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Asses the impact of Westward expansion on Native Americans

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Introduction

Asses the impact of Westward expansion on Native Americans The impact on the Native American people during the 19th century when white settlers began to expand into the west was utterly devastating. Pre-colonisation, there were a recorded 10 million Native people, once the Frontier was established, and closed, there were only 400,000 confirmed remaining. These remaining people were confined to the cruelty of reservations and coercions, legally, socially and economically, the last of which was likely hardest felt and most important aspect. Politically, Native Americans were subjected to an outrageous hypocrisy. When first negotiating with various Native Americans tribes, be it Soux, Arapaho, Cheyenne or Lakota, each were recognised as a distinct and independent nation, detached from the USA. This meant they acted under their own rules and had their own political culture; they were not subjected to, nor incorporated within, either the constraints or liberties of the American constitution. Even the 1830 Removal Act, brutal in its implementation recognised the 'Five Civilised Tribes' as autonomous ad external nations. ...read more.

Middle

This legal affront on Native Americans by both civil progressiveness and racial nationalists greatly prevented their ability to regain any of their lost political, social or economic rights, and was done deliberately, as was the case with the Standing bear case, where the United Sates government did not overrule a decision made by a local court which restored some of the rights of the tribal leader, for fear of setting a federal precedent where Native Americans were established as a legal entity. Needles to say without this recognition, Native Americans had no influence within the courts themselves; there were no Native judges or lawyers, for example. Furthermore, when someone like Red cloud was shot for resisting arrest, nobody cared for there was no legal capacity for the Native Americans to respond - it is not just that the could not defend themselves from accusation; they could not even prosecute, or speak against those committing atrocities unto them. This legal vacuum not only affected their political capacity, but made it entirely acceptable to ravage their culture, ransack their land rape their women. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Miriam Report of 1928 suggested that the Dawes Act entirely failed in assimilating Native Americans into society, in fact doing the exact opposite; ostracising them. With starvation came real population collapse; in 1865, there were 300-400,000 Native Americans; by 1890, there were only 100,000 remaining, which obviously affected their economic growth capacity; only the Cherokee, who discovered gold, and few other tribes, survive to this day. To conclude, there are many different ways in which Westward expansion affected Native Americans, be it economic, political, social, legal or a mixture of them. The Natives economic lack of power meant that their legal and political rights need not be respected and their social culture became devoid of meaning. The intentional action by the Federal Government and Congress, combined with the economic backdrop of industrialisation and the ensuing collapse of any political or social autonomy as well as the sheer scale of brutal murder, by way of either reservation, deprivation or assassination, impacted on an irrevocable, immeasurable and incomprehensible scale on those who owned the continent. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joshua Rose History Mr Saddington - 1 - ...read more.

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