Native Americans



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Native Americans


1763 Proclamation Line of 1763 by British government to protect Indians.

1828 Cherokee Nation v. Georgia: In 1828 the Cherokee, a "civilized" tribe who had lived in peace working as farmers, building houses and roads found gold on their land. As a result white settlers moved in and the State of Georgia claimed jurisdiction over the Cherokee. The Cherokee sued claiming they were independent from Georgia. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee. The victory was short lived, however, as President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the Court’s decision.

1830 Indian Removal Act pushes the Five Civilized Tribes west of the Mississippi River.

1838 Trail of Tears: Forced removal of the Cherokee west of Mississippi.

1850-60 California's Indian population: from 100,000 to 35,000

1851 Fort Laramie Treaty grants Indians their territory forever; Indians, in turn, guarantee safe passage of Oregon Trail travelers.

1860s First Sioux War. Transcontinental railroad construction and westward movement of Americans begin widespread encroachment on Plains Indian lands.

1864 Sand Creek Massacre: 300 peaceful Indian men, women & children attacked and slaughtered by U.S. Army under Colonel Chivington.

1867 Reservation policy established for the Black Hills & Oklahoma.

1870- 1880s Second Sioux War, Nez Percé, Apache Indian Wars with U.S.

1871 End of treaty-making by U.S.; Indians subject to U.S. policy.

1876 Custer's Last Stand: 264 soldiers killed by 2,500 Sioux & Cheyenne at Little Bighorn River, Montana.

1877 The Sioux surrender; Crazy Horse killed. The Nez Percé captured at Canadian border after 1,700 mile flight under Chief Joseph.

1885 Of an original 60 million, only 1,000 buffalo remain in the U.S.

1886 Apache's Geronimo surrenders.

1887 Dawes Act breaks up remaining tribal lands; enforces "Americanization" policy of settlement on reservations.

1890 Wounded Knee, South Dakota massacre of Native Americans.

1924 Congress passes a law granting Indians full citizenship who hadn’t already received it.

1932 President Hoover reorganizes the Bureau of Indian Affairs; increases its budget.

1934 Wheeler-Howard Act: Ended land allotments, restored unsold surplus lands to tribal ownership, authorized tribes to form councils with significant powers over their people. FDR's “New Deal” for Indians.

1953 Eisenhower’s “Termination” policy established to assimilate Native Americans. A dramatic revision of federal policy that ended the Bureau of Indian Affairs and all of its programs (later reestablished). It divided tribal property among its members. Limited tribal self government and relocated many Indians to the cities where jobs were available. The Termination policy also ended federal responsibility and social services (health, education, and welfare).

1973 Sit-in at D.C. Bureau of Indian Affairs to protest conditions. Indian rights movement gathers momentum, especially in organizations such as the American Indian Movement (AIM).



1974 Oglala civil war, Wounded Knee, S.D. siege by F.B.I. agents

1980s- Native American tribes granted exceptions to state anti-gambling present laws in New York, Connecticut, and other states, opening casinos on reservations. Native American and other human remains in American museums are returned to tribes for burial.


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