada(Knafla and Haijo15). The policies carried on until 1776 at thedeclaration of independence of Native Americans.

After independence, the Native Americans wanted to have control overthe Northwest Territory. It was a century of conflicts over theterritory. The Treaty of Paris 1783 made the Great Britain to giveaway in the Northwest Territory for control (Dell`Orto 58). Thetreaty led to the end of American Revolutionary War. According to thetreaty, the Great Britain ceded all the territories it wascontrolling in North American. It also ceded the territories in theEast of River Mississippi as well as the South of Canada in theUnited States. However, they retained the policies that made themretain some the fort and policies that would keep the AmericanNatives to the territory.

As a result of the developments, the original contracts that existedbetween the Indian occupants and the Great British became void. Withthe help of the British, the Native Americans got involved in theNorthwest Indian War with some Indian tribes (Zinn 31). After thesedevelopments, the United States government used conquest to claim theIndian land regions that were located in the east of the MississippiRiver (Zinn 37). This was done through the application of the rightof conquest.

After gaining control of the territories, the initial attempt of thenew United States government was to impose its control and will uponNative Americans. However, this policy swiftly faltered. Despitethis, President Washington and his Secretary of War, Henry Knox setup new policies in the late 1780s to set a new course (David 21). Thenew course had come to be called the ‘civilization program.`According to Washington, the civilization program upon the nativeswas a way of establishing a good relationship with the newly formedUnited States and the American Natives. He, therefore, came up with asix-point plan that would help in establishing the civilizationprocess (Waldman 236).

There would be an impartial justice towards the Native Americans.They were not to enjoy justice like the White Americans. There werealso regulations on buying the Native Americans lands (David 22).However, there would be a promotion of commerce in the region wherethe Native Americans had settled. There was also the advancement ofexperiments to civilize or to improve Native American society. Bycivilization, the Native Americans were to be taught how to behavelike the White Americas. Some people like Benjamin Hawkins were sentto live among the black Americans to teach them how to live and actlike the white (Zinn 350). Presidential authority to give presentsprevailed and those who violated the rights of the Native Americanswere punished. The six-point plan was made to make the NativeAmericans to submit to the United States. Making them enjoy equalrights would compromise their control over the Indigenous Americans.

The cultural assimilation of the Native Americans aimed fundamentallyat the cultural transformation (Zizek 10). The culture of the NativeAmerican was considered inferior as it belonged to the minority.Therefore, the assumption was, on learning the United States cultureand values, tribal traditions would be merged and eventually theindigenous Americans would join the majority (David 24). The mergingof the two races was of great benefit since the white Americansbelieved that they would require the Natives in the future (David25). An education system was a tool used for the transmission of theculture. People would be taught the Whites culture and values.

The Civilization program later led to a U.S. Indian Removal programof the 1830s. The Indian Removal Act of 1930 came about as the UnitedStates wanted to relocate the Native Americans from the East ofMississippi to the West of Mississippi (Levine 47). The Act did notauthorize the forced removal of the original settlers in the land.However, due to abuse of the office, Washington with the help of therecommendation of negotiation in the act decided to remove forcefullythe Indians in the region. A well known good example is the Treaty ofEchota that was signed by Cherokee who was a fraction of Indians thatwere not honored since it advocated for the voluntary exchange ofland (Perdue 4). The treaty was revised, and the members forced torelocate, with some suffering fatalities during the forcedrelocation.

Works Cited

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