Reaction Paper: American Indian History 1895-1995

Pages: 3 (951 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans  ·  Buy This Paper

Native Americans, New Voices: American Indian History, 1895-1995," David Edmunds discusses the fact that Native Americans were largely ignored in scholastic approaches to American history throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, but that this focus changed in the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement encouraged awareness of Native American history. He focuses on several different aspects of the historical portrayal of Native Americans to come to this conclusion. First, he highlights how Native Americans were portrayed in popular media as a group that had been defeated and gives examples of these portrayals. Second, he discusses the fact that Native Americans were largely ignored in historical scholarship, focusing on the fact that Native Americans were largely ignored or marginalized in the American Historical Review for most of the early part of the 20th century. Next, Edmunds discusses the transformation of Native American history in the 1960s, when the Civil Rights movement ushered in an increase in awareness and interest in Native American issues, including Native American history. Since that time period, there has been a growing interest in all aspects of Native American history, expanding it far beyond the white-conflict centered military history that dominated early Native American scholarship and even placing studies of pre-Columbian Native-American society within the context of global development, rather than limiting developmental comparisons to what was occurring in the Western world. What some of this recent scholarship demonstrates is a Holocaust of native populations when Europeans came to the Americas, but also the resilience of native populations in the face of European invasion.

The article is well-written. Because it is basically a review of the available historical information, the article could be very dry and boring. However, he uses good examples to highlight the conclusions and points that he is making in the article. Moreover, he strings together the evidence that he uses to paint a broader portrait, not only of the way that Native Americans were portrayed in American history during those time periods, but also of what they may have meant about the overall cultural treatment of Native Americans during those time periods.

While I certainly have not studied history to the same extent as Edmunds, what I do know of Native American history certainly seems to support his thesis. My discussions with people in older generations all reinforce the notion that they were taught that Native Americans were a people in decline and that their academic study of native populations was limited to learning about how Europeans impacted native populations. Therefore, I have to agree with his conclusions about the changing face of scholarship. I had a difficult time isolating an opinion in the article; Edmunds is engaging in an overview of the history that is available during the time periods he covers in the article, not really drawing any of his own conclusions from that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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American Indian History 1895-1995.  (2012, November 25).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-indian-history-1895-1995/1203931

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"American Indian History 1895-1995."  25 November 2012.  Web.  18 June 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-indian-history-1895-1995/1203931>.

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"American Indian History 1895-1995."  Essaytown.com.  November 25, 2012.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-indian-history-1895-1995/1203931.