The U.S. Policy toward Native Americans in the 19th Century - Article Example

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In the paper “The U.S. Policy toward Native Americans in the 19th Century” the author gives an overview of the U.S. policy toward Native Americans in the 19th century. He explains the policies of Presidents Jefferson, Jackson, and Grant and differentiates between Indian removal and allotment…
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The U.S. Policy toward Native Americans in the 19th Century
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Final Essay Questions A. Give an overview of the U.S. policy toward Native Americans in the 19th century. Make sure to explain the policies of Presidents Jefferson, Jackson, and Grant. Differentiate between Indian removal, reservations, and allotment. What happened at Wounded Knee; where and when did it occur?
Jefferson, as the governor of Virginia, ordered the moving of the tribes that fought on the British side to the west of the Mississippi River. Jefferson believed that Native American should give up their culture and beliefs to blend in with the Western Europe Culture. The Embargo act was also an effort of Thomas Jefferson. Similarly, President Jackson instigated forced resettlement of Native American tribes from the Southeast to west of the Mississippi River. He ensured the aggressive enforcement of Indian Removal Act. On the other hand, in 1953, President Grant declared that if Native Americans were not forced upon Whites, they would be harmless and his most remarkable activities as President include policies for the protection of African Americans and Native Americans in the West. His policies advocated for their education and wellbeing (Danzinger).
Indian removal refers to the policy forced by the government of the United States for the relocation of Native American tribes from the east of the Mississippi River to its west. On the other hand, an Indian reservation refers to an area of land administered by Native American Tribes and by the end of the 19th century there were 300 reservations established in the US. Some tribes ignored the relocation orders and forcing them back onto reservations resulted in a number of Native American massacres. The Indian allotment act allowed the President to divide reservations into separate lands for individual members. Its major aims were to civilize Native Americans and to acquire use of Native-American lands for non-Natives (Gunn)
Wounded Knee was the last battle of American-Indian wars which occurred on December 29, 1890 near Wounded Knee creek in South Dakota, United States of America where, after the demise of Sitting Bull, General Custers old regiment rounded up about 350 Sioux. The Native Americans were asked by the soldiers to surrender their weapons. Around 300 Native Americans were murdered and their dead bodies were left to freeze on the ground ("The Wounded Knee Massacre.").
B.  During the 19th century, Congress enacted major legislation that had lasting implications. Explain the following, giving the date, the purpose, and the result: Embargo Act, Fugitive Slave Act, Homestead Act, Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Sherman Anti-trust Act.
The Embargo Act (1807-1809) was an effort by U.S. Congress and President Thomas Jefferson to prevent American trade with Europe. The objective was to make France and Great Britain desert their policies of inference with American trade including the seizing of neutral American ships (Frankel 291). However, the act backfired on Americans causing a decline in American economy leading to recession and depression. Exports declined 79.30 percent while the imports declined 58.86 percent (Frankel 294). Therefore, it was abandoned in 1809 without having attained its goal.
Fugitive slave act was passed in 1850 which gave Whites unrestrained power in the capture of African-American and free blacks even after the official end of slavery in New York State in 1827 (Smith 37). The northern reaction against this act was immense almost nullifying its effects. However, it continued to remain legally operative until its repeal on June 28, 1864 by the Congress ("Compromise of 1850").
The Homestead Act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, was enacted in 1862 which stated that any adult citizen who had never taken arms against the American Government could claim for the ownership of 160 acres of government land. The objective was to give people an incentive to move to sparsely populated areas and to tie the west to the north both politically and economically. The act was framed so vaguely that it seemed to invite scam. Hence, it was ended by The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 ("Homestead Act 1862").
The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed by President Chester A. Arthur, was approved in 1882 which restricted the Chinese labor immigration into the United States. As a result, only a few non-labor Chinese could enter America under this law after attaining certification from Chinese government. It was passed on the complaints of certain localities that competition from Chinese immigrants was driving down their earnings and posed a threat to their ethnic purity.  This was repealed by the 1943 Magnuson Act after China became an ally of the U.S. in world war two ("Chinese Exclusion Act 1882").  
Sherman antitrust act, signed by President Benjamin Harrison, was passed in 1890. It falls under the category of antitrust laws. It prohibited trusts and monopolies, for they concentrate the wealth in few hands, in order to regulate the businesses. Consequently, the vigorous competition gave a big drive to improvement and expansion of the oil industry as a whole ("Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890"). 

Works Cited
"Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)." General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. Web. 24 June 2013. .
"Compromise of 1850 (1850)" Record Group 46; Records of the United States Senate, 1789-1990; National Archives.Web. 24 June 2013. .
"Homestead Act (1862)." Record Group 11; General Records of the United States Government; National Archives. Web. 24 June 2013. .
"Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)." General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. Web. 24 June 2013. .
“The Wounded Knee Massacre.” U.S. History. Independence Hall Philadelphia. Web. 24 June 2013. .
Danzinger, Edmund Jefferson. "United States Indian Policy During The Late Nineteenth Century: Change And Continuity." Hayes Historical Journal. Web. 24 June 2013.  
Frankel, Jeffrey A. "The 1807-1809 Embargo Against Great Britain." The Journal of Economic History 42.2 (1982): 291-308. Print.
Gunn, Steven J. "Indian General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) (1887)." E Notes. 2004. Web. 24 June 2013. .
Smith, Earl. "William Cooper Nell on the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850." The Journal of Negro History 66.1 (1981): 37-40. Print. Read More
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