Indian Affairs Essay, Research Paper
One of the least noble occurrences from 1865 to the 1900 was the subduing of the Native Indian. The subduing of the original inhabitant of the American West did uplift the quality of life, but did not advance the quality of the culture in the united States during this period.
The settlement of the Plains and the Great Basin was a positive turning point in American economy. The filling of the continent brought economic prosperity and opportunities for many. The West was a chance for Americans who could not previously purchase land to do so. The land was cheap and plenty. The Timber Culture Act of 1873 granted 160 acres of land to whoever would plant trees on a portion of it. In addition the growth in population if the East increased the demands for agricultural products. Overall the expansion into the West and the government policy of encouragement and financing of the expansion lead to an economic success. Yet the opportunities for many American settlers also would cost a high price on the native people. The quality of life for the settlers had improved but was at the expense of the Indians of the region. Settlers poured in by millions looking for a better life, brought with them great catastrophic changes to these tribes. The native people were free nomadic people who were largely dependant on the buffalo. As the settlers came in the buffalo was killed for food and sport. Between 1872 and 1874, close to nine million buffalos were killed and without the buffalo many tribes could no longer roam, be self sufficient and were confined to reservations. Along with the disappearing of the buffalo population, Indians were soon taken off their land into reservations by the united States government. In addition cruelty in the treatment of the Indians was not unusual. In November 1864 a band of friendly Indians were attacked without provocation by a militia commanded by colonel Chivington. Overall the expansion into the West did not advance the quality of the culture. This occurrence was a set back for the culture, it gave violence and intolerance an approval and set roots for hatred and racism.
One of the least noble occurrences between 1865 to the 1900 was the Spanish American War and the forceful control of the Philippines. The war with Spain was completely unnecessary and there was no real cause for the was.
The war based on unconfirmed charges that Spain had sunk the Maine, an American battleship. The war with Spain was not a noble was because even though Spain on April 10 agreed to the governments term to suspend hostility in Cuba, the U.S had declared was a few days earlier. The war was a short war, that lasted from May 1, 18948 to July 26, 1898 only a few months. The war did not end there, soon the U.S wold attack the Philippines, which was owned by Spain. Even after the was with Spain had ended the U.S persisted at controlling the Philippines. The Philippines were a good strategic point for the U.S to strengthen its control and access to Asia. The Philippines did not agree to American control, but by force the U.S had stationed itself in the Philippines. The taking over of the Philippines was not noble, not only to the Philippines itself ,but to the American soldiers in the Philippines. The Filipino formed many revolts against American rule, and formed attacks against the American troops. By 1902 some seventy thousand American troops were engaged in fighting the Filipinos both sides had many casualties. The Filipinos also suffered losses. On both sides atrocities were committed, one American soldier commander ordered his men to kill and burn and make a howling wilderness of Samar a rebel stronghold. This event in American history did not improve the quality of life or the quality of the culture. On the contrary, the control of the Philippines did not last very long, and the U.S had suffered loss of life and lost money used to station the troops there. In addition this event did not uplift American culture , it was a betrayal of American principle and a movement away from American belief about Imperialism and the corruption and greed it brings with it.
One of the most noble events from 1865 to 1900 was the growth of education and the importance placed on it by the U.S government. The emphasis on education did eventually uplift the quality of life and also advanced the quality of the culture. By 1878 there were 9.5 million pupils in the country’s public schools and by 1898 15 million attended. Free schooling was an opportunity for many to acquire and education and get ahead. Education greatly improved the quality of life for many, the school taught mathematics, geography, literature, history, commercial courses and sciences. Not only did schools prepare people for future professions and directly enhance the quality of life , but it also advanced American culture. City schools also played a key role in the adaptation of immigrants to the American culture. It allowed foreign children of second generation immigrants to adjust or mold to American society and learn American values. The government play and important role in public education, it also provided free secondary schools in many cities. In 1878 1000,000 attended public high school and by 1898 over half a million were being educated. This growth in education helped establish the importance that Americans place on a good education.
Two of the most noble efforts between 1865 and 1900 to try to influence government policy came from the Social Gospel and the Women s Christian Temperance Union.
The WCTU was founded in 1874 and its main goal was to prohibit alcohol through laws on the state level. Along with alcohol this group was also and opponent of slavery. The WCTU had reform ideas reaching beyond the issue of drinking, they also stood for morality and public order. This group also became an advocate for women s right to vote. This organization performed one to the most noble efforts, because it focused on raising the standards of life and order in the city. These radical social ideas were a new way of thinking since the government had little involvement in addressing morality and the cities growing problems. WCTU worked for the betterment of the city. Many women worked to improve sewage, lighting and even build museums for the cities.
The Social Gospel in 1870 was also another moral wave, but mostly targeted religious revival. There believe was on the idea of sin and a command to moral action. The Social Gospel published Working People and Their Employers in 1876, which criticized modern industrial capitalism, laissez-faire and Social Darwinism. They argued that poverty was not the fault of the poor, nor was it the result of social evolution. Instead they believed that many times poor people are victims of social and economic forces that were beyond their control. There key solution was that government along with churches should work together to provide assistance to the poor. Both of these groups were the beginning of a social movement towards change, the betterment of living conditions and a set standard that the American government would later adopt and would endure as part histories Progressive Era.
Two of the least noble events between 1865 to 1900 were the Jim Crow laws and the political machines that tried and did achieve to influence government policy.
The Jim Crow laws were laws that were aimed at prohibiting black vote, and also created legal segregation of the blacks from public facilities such as schools, universities and housing. Along with these harsh and discriminatory laws, came terror and violence in order to reinforce the laws. In 1882 49 blacks were lynched in the South, ten years later there were 161 victims of the white mob. During this period racism and hatred is clearly apparent and racial segregation had become an accepted way of life. Another problem during this period were the Political Machines. These machines ran parallel to the legal city governments, and at many times almost rant he city governments. The successful machines ruled the city, they controlled the board of the city council, the local water, the police commissioners and exerted great influence on legislatures. The existence of the machines were one of the least noble events in history, because it set back the American democratic system. Elections for these machines meant buying votes and providing favors in exchange for votes. A clear example of the far reaching corruption was Doc Ames in Minneapolis who provided exemptions from arrest to criminals who were willing to a pay a price.
The Laissez-faire state of 1865-1900 did overse a noble historical epoch for the U.S economy, but did not oversee a noble epoch for individual rights and protections in the U.S.
Such events as the expansion into the West, the Homestead Act of 1862, which granted acres of land to settlers who would work the land for five years, the bulding of the railroads that united the country and gave possibilities to new markets. Industry during this period experienced a great boom. Industry of steel had a phenomenal expansion. In 1860 the U.S produced 13,000 tons of steeel and by 1879 American furnaces turned over one million tons a year. By 1910 the U.S was making 28 million tons of steel, and was the largest producer of steel in the world. From thois periuod great industrialist rose such as Andrew Carnegie who owned all steel manufacturing. Cheap steel made it possible to build the first skyscapers, bridges and giant passenger liners. Yet with all the growth in industry, wages were very low, the workplace was dangerous and the workdays long. The Laissez-faire state, whose principlkes held that productivit would only be accomplished by leaving the individual employer and the worker to the free market and the prevalent cont