AIS 100: Introduction to American Indian Studies
III. European Invasion
A. Early Explorations
Native Americans were the first explorers in America regardless of controversies surrounding origins. Native Americans out of necessity and sheer curiosity explored the continent. Even the Hopi note that rock art in various areas outside of their current area indicates their clans coming from different areas and people more than 1000 years ago to settle in today's NE Arizona location. We know that other small groups of 'Old World' peoples occasionally reached American shores before Columbus . Columbus made 4 voyages from A.D. 1492-1504. Chinese, Japanese, Viking, and Portuguese came before Columbus but the evidence is minimal and not well documented in written records. Columbus didn't discover anything and was not even sure where he was (go to: Truths and Lies). Subsequently, Columbus' name is not used by Europeans to label the continent. Instead, the Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci (3-4 voyages A.D. 1497-1504) gets his first name used; probably because he is the first to label America as "New World" (Mundus Novus) on a map or in documents
A more interesting question is why Europeans began leaving their homeland and invaded the world. The Chinese started before Europeans but withdrew about 40 years before Columbus. The compass (from China) or 'wind rose' was certainly one of the most important tools to help Europeans out of the Mediterranean Sea. One stimulus, ultimately driven by greed, was to find a Northwest Passage. This was certainly the motivator for the Spanish and their competitors the English and the French, since the Pope in Rome gave the Portuguese the Eastern route around Africa, while the rest had to find their way West. John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) sailed for Henry VII of England to Canada A.D. 1497-1498 and attempted to find a Northwest Passage. Martin Frobisher tried and failed between A.D. 1576-1578. In A.D. 1609, Henry Hudson made attempts to find the Northwest Passage by pushing into the Canadian North as far as Diggs Island. Subsequent expeditions failed through the 18th and 19th centuries. Even Lewis and Clark attempted to find a river Northwest Passage through the Rockies. The actual Northwest Passage was finally established with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1903-06.
B. Columbian Exchange
The arrival of Columbus in AD 1492 was significant in many ways in that it brought the "New World" and "Old World" into contact and launched 500 years of exchange that impacted the world forever. For Native Americans Columbus is simply one of many invaders that brought many changes, mostly disasterous. For the immigrant the New World was a new life of opportunity.
To explore the significance of those changes go to my interest area: Columbian Exchange
C. European Invasion
1. Spanish Colonization and Mission System
Ultimately the "New World" became a new battleground for the European control of land, gold and other resources. Initially, Spain was the dominant power in most of the New World. Portugal complained enough to get a Papal Bull giving them Brazil. In 1521 Hernando Cortez' ultimate defeat of Moctezuma II and the Aztecs was greatly aided with virulent diseases and Indian allies. Similarly, invasion of the Inca and murder of their leader Atahualpa by Pizzaro in 1531 led to the pillaging of tremendous quantities of gold and silver for the Spanish treasury. England, France and other European powers coveted the wealth and developed various strategies, including piracy, to get the wealth of the 'New World'. Elizabeth I (ERI) was the most successful and launched England's naval might that eventually eclipsed Spain and France's power that led to the British Empire of Queen Victoria.
Spain sent secondary expeditions to find more gold in North America and other riches. Later, Spain attempted to establish colonial footholds in the southern areas of North America, while England and France battled over the northern forests. Here is a summary of Spain's expansion into what is now the United States:
|Southeast 1539||Desoto||(Tunica, Calusa, Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Natchez)|
|1565||Menendez||(Timicua, Calusa)||St. Augustine, FL|
|Southwest 1540||Coronado||Zuni,Lipan Apache,Comanche, Kiowa,Osage|
|1598||Onate||Pueblo||Sante Fe, NM|
|Alta California 1542||Cabrillo||Kumeyaay,Gabrielino,Chumash|
|1769||Portola/Serra||Kumeyaay (Diegueno)||San Diego, CA|
2. English Colonial Development
The English became more bold after the defeat of the Spanish Armada (A.D. 1588), with the help of the Dutch and a storm off the Hebrides in the North Sea, begin to establish colonial experiments along the east coast of North America. Jamestown (1607) was the first successful colonial endeavor that was mainly for military and economic purposes. Plymouth (1620) was a religious experiment with Puritan refuges (the original group called themselves Pilgrims) from England. In 1621 the Puritans and Wampanoag celebrated what was reputed to be the first Thanksgiving. This is an American tradition with its real roots in Eastern Woodland American Indian traditions of the harvest rituals and condolence rituals to ancestors held in the Fall after the Fall equinox.
|Southeast 1607||Capt. J. Smith||Wahunsonacock (Powhatan)||Jamestown, VA|
|Northeast 1620||E. Winslow (Pilgrims/Puritans)||Massasoit (Wampanoag)||Plymouth, MA|
The English expanded its Eastern Seaboard settlements into13 colonies, with constant wars, mostly with France to the north and west, and Spain to the south. The American colonies were under the rule of the English crown until 1776.
