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Change Overtime: The Effects on Native Americans, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Essay

Introduction

There is no secret as to what happened to Native Americans much more their history. The rich culture within Native American diaspora has been demolished and disappeared from modern American history books being consistent with effects of modern civilization impositions ever since Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. This discussion will examine the impact of this change on Native American Indians.

Commendably, according to Johnson (2012) United States of America has been praised for its achievements towards independence by integrating 52 states into one country. It would appear nonetheless, that Native American Indians had to sacrifice their cultural liberties for this to become a reality. As such, Native Americans’ history and participation in the social structure has been greatly affected (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Effects

One major effect of the revolutionary war on Native Americans is reflected in their geographic relocation. Historians have shown where when British settlers began moving Westward Native Americans were brutally pushed of their land without any remorse. They fled towards safety and hid themselves from these attacks. This could be one reason for their social demise and fear of moving forward to take any significant leadership position in American politics. The psychology of this geographic displacement has greatly affected their social mobility. Therefore, it can be argued that the real impact of this phenomenon has far reaching psychological effects on them as a people (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Further, historians argue that Native Americans were not only ostracized by American colonists but the British Empire as well. After the war was over they no longer received any financial support from them. As such, with geographic displacement; running away from attacks and no money; they were devastated and psychologically demoralized.

British support was recompense for Native Indians’ contribution towards helping Britain during the war. The monarchy offered incentives to Native Americans for their participating. Native Americans were led to believe that if British lost the War then encroachment by American settlers would increase.  Britain did lose the war and the inevitable happened. Again they were psychologically plunged into no man’s land since the British Monarchy turned them loose and they are the impoverished, neglected, insignificant group of people in today’s American history (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Precisely, even though Native Americans provided considerable support to the British forces throughout the War, when the time had come for Britain and the newly formed American nation to negotiate a peace treaty, interests of the Native Americans were completely ignored and it is so even in today’s America. The impact of this action has created negligence towards the interest of Native Americans in modern American culture (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Although the British had promised the Native American tribes that they would look out for their interests in exchange for their assistance, the British, like the Americans, treated the Native Americans as a non-entity. In fact, the British not only did not protect the interests of the Native Americans but went further and actually aggravated the situation by surrendering British interest in all lands east of the Mississippi River to the new American Government (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Formation of this new American Government and Britain’s surrendering their interest of lands east of the Mississippi further impoverished this group who relied on farming ventures for support. They had no land not place to live and were neglected as they are unto today. The contemporary Native Americans have encountered fatal tension with the new American government which further pushed them away from social structure involvement and psychological humiliation (Johnson et.al, 2012).

More importantly, the newly formed American Government had little or no money and was burdened with heavy debts through cost incurred from the Revolution. Land plundered from   Native Americans was one asset the Government used to their advantage. It was programed into rewarding members of the Revolutionary forces for their loyal service by issuing them these lands (Johnson et.al, 2012).

This stimulated further encroachment by governments on the areas where the Native Americans inhabited increasing pressure between the two cultures. Psychologically bounding Native Americans with the present administration was impossible. Hatred for these inhabitants ensued with emergence of riots whereby many of them were killed at gun point (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Once the Revolution was over, the American Indians found themselves again subservient to the wishes of the Europeans who had settled upon their land as the new nation began to stretch its borders.  Comparatively, Africans who had been brought to the Americas were enslaved, but they were at least marginally involved in the activities of the new country. However, the Native Americans were viewed as total savages that were to be feared and who fear the nature of civilization being imposed upon them (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Prior to the advent of  Europeans Native Americans enjoyed a quiet, serene existence but that had all changed and now that a new nation had been established on the continent the Indians’ way of life was altered substantially. In the new nation the movement westward intensified and the Native Americans, who had already suffered considerably at the hands of the settlers, were forced to face additional pressure (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Conclusion

The entire Indian culture was closely attached to the land. As such being forced further westward was traumatic with immense psychological debilitation. The thrust further westward family upheavals since parents were taken away or killed and children lost in the struggle. Traditions such as burial grounds were desecrated and their living habits altered. In the process, Indians who had been previously only marginally aggressive became increasingly more active in their resistance to the westward movement of the new American society (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Participation in the American democratic process was never considered a possibility. These individuals had lived in the same fashion for hundreds of years and they had no interest in altering their life style. Their only real interest was in preserving what they had always known against the backdrop of further intrusion from the white settlers (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Growth of American democracy resulted in a corresponding destruction of many of the once numerous American Indian tribes. The tribes that had once lived in relative peace with white settlers were now viewed as an impediment to the growth of the new nation. Prior to the Revolution, the British government had provided protection for the American Indians by essentially prohibiting the settlement of the lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains. In essence, although the Indians had been largely displaced from the area adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, they had comfortably relocated further inland (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Even though the Treaty of Paris may have ended the conflict between the American colonies and the British Empire but it failed to address the Native American issue. It took several hundred years for the white man to develop and settle the North American east coast, but only several decades following the announcement of the Declaration of Independence for the white settlers to develop and settle the area west of the Appalachians and east of the Mississippi. The losers in both situations were Native Americans (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Establishment of a democratic state in the Americas served to only make matters worse. Despite displaced from the coastal areas, Native Americans had largely adapted to living adjacent to the white settlers. Once the British withdrew following the Revolutionary War the situation facing Native Americans worsened. Within years of the founding of the United States of America, Native Americans were, for the most part, pushed westward beyond the Mississippi River on their way to being eventually relegated to reservations and forever vacating the carefree, wide-open lifestyle that they had lived for hundreds of generations. As such, important features of the Native American life-style were destroyed (Johnson et.al, 2012).

Works Cited

Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. “Conflict on America’s Borders and Beyond.” Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. The American Promise. Boston, MA: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 251-258. western borders.

Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. “Opportunities and Challenges in the West.” Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. The American Promise. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 273-278.

Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. “The Articles of Confederation.” Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. The American Promise. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin, 2012. 211-213.

Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. “The Confederation’s Problems.” Johnson, James L. Roark and Michael P. The American Promise. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012. 218-227.

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