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The West And Its Evolution: A Study Of The United States Policy Towards The Indians

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The United States Policy towards Indians in the West

In the mid-nineteenth century, Indians dominated the West America region in the United States. The government’s desire to expand its territories towards the west influenced the formulation of Indian-American policy. Consequently, American-Indians tribes who lived in the west of Mississippi River were confined to Oklahoma. The steady flow of Europeans immigrants into the northeastern parts of America led to the flow of migrants into the western land that was occupied by Indians. American settlers’ hunger for the Indian land led to the violation of the treaty signed by Americans and Indians agents on territories integrity. United State expansion to Mississippi River enabled them to gain control over the territories, therefore, marking a pivotal transformation in the history of America. The essay discusses the United States government’s policy towards the Indians in the west and its evolution.

The American government desire to establish its own authority and legitimacy over the Native Americans resulted in the establishment of American Indian policy from the years 1783 to 1830. The Federalists aimed at protecting themselves from the Indians as they declared attacks to protect the enclaves of the white settlers. The American government with the help of the military drew legal boundary as stated by the treaty to confine the Indians from the whites (Roark, James, et al 361). Moreover, the federal government and military provided protection to the settlers in the areas which the Indians has inhabited. The United States developed, established and implemented a Native America Policy which indicated the relationship conditions between the government and the indigenous tribes. After America became independent, it adopted similar policies to European towards the native people.

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In 1824, the Indians were considered independent political communities as they had a different identity by the government of Unites States. However, a massive massacre of the settlers in the west and the Indian communities rose resulting in loss of lives. To cab the tension of attack, the US government and the local Indians tribes held a conference to establish a treaty of Fort Laramie. The treaty gave conditions on territories boundaries and the annual payments to Indians by the federal government (Roark, James, et al 365). Upon realization of fertile land in the west, American government broke the treaty giving the white settlers a chance to occupy the western region. The federal government then established a policy that restricted the Native Americans to reservations in order to leave a large area for the settlers to occupy. In addition, the reservations were created in order to pave ways for the expansion of United States and separate the natives from the whites with an aim of reducing conflicts (Roark, James, et al 365).

Besides, several native groups such as Sioux and Arapahos joined the Indians in fighting the government due to its unfair treatment towards that communities. The United State government, on the other hand, responded to the fight with costly military campaigns. The relationship between the federal government and the Indians was found on the basis of assimilation, land grabbing and cultural absorption which was contrary to the Native Americans’ freedom and rights (Roark, James, et al 368). In 1871 a law was implement to declare the Native Americans groups are an independent nation from the United States. Furthermore, this legislation resulted in a drastic change in the government relationship with the Indians in the west.

The American Indian Policy by the United States federal government was placed due to greed for western fertile land where the Indian communities occupied. The signing of a treaty between the Indians and the government was later broken by the United States in conjunction with the military to eliminate the Indians from the west for the settlers. Consequently, there were reservations conserved for the Native Americans to settle as the whites occupied their areas. The resistance of the American Indian Policy by the natives led to a civil war. To resolve the conflict, the United States government had to recognize Indians as an independent nation.


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