Racial Genocide Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2368 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 16  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

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These brutal forced marches, sometimes in the dead of winter, were nothing short of horrific, and today would be labeled a war crime (Indian pp). The most famous of these marches has come to be known as the Trail of Tears.

By 1827, the Creek Indians were gone from the area known as Georgia, having been killed or pushed west, and although the Cherokee remained, in 1828, when gold was rumored to be in the North Georgia mountains, the lives of the Cherokee was forever changed (Trail pp). The Cherokees were not a nomadic people, they were farmers, cattle ranchers, lived in permanent villages and towns, and even had an alphabet, perfected by Sequoyah (Trail pp). Moreover, they had assimilated many European-style customs, including the fashion of dress (Trail pp). The Cherokee had a system of representational government, roads, schools, and churches (Trail pp). In 1838, the government began the removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma, under the command of General Winfield Scott and some 7,000 men (Trail pp). In one of the saddest episodes of U.S. history, the army invaded the Cherokee Nation and captured approximately 15,000 men, women and children from their land and homes, herded them into makeshift forts and then forced them to march more than a thousand miles (Trail pp). More than 4,000 Cherokee died along the route due to starvation, disease and exhaustion, hence the name, Trail of Tears (Trail pp).

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The government attacks on the native population in North America are too many to recount, however, they include familiar names such as Kitt Carson, and General Custer, to name but a few. The last and perhaps saddest of these attacks came in 1889 at Wounded Knee.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Racial Genocide There Is Much Assignment

The once proud, free-roaming Sioux Nation found their life destroyed, the buffalo were gone, and they themselves were confined to reservations and dependent on Indian Agents for their existence (Massacre-I pp). Desperate for a return to their glory, many Native Americans "sought salvation in a new mysticism preached by a Paiute shaman called Wovoka" (Massacre-I pp). Emissaries from the Sioux in South Dakota traveled to Nevada to hear the words of Wovoka, who called himself the Messiah and "prophesied that the dead would soon join the living in a world in which the Indians could live in the old way surrounded by plentiful game" (Massacre-I pp). He also said that a tidal wave of new soil would cover the earth and bury the whites, and the prairie would be once again restored (Massacre-I pp). However, to hasten the event, the Indians were told to dance the Ghost Dance and to wear Ghost Shirts, said to protect them from the soldiers' bullets (Massacre-I pp). During the fall of 1890, the Ghost Dance spread through the Dakota reservations, causing fear in whites and leading an Indian Agent at Pine Ridge to wire for help, urging that the leaders to be arrested (Massacre-I pp). An order went out to arrest Chief Sitting Bull at the Standing Rock Reservation, and on December 14th, while protesting to his arrest, Sitting Bull was shot and killed (Massacre-I pp). When Big Foot heard of Sitting Bull's death, he decided to lead his people, a little more than 300, south to seek protection at the Pine Ridge Reservation, however, an army of some 470 soldiers intercepted them on December 28th and brought them to the edge of the Wounded Knee to camp (Massacre-I pp). The next morning, as Chief Big Foot was dying of pneumonia, the soldiers began to disarm the Indians, and all was quiet, until one brave, instead of handing over his rifle, fired at the soldiers (Massacre-I pp). Within minutes, 25 soldiers and 300 Sioux were dead, including Big Foot, as well as women and children who had been mowed down by gunfire as they tried to flee (Massacre-I pp). The Massacre at Wounded Knee ended the Ghost Dance movement and ended the Indian Wars (Massacre-I pp).

Incredibly, it was not enough to genocide an entire race of people and force the survivors to reservations, the government also forced the native children to federal boarding schools, where they were forbidden to speak their own language or practice their own culture, and were forced to adopt the English ways (Reservation pp). The war still continued, only now there were no guns, however, it was an ingenious way of making certain that the culture of these peoples died with the younger generation (Reservation pp). And in fact, by the time most of the children returned to their families they had forgotten their language and their customs (Reservation pp). This silent genocide continued from 1870 to 1928 (Reservation pp).

Work Cited

The Reservation Boarding School System in the United States, 1870 -1928

http://www.twofrog.com/rezsch.html

Massacre-I at Wounded Knee: 1890

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/knee.htm

The Trail of Tears

http://ngeorgia.com/history/nghisttt.html

Indian Removal.

http://www.stanford.edu/~paherman/indian_removal.htm

1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee

http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/wknee.htm

Stannard, David. American Holocaust. Oxford University Press, 1992

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/History/American_Holocaust.html

The Genocide of Native Americans: A Sociological View.

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/lillithsrealm/myhomepage/Sterilization/GNA.htm

Genocide-I of the American Indian People.

http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/usgenocide/IndianPeoples.html [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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