Mistreatment of Native Americans Essay
Mistreatment of Native Americans
Land; is this a good enough reason for the mistreatment of Native Americans? Invading their lands, killing their people, breaking treaties, sending them to reservations; all this for land? The U.S. government has done many cruel and unfair things in the past, but this must rank among one of the most. It is through their sufferings and misfortunes that Native Americans are entitled to compensation from the U.S. government.
Native Americans had been an old culture in America 2000 years ago. The first British settlers, the Jackson Administration, and the Westward expansion had no right to remove the Native Americans from their land. Nor did they have the right to attack Native Americans and start wars against them for land. What if aliens from another planet were to come to take over Earth because they needed our land and resources? How would we react and feel?In the process of taking their lands, Native Americans were highly discriminated against and mistreated. They were forced out of their lands, sometimes without a notice in advance, and had to take long journeys to reservations unprepared. An example of this harsh treatment was when President Jackson in the 1820’s demanded the removal of the Cherokee from their homeland in Georgia and sent them to reservations in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Their journey from their homeland to the reservations was known as the “Trail of Tears” in which 4,000 died of starvation, disease, or exposure.
As if being relocated once from their homelands to reservations isn’t bad enough, Native Americans were often forced out of reservations and pushed even farther West due to broken treaties by the U.S government and expansion. The government was unfair in most of its treaties and often did not follow through with them. The Dawes Act, for example, gave each family 160 acres of land to cultivate and after a probation period of 25 years, Native Americans would be granted ownership of land and United States Citizenship. The problem with this act was that the Native Americans were nomads and therefore could not stay at a given area for a long period of time because their source of food, buffalo, was on the constant move. The U.S. government knew this and knew that the Native Americans could not stay there for 25 years, once again setting them up.
In the past 200 years, Native Americans have been stripped of their land, rights, and dignity. They have witnessed the deaths of their own brothers and sisters and have become a minority in the U.S. today. They were once a proud nation of people, but today they have the highest suicide rate and lowest life expectancy. This is all in part thanks to the U.S. government and Native Americans are entitled to compensation.