Sample Essay On How Did It Shift And What Were The Motivations?
Response Paper #3
(10 pts) In your own words, describe the policy shift that was happening towards the end of the 1800s.
What were the main policies that evidenced this shift?
(The policy shift was from physical genocide to cultural genocide. This was to happen through assimilation of Native people. The motivations were that physical genocide had become unpopular among Americans, and that cultural genocide was perceived to be cheaper than physical genocide. The policies evidenced in this shift were the boarding school system and allotment (Weekly address4, 2015).)
(10 pts) Describe the way that Indian boarding schools were operated. What were the goals and how were they run?
(They operated very far from reservations (up to hundreds of miles) such that children were forced to stay away from their parents and their communities for almost all days of the year (Crow Dog & Erdoes, 1990). The schools were almost always run by churches. Their goal was to end the Indian problem by assimilating the natives into Euro-American culture. Children were seen as easier to assimilate compared to adults. The process also would involve cultural genocide, which was thought to be cheaper compared to physical genocide.)
(20 pts) What was the experience of boarding schools like for Native children? To receive full credit, you must specifically cite all of the following:
Rabbit Proof Fence
Our Spirits Don’t Speak English
(The experience of boarding schools for Native children was mainly tragic. The children lacked the affection of their parents having been forced into these schools. Native children were in school almost all year round with only barely a week away to see their parents in some cases (Crow Dog & Erdoes, 1990). The children, even without prior knowledge of English, were forbidden from talking in their native tongues and were punished severely for doing so (“Our Spirits,” 2015). They were additionally coerced into Christianity. Sexual harassment by school staff was also a major experience for Native students in boarding schools (Smith, 2005). Capital punishment like being beaten and locked up in cells also occurred (Crow Dog & Erdoes, 1990). The children also had poor food and health services in these schools ran on low budgets. Starvation was commonplace in these schools (Smith, 2005).}
(10) Discuss ways that Native children and parents actively resisted and exerted agency in regard to boarding schools. To receive full credit, you must specifically cite all of the following sources. You can use other material as well to support you answers:
Perdue and Green
Rabbit Proof Fence
(Resistance and agency by native children was firstly by running away from the boarding schools (“Rabbit,” 2012). Secondly, Native students would write and distribute news articles on how bad their experiences were (Crow Dog & Erdoes, 1990). Thirdly, as Crow Dog points out students could even physically fight back as she did to a nun and a priest in case of mistreatment (Crow Dog & Erdoes, 1990). Parents’ agency and resistance was by sending their children to these schools to acquire skills that would be used for advocacy in colonial times (Weekly address4, 2015). The parents also took advantage of the schools to feed and clothe their children since they themselves were highly impoverished (Purdue & Green, 2010).}
(10) In your own words: Describe how the Dawes Allotment Act worked. Make sure to discuss land ownership, how land was divided, and what happened to “surplus” land under the Dawes Act.
(Land in the native communities was initially communally owned. The Dawes Allotment Act worked to ensure privatization of the communal land. The land was divided up among the natives each being allocated 160 acres deemed adequate for the subsistence farming (Dawes Info sheet, n.d). About 2/3 of the land was considered to be “surplus” and was seized by the federal government (Dawes Info sheet, n.d). The aim of the act was apparently to acquire more land for the whites.)
(10 pts) What was the effect of the Dawes Act on gender roles? How did it inscribe patriarchy into Native communities?
Again, you must use your own words here-- do not simply paraphrase the Dawes Info sheet. Your answer should reflect a holistic understanding of the topic.
(The Dawes act led to a shift in gender roles. By land becoming individually owned and families separated from the greater community, men became the heads of their households with women being under their care. Men could no longer hunt as they did before and were forced to practice agriculture probably due to reduced fields for hunting. When men were hunters, women were the ones who conducted farm work hence the act changed gender roles (Dawes Info sheet, n.d).}
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(20 pts) Why were reservations seen as “problems”? How did the Dawes General Allotment Act attempt to “solve” these problems?
Thinly paraphrasing without showing your own original understanding of the material will result in a reduction of your grade.
(Reservations were seen as problems because large areas of land were owned communally yet white Americans wanted more land. The culture and physical presence of Indians hence posed a problem. Natives in reservations were also a financial liability to the government, which gave supplies to them (Dawes Info sheet, n.d). The Allotment Act attempted to solve the problem by dividing the land and making it individually owned, leaving “extra” pieces of land which the government seized to give white Americans. About 90 million acres out of 138 million acres was seized from the Natives due to this Act (Dawes Info sheet, n.d). The act would additionally civilize the Natives by making them live on individually owned lands. It would also allow Natives to sustain themselves through subsistence farming in their land shares hence eliminate costs for the government.)
Crow Dog, M., & Erdoes, R. (1990). Lakota woman. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.
Perdue, T., & Green, M. (2010). North American Indians. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smith, A. (2005). Conquest. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
spirits, o. (2015). Our Spirits Don't Speak English. YouTube. Retrieved 15 January 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqI0ga1wKcQ
The Dawes General Allotment Act (1887) (AIS 150)
YouTube,. (2015). Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School. YouTube. Retrieved 15 January 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDshQTBh5d4
YouTube,. (2012). Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) Trailer. Retrieved 15 January 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbnk8wSVMaM
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