Native American essay
Historically, relationships between European colonists and their descendants, on the one hand, and the native population of America, on the other, were extremely complex. Moreover, from the beginning of European colonization of America, Native Americans have become vulnerable to oppression and physical extinction because colonists wanted their lands and the pursuit of maximum profits moved settler westward wreaking havoc, diseases and destruction of the traditional lifestyle of Native Americans. Ironically, throughout the history of the development of relations between white Americans and Native Americans, the biased attitude to Native Americans emerged and white Americans had grown accustomed to view them as a threat but, in actuality, Native Americans were rather victims of white Americans, who oppressed Native Americans and forced them from their land causing numerous deaths and destruction of the traditional lifestyle of Native Americans.
At this point, it is possible to refer to the film Soldier Blue (1970) which reveals the controversy of policies conducted by the whites as well as threats, which Native Americans exposed white Americans to.
In fact, the film reveals the fact that the major problem of the failure of white Americans and Native Americans to build up normal, positive relations was not the irresistible desire of white Americans to occupy lands of Native Americans to rip off maximum profits at costs of Native Americans, but the main cause of conflicts between Native Americans and white Americans was the enormous gap between their cultures and the lack of effective communication between them. The main character of the film Cresta Lee seems to be the only person, who understands Native Americans and knows how to behave to build up friendly relations with them. At the same time, she is fully aware that Native Americans are different from white Americans and what is natural for Native Americans may be extremely cruel for white Americans. For instance, when she almost forces Honus to fight the chief of Kiowa horsemen, he is aware that this may be the only way for them to survive. As Honus wins and wounds the chief severely, he is unable to kill him but chief’s people kill their leader in place. Honus is shocked with such cruelty but Native Americans take it for granted. In fact, this episode may be key to understanding the difference between Native Americans and white Americans and why white Americans perceived Native Americans as a threat. Obviously, white Americans were appalled by the cruelty of some of the rites practiced by Native Americans. For instance, if they witnessed executions exercised by Native Americans, they could believe that Native Americans represent a threat to them too. However, the problem was that white Americans did not understand motives and reasons of actions of Native Americans, who just lived their life with respect to their traditions and cultural norms and they saw nothing wrong in their behavior. In contrast, white Americans failed to understand Native Americans and perceived them as a threat. Moreover, white Americans did not fully understand Native Americans and their belief that Native Americans represented a threat for them was, to a significant extent erroneous. The film clearly shows that if only white Americans could understand Native Americans just as well as Cresta Lee did it, they would have never viewed them as a threat and they would have never fought or oppressed them. However, the lack of understanding of Native Americans, their traditions and lifestyle, became the main cause of conflicts between them and white Americans. The latter preferred to expel Native Americans instead of integrating them into their communities or preserving equal relations between Native American and white communities. To oppress and eliminate the threat was apparently better solution for white Americans of that time, then negotiating and developing cultural ties with Native Americans, whom they treated as absolutely inferior. As a result, the policy of oppression of Native Americans became the core of the US policy in relation to the native population of American until the 20th century, when their rights have been finally recognized and the revisionist policies have started and the film Soldier Blue is the sample of revisionist western which attempts to revise the conventional view on Native Americans and relationships between Native Americans and white Americans.
Stereotyped, biased view of white Americans on Native Americans as a threat to their safety was the major driver of the oppressive policies conducted by white Americans throughout the 19th century, when such oppression became disastrous for the native population of America, which was relocated and those Native Americans, who survived the relocation, were settled in reservations. In this regard, the biased view on Native Americans can be clearly traced throughout the film Soldier Blue, where one of the main characters, Honus, personifies prejudices and biases against Native Americans. He views them as villains, although he does not even know him. In this regard, Cresta is quite different because she does know Native Americans and she does not have fear or repulsion in regard to Indians. On the contrary, throughout the film she manifests her respect to them and attempts to defend them from the unfair massacre that the US troop is about to launch.
White Americans perceived Native Americans as absolutely inferior and from the beginning of the colonist-Indian interaction, white settlers attempted to exploit Native Americans teaching them European technologies .
At this point, it is possible to refer to judgments the US military officers including Cresta’s fiancé make of Native Americans. They treat them as mere brutes, who are not worth of their attention but they believe that Native Americans have to be exterminated because they bear some threat to them, which they cannot even adequately explain. Such supremacist attitude to Native American explains their oppressive policies in relation to Native Americans. White Americans did not view Native Americans worth much negotiations, it was much easier for white Americans, who had much better developed technology, military, and economy, to relocate Native Americans from their land or simply eliminate them physically, than negotiate with them. This is why, to prevent the rising tension, the US Congress implemented the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Formally, the main reason for the introduction of the act was the decrease of the tension between white settler and Native Americans on the frontier. However, the major reason was the elimination of what white Americans and the US officials perceived to be the Indian threat. White Americans were just afraid of attacks form the part of Native Americans and the relocation of Native Americans became the preventive measure to secure white Americans, although this measure cost lives of a large part of the native population of America living on the territory of the US.
