General Allotment Act Questions
The General Allotment Act is also called the Dawes Act
What are the major issues that arose in the debate over the General Allotment Act (GAA)? The benefits and drawbacks as articulated by the people of the time. You can think of this question like a thesis:
(pro) The purpose of the GAA is__provide for the distribution of Indian reservation land fairly among individual tribesmen with the aim of creating responsible farmers in the white man’s image __________________:
1. To create responsible farmers in the white man’s image
2. Encourage individual initiatives an individual Indians have them leave behind a group identity and become individual farmers
3. Reduce the cost of native administration
4 opening the remainder of land to white settlers for profit by taking away Indian land not used for allotment
5. civilize the Indians and turn them into gentleman farmers
6. to make it harder for white men to take advantage of Indians by separating them from whites
7. promoting Indian welfare by making Indians like the white man whether they like it or not
8. the Indians would be easier to manage if they were altogether in a smaller area
(con) The purpose of the GAA is____turn savage Indians into respectable farmers in the white man’s image, to steal tribal lands in a land grab for whites, and to make the Indians leave behind their tribal lands, reservations, traditions and there Indian identities and turn into middle-class white people. ________________:
1. The Indians lost a great deal of land because any land remaining after the allotment to the Indians would be put up for public sale
2. The social structure of the tribe was weekend
3. Many nomadic Indians were unable to adjust to an agricultural existence
4. people were swindled out of their property
5. Indians needed to leave behind tribal landholding, reservations, traditions and their Indian identities.
Bottom of page 497: What did the GAA, approved in 1887 authorize the president to do? It authorize the Pres. to direct the survey of each reservation, to prepare tribal roles, assign an allotment of 160 acres to each family head, 80 acres to a single person over 18, 80 acres to orphans under 18, and 40 acres to each other single person under 18. Once a person had the allotment they were expected to select their homesteads but if they didn’t select them the government would choose one for them. The federal government would hold the allotment in title in trust for 25 years. Allotments would be tax exempt for the period of the trust.
What are specific examples of abuse of the law by government officials and civilians, and specific examples of discrimination towards Native Americans?
The government kept moving the Indians with or without their approval. They kept taking away treaties and laws with the Indians as they saw fit. Different tribes got different allotments and there was a lot of discrimination that was punitive against tribes they gave white people problems they got worst allotments. The experts were allowed to talk about the Native Americans and their excluded and not able to talk to Congress to speak about what Indians needed.
What issues allowed the allotment process to be abused?
The Native Americans did not see land from an economic standpoint they saw land as something that produce and sustained life as part of their existence and identity and he created an environment of belonging they did not believe you could own land. Many Indians sold their land because they didn’t understand contracts that they were signing or they could speak English or writing English so they didn’t know what they are actually signing. Indians were given horrible piece of land that had no real value and the whites got all the good land.
Personal response: reflect on the reading. Five meaningful and coherent sentences.
-Other many of the white people probably were trying to steal Indian land some of the white people just didn’t understand their culture and really thought they were trying to do a good thing. Some people honestly believed that to become citizens of the country they would want to be gentleman farmers with families that live the same way they did and they were trying to create them in their own image instead of letting them just be themselves but it doesn’t mean that they were necessarily all evil some of them just didn’t understand the cultural differences. The Indians are obviously here first and the whites certainly stole their land am I to them over and over again why the Indians would believe anything the government said is crazy. The Indians are very naïve to believe that the government wanted to help them after they took their children away. It’s amazing award didn’t happen sooner. Even though the Indians would’ve lost being killed out en masse would almost be better than having your family ripped apart slowly.