U.S. Immigrant and Ethnic History Term Paper

Pages: 12 (4040 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

Immigrant and Ethnic History

Compare the Land-Allotment Strategy used with the Choctaw's with the Treaty Strategy that was applied to the Cherokee. What are the key differences between both approaches to Indian lands? Do they share any similarities? What were the outcomes of each strategy

Land allotment was significant when it came to the Indians and what the settlers would offer to them. The Choctaws were given a land allotment strategy, while the Cherokee Indians were offered a treaty strategy. Both of these strategies had both pros and cons, and therefore both must be addressed here, to see where their similarities and differences lie, and to examine the outcomes of both of the strategies. It is also important to understand some of the interaction that the settlers had with the Indians as well.

The French were voyageurs, missionaries, and trappers who had great respect for Indian culture for the most part and did not try too hard to change the Indians over to the French way of thinking. They did convert some Indians to Christianity, but that was not their primary goal. The main goal of the French settlers was simply colonization. They intermarried with the Indians and thus expanded their population faster than they could have if they had only kept to themselves. This intermarriage helped to build good relations with the Indians and this could have partially accounted for the good settlement experiences that most French people had (VandeCreek, 2000).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on U.S. Immigrant and Ethnic History Assignment

The British colonists were not as friendly with the Indians as the French, and spent most of their time on expansion and exploration activities. Colonization was a large goal with the British as well as the French, and they were more likely to use force against the Indians to gain land than to try to come to some agreement. To them, the Indians were savages that needed to be driven out. Many explorers were interested in gold and precious metals in the new world, but the British were hungry for land and eventually took over many of the areas they had previously given to the Indians as preserves. The British were also intent on converting people to their religion, since they left England to escape the persecution of what they felt was the 'wrong' religion. As can be seen, the French and the British had very different dealings with the Indians that they encountered, and this also affected the way that the Indians responded to settlers overall in the future.

Eventually, however, the Indians found themselves pushed out of much of the land that they had previously enjoyed. The land allotment that was utilized with the Choctaws was designed to give them a specific amount of land, but there was little to no negotiation regarding what the Choctaws would get and whether they could get more land, or whether there were other things that they could give in order to acquire more property or other agreements with the settlers. In other words, the Indians were told what they would be given, and that was the end of it. As a result of this, they were forced out of much of the land that they had previously enjoyed, and the land that they did receive was not really enough. They had governments, but they were not really as autonomous as they needed to be, and they were still under the control of the federal government, which kept the Choctaws from actually having the freedom that they had in the past and were used to.

Where the treaty and the Cherokee Indians were concerned, the deal was somewhat better. A treaty implies that there is an agreement where both parties get something, and there was more negotiation available to the Cherokee Indians than there was to the Choctaw Indians, although neither agreement was all that fair when the big picture is examined. The Cherokee Indians, however, were afforded some protection from the government under the provisions of the treaty. In addition to the protection, though, the Indians lost some of what they were used to having, such as the right to trade with whomever they chose. The government established basic jurisdiction over the Indians and were able to regulate them more closely than the Indians likely wanted, but the freedom that they were given on the land that they did have and the hunting rights that they were offered by the government were important to them. Even though they gave up certain things, they were also given much through the treaty. However, the government of the United States ultimately received the better deal where the treaty was concerned.

While many people still blame the settlers for what happened to the Indians, the Indians did cause problems as well. The Indians could provide the settlers with things to trade and a barter system could be established, which might help the settlers not to work quite as hard as before. Some Indians were hostile, however, depending on which tribe they belonged to. Many Indians killed white settlers instead of seeing what kind of agreements they could come to. They did not want the settlers to take any more of their land.

American Indians hold to many of the traditions that they had in ancient times, and some of these traditions have not changed much for those that see them as important and valuable. There are many people of American Indian descent that live what would be considered by Western, Caucasian society to be 'normal' lives, but there are also many that still remain on reservations and stick to the old ways of doing things. Unfortunately, many of these individuals do not have much money, and the suicide rate for American Indians living on reservations is rather higher than the average. There are also problems with alcohol, teen pregnancies, and other issues that plague this society. The American Indians that live in this way keep to themselves and their culture, and they may spend their whole lives on the reservation. By doing this, they limit themselves to the doctors that are available there and do not always get the best or most advanced treatment that Western medicine would be able to offer them.

All of these concerns are important for the Indians, and they are also important as an understanding of what has gone before where history and settlement is concerned. If it were not for the settlement of the Americas by the colonists and the changes that they enacted in the Indian way of life, things would be very different for the Indians today. However, there is no real way to say whether this is essentially good or bad overall. Too much has happened over a long period of history to be able to determine whether the Indians throughout the rest of history have received more help or more hindrance from what took place long ago.

One of the largest 'problems' that the Indians experienced, however, was the Louisiana Purchase and the subsequent Westward expansion that took place afterward, largely started by Lewis and Clark. Many Indians who did not want to give up their lands fought for them, but in the end the white settlers were stronger. They also had better weapons. The Indians were forced to retreat even farther, and Lewis and Clark were sorry that they had encouraged the westward expansion so much, since it resulted in a great hardship for the Indians who rightfully should have owned that land.

Lewis and Clark's expedition sent the whole country on a quest for exploration. It was not long before waterways were created stretching from east to west, and a train route was established following the trail that Lewis and Clark made when they headed off on their exploration. Thomas Jefferson's estimate that it would take 100 generations before the entire area had been explored and populated was far from the truth. In reality, it happened in less than five generations, and none of this helped the Indians.

Possession of land is a recurring theme throughout the nineteenth century. Discuss how the differing relationships to the land typically experienced by European immigrants and their descendents, native Americans, African slaves, post-bellum African-Americans, and Mexicans contributed to the relative successes of these different ethnic groups.

When the Emancipation Proclamation came about in 1863, it freed all blacks in the rebel states. The slaves in the southern states still worked for their masters for several more months, because the north and the south were fighting and the south considered itself a separate area, not subject to the laws made by the northern President. Also, the southern people were very much against freeing the slaves. If that happened, they would have to pay people to work on their plantations instead of just having the free labor the blacks provided to them for food and a place to sleep. All United States slaves, wherever they were, were set free after the civil war. Because of this, the southern blacks found the same problems that the northern… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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