Essay On Native Americans Forced Assimilation

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With the arrival of Anglo-Americans, Native Americans lost much more than just their land. Tribes were forced onto reservations, stripped of their culture, wealth and place in society, with no hope of regaining what they owned unless by complete assimilation. For the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, many Anglo-Americans continually pushed for Native Americans to abandon their cultures and “savage” ways. However, despite the many attempts to force Natives into Anglo-American culture, many Native Americans found ways to negotiate with the demands of the Anglo-Americans through mainly social, economic and legal means. Most Natives decided against complete assimilation and took it upon themselves to resist any assimilation efforts by Anglo-Americans. Originally this resistance began as a reassertion of Native…show more content…
Many began by leasing their land. If Anglo-Americans wished for Natives to make a living off farming their land, well then why not lease for enough funds to feed a whole Native family? With the help of leasing “Native Americans no longer had to attempt to farm or develop their land. Nor did they have significant reasons to accept Anglo culture or society. They could live as they wanted, supported by the money from lease incomes. “ Leasing farmland was a way for Natives to simultaneously push away Anglo-American culture yet also assimilate in a way that benefits Natives most, in other words: accomodation. Although many Natives attempts at land leasing resulted negatively, like the 1889 Agreement which stated that the government no longer needed Siox agreement to take reservation land, both the Ghost Dance and farm leasings were first steps to Native Americans successfully negotiating with Anglo-Americans. Now Natives could play the same legal hands, and work under the same economy, as Anglo-Americans
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