History Discussion 6

Module 6 Objectives:

    • Explain the ramifications of the Dawes Act.
    • Explain the purpose and program of the Indian boarding schools.
  • Interpret and discuss visual materials from the time period covered by this module.

Read Module 6 Objectives 1 and 2. Next, address the following: The Dawes Act paved the way for Americans to gain access to lands in Indian Territory. Do you think these settlers, who were ordinary ( and often religious) family  people, knew they were doing harm to Native American families, like the Yahi, Ishi’s people, both “in the moment” and for future generations? (It’s one thing to examine the role of the U.S. Government and those in charge of the Transcontinental Railroads in the mistreatment of Native Americans, which we did earlier, but again, what part did civilian non-natives play in this story, including recent immigrants to the country during this time who often knew poverty and/or exploitation in their home societies?) Explain your answer, and be sure it addresses Module 6’s Objectives 1 and/or 2. (Keep in mind that this has happened before. For example, many Jews in hiding during WWII were actually turned in by their non-Jewish neighbors/countrymen, people they had known from childhood, so they could get their house as a reward. They weren’t usually practicing Nazis, but they were most certainly opportunists without a conscience. Ordinary people also turned on each other during the Salem Witch Trials in 17th Century New England …  certain super religious Puritans stood as accusers of other practicing Puritans, sometimes receiving the property of a person convicted of witchcraft as a reward.. There’s a warning here – it’s easy to blame governments, but again, look what civilians have done to others in the past especially when there was something of value to be gained.)

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