How Did The Dawes Act Affect The Industrialization Of Native Americans?

2008 Words9 Pages
When Amerigo Vespucci first “discovered” America, he was surprised to find inhabitants there who already had a developed culture. When the Spaniards, French, and English came and began to inhabit the area, the long history of injustices against Native Americans began. Starting from the encomienda system, to the Indian Removal, the settlers began to subjugate the Native Americans. Soon, when America began to obtain lands in California and Texas, settlers began to believe in the idea of Manifest Destiny. This idea convinced the settlers into believing that they had a right to the land in the West and began to industrialize there. When more Americans settlers began moving West during the 1850s, the Americans began to divide Native American land…show more content…
The Dawes Act of 1887 destroyed the reservation system by subdividing tribal land into individual plots. Unsurprisingly, the whites had not reflected on their previous actions and chose to continue to interfere with the Natives and their land. The point of the Dawes Act was to try to assimilate the Native Americans into their white society. The believed that by enforcing individual plots, the Natives would soon adapt to, what the Americans would call, responsible farmers. The problem was that this adaptation proved extremely difficult for the Native Americans. Throughout their entire life, they had only been exposed to Native American traditions and that were unlike those of the white man’s. As a result, the Dawes Act produced negative ramifications. According to Brian Duigan,“many nomadic Indians were unable to adjust to an agricultural existence; others were swindled out of their property; and life on the reservation came to be characterized by disease, filth, poverty, and despondency” (304). The Dawes Act was not only successful in destroying much of the Native American property, it could not properly account for the Native Americans. Similarly to the Indian Appropriations ACt of 1857, the whites were not able to empathize with the Natives. Furthermore, “the act also provided that any “surplus” land be made available to whites” (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica 1). As a result, much of the government mandated land, was swindled off to the selfish whites. Not only had the had the whites taken the majority of the Native American land, they inflicted a laundry list of raging diseases and ailments. There seemed to be no end to how insensitive the whites could
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