Native American essay part 2
If you need to write a research essay on Apache Native Americans, consider the 20 excellent topics below. These are meant as a guide and can give you a great starting point from which to find a topic that is interesting to you personally and conforms with your writing assignment guidelines:
- Federal Laws during the 1800’s That Influenced the Forced Removal of Many Apache Tribes
- How the Customs of the Plains Apache Tribes in Oklahoma Differ from the Apache Native American Tribes in New Mexico and Arizona
- Why the Tribes in Oklahoma Live on Trust Land in Lieu of a Reservation
- How Living under the Apache Native American Laws and the U.S. Laws Can Present Legal Dilemmas
- How Westward Expansion in the United States Impacted the Local Population of Apache Native Americans
- Chores of Apache Native American Children Would Complete
- Traditional Cradleboard Design Compared to Other Tribes
- Factors That Have Influenced the Development of the Apache Native American Language
- The Difference between the Tribal Council and the U.S. Congress
- The Hunt of Apache Native Americans: Tools and Weapons
- The Key Trading Partners of Apache Native Americans
- Arts and Crafts of the Apache
- The Main Apache Native American Legends in Comparison with Other Tribes
- Gender Roles in the Apache Native American Tribes
- The Apache Native American Homes Comparing to Other Tribes
- Changes in Apache Native American Clothing over the Decades
- Transportation Methods of the Apache Native American tribes
- The Difference of Food in the Apache and Other Native American Tribes
- Cultural Changes between the Five Tribes in Arizona
- Cultural Changes between the Five Tribes in New Mexico
Aren’t those topics great? You can also find amazing facts on Apache Native Americans and a writing guide on a research essay. These will greatly boost your productivity. And below you will find an example essay on Native American Policies and Westward Expansion to help give you a better idea of what an essay on such topics might look like.
Native American Policies and Westward Expansion Sample Essay
Westward expansion in the United States toward the Great Plains, and federal Native American policies significantly impacted the local population of Apache Native Americans and further worsened the relationship between settlers and local Native Americans. Settlers impacted the local buffalo population which threated to decimate the local Apache population. As settlers moved, Native Americans were forced into reservations and off their native lands. The railroad construction only served to exacerbate this.
At the end of the Civil War, there were an increasing number of settlers moving toward the western part of the United States. Farmers, miners, and ranchers all moved across the Great Plains in spite of resistance from local Native Americans who currently resided in these regions. The soil, climate, railroads, and land laws like that of the Homestead Act were all significant factors that encouraged settlers to move toward the Plains areas. The large westward expansion was responsible for the culmination in the slaughter of significant numbers of wild buffaloes which had previously roamed freely in the area and sustained the local Native American populations. As the number of buffaloes decreased, the Native American way of life was significantly threatened. There arose an increasing number of conflicts in the area once the Federal government decided to relocate Native Americans from the traditional homeland toward reservations.
The conflict was not a new concept, but what was new was the construction of the transcontinental railroad which functioned as a significant catalyst for the conflicts emerging at the end of the Civil War. Americans previous to this were only able to move to the lands west with horseback or covered wagon. But the railroads allowed for thousands to migrate at a faster rate, in better comfort, and for far less money. The number of settlers increased and the conflicts with native tribes became more often which caused forced movement by the American settlers of the Native Americans, and led to increased legal ramifications that resulted in the creation of reservations.
New massacres took place at Sand Creek and at Wounded Knee, both of which were based on fights between native populations to keep their ancestral lands, and American settlers claiming the lands for their ranches, homesteads, and farms. The United States Army brought with them technology such as rifles which the Native Americans could not counter. Additionally, the troops had better supplies as a result of the railroad and could sustain fighting for longer periods of time. Eventually the population of the Apache Native Americans diminished rapidly with the continual swell of immigration. Diseases brought by Europeans and the famine resulting from the disappearance of buffalo both contributed to their demise.
Amott, Teresa L., and Julie A. Matthaei. Race, gender, and work: A multi-cultural economic history of women in the United States. South End Press, 1996.
Basso, Keith H. Portraits of’the Whiteman’: Linguistic play and cultural symbols among the western Apache. Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Nabokov, Peter. Native American testimony: a chronicle of Indian-white relations from prophecy to the present, 1492-2000. Penguin Group USA, 1999.
Nagel, Joane. American Indian ethnic renewal: Red power and the resurgence of identity and culture. Oxford University Press, USA, 1997.
Opler, Morris Edward. An Apache life-way: The economic, social, and religious institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. U of Nebraska Press, 1941.
Opler, Edward Morris. Myths and tales of the Jicarilla Apache Indians. Courier Corporation, 2012.
Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde. The Jicarilla Apache Tribe: A History, 1846-1970. Univ of Nebraska Pr, 1983.
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