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"The Indian Question"

"The End of the Frontier"
  • 1891 Census Bureau says frontier doesn't exist
  • we were beyond "Stony Mountains"
  • explosive industrial economy 
  • 1890 U.S. surpassed England and Germany combined
  • 70% farmers 1840 --> 1900 only 37%
  • close of a historical moment= end of frontier
  • would "new age of machinery" create an era of social disintegration and chaos?
  • class conflict between Calibans and Prosperos
  • distances had to be redefined to keep racial and class heirarchy 
"Wounded Knee"
  • 1890 Wovoka of Pyramid Lake in Nevada -Christ returns to Earth as Indian
  • promised restoration of Indian ways 
  • "all white people die, get drowned"
  • idea spreads through Indian population
  • military needed to stop dancing
  • police shoot and kill Chief for dance- arrest- anger
  • * "They shot us like we were buffalo" (230)
  • shot children and women- seen as "MEAN"
  • end of frontier for Indians = VIOLENT
"The Father of the Reservation System" 
  • Francis Amasa Walker- commissioner of Indian affairs
  • "Peace Policy" - buy off/ feed them so no violence
  • American white males want to kill because of their dignity--> leads to brutality of Indians
  • "I looked down and felt myself growing white" ( after eating meal with Indians)
  • Indian ways taken down makes room for the important things whites want: "hut to mansion"
  • whites were now moving west
  • **what should be done to ensure the survival of the Plains Indians? (Indian question)
  • safe transition= reservations 
  • "necessary adjustment for entering civilization" (232)
  • outside reservation military can strike without warning
  • **ultimate goal= assimilation of Indians 
  • required to learn industrial skills- why do they have to learn new skills when they are doing fine with the great agricultural skills they have? 
  • would we be where we are today if we didn't make them learn our way of life? 
  • "the white man's road"- they have to take white man's ways
"Allotment and Assimilation"
  • the New Deal- many opposed it
  • Navajos opposed because Collier was telling them "what was good for them"
  • so can they ever live together- Indians will always think white are trying to control their life and Americans will always think they are the right ones and in charge
  • **"last arrow" pageants (235) 
  • Century of Dishonor (235) 
  • Helen Hunt Jackson- "to remain as savages" 235
What is American identity?

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