3. The French and Russian Fur Trade
France established trading forts in the St. Lawrence and expanded west through the Great Lakes and eventually down the Mississippi. At one point France will attempted to invade from the 'back door' (Ohio River) and established Ft. Duquesne, but lost it with the opening battle of the French and Indian War 1754-1763. With the English reestablishment of control of the Ohio Valley, Ft. Duquesne became Ft. Pitt; and later Pittsburgh, PA.
|Northeast/Maritimes 1534-1543||Cartier||(Micmac), Donnacona (Iroquois)|
|Southeast 1562||Huguenots(Protestants)||Creek, Calusa||Ft. Caroline(destroyed 1566)|
|Northeast 1603||Champlain||(Algonkian,Micmac, Iroquois)|
|Southeast 1682||LaSalle||(Osage,Chickasaw,Choctaw)||N. Orleans|
|Great Lakes 1701||Cadillac||(Ottawa,Huron,Chippewa, Potawatomi,Miami,etc)||Ft. Pontchartrain/Detroit|
Russian fur trade was basically on the Pacific coast and it was the sea otter pelts they were after.
|Aleutian Islands 1741||V. Bering||Aleut|
|Alaska 1784-1795||Inuit, Tlingit||Kodiak Is; Sitka Sound|
|California 1812||Ivan Kuskov||Kashaya Pomo||Ft. Ross|
The seeds of ideas derived from the Iroquois at treaty councils in Pennsylvania and Albany, New York in 1753-54 formed the basis to the Articles of Confederation of 1777 and the U.S. Constitution in 1789. At the same time the United States developed various strategies of displacing Native Americans through illegal land acquisition, treaties, and overt genocide. The American pattern generated the idea of a 'Frontier' that initially was anything west of the original 13 colonies or west of the Appalachian Mts. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ceded all English claims to the Ohio Valley and began the conflicts for land beginning with Little Turtle (Miami) and Blue Jacket (Shawnee) trying to defend their claims to the same territory. The Western frontier moved from western Appalachia over the Cumberland Gap to the Far West and eventually the Pacific. Pioneers generally followed trappers or 'Mountain Men' and included scientific expeditions, miners, farmers and herders. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Voyage of Discovery) of 1804-06, that was helped by the Shoshone woman, Sacajawea, opened up the Far West for later settling of Oregon Territory. During the War of 1812, Indian leaders like Tecumseh and his brother 'The Shawnee Prophet" tried to unify the Eastern Indian confederacies to stop encroachment in their land and the constant breaking of treaties.
AMERICAN COLONIAL WARS 1607-
D. American Republic: Federal Treaties and Policies
1. American Indian Status and Manifest Destiny
The United States Government considered Native Americans to be sovereign nations within their own borders and relations were based on treaties beginning with the Treaty of Ft. Pitt in 1778 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The Northwest Ordinance 1787 opened up the Ohio Territory for non-Indian expansion. Initially, Native Americans were under the Office of Indian Affairs (1824) in the Department of War (later Department of Defense (DOD)). It was not until 1849 that the BIA was placed in the Department of Interior (DOI). Native American groups became wards of the US government with lands awarded to them based on many treaties. Millions of acres were given up in these treaties for small plots of land and compensation in the form of annuities and services such as health care and education.
As expansion west, first to the Ohio Territory and later to Oregon and California, increased, settlers considered themselves the rightful occupants of the frontier lands based on the concept of "Manifest Destiny". This idea was based on old testament readings the European, Christian, settlers had a cultural justification for moving into new territory akin to the Israelites going to the promised land. Concepts like 'civilization' and 'a fallen nature' put humans and Europeans above nature and native peoples. In fact in the Eastern Woodlands American Indians were portrayed as hunters, rather than the village farmers that they in fact were. In the West it was easier to put down hunters as primitives with no language or religion, thus not having the right to the land that European Americans could rightfully develop. Mountains were to be mined, forests to be cut down and valleys to be farmed. These resources were seen to be open and limitless.
2. Removal From the East: Trail of Tears
Soon after the English win the war of the Woodland forests against the French, 13 colonies rebelled and broke away in the American Revolution, 1776-1788. As the United States began it took up the same treaty strategies as the English, but also employed other techniques of displacement through harassment of Native American people. A conflict between the authority of federal vs. state produced a breach with federal treaty promises that initially resulted in segregation, removal and further segregation to what are referred to as reservations in the West. In 1830 the Indian Removal Act , supported by President Andrew Jackson, was passed by the federal government masking the greed for land under the guise of protecting the Native American people by removal to the Indian Territory (parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) east of the Mississippi River. Native American groups reacted in different ways with some fighting and others leaving on their own, after being harassed by intruding European Americans not abiding by Federal Treaties. All of the Five Civilized Tribes ( Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole) were part of this removal along with most of the other recognized tribe/nations in the East. The Creeks were first to be removed in 1836. The most famous removal occurred with the Cherokee beginning in 1838 under General Winfield Scott. The Cherokee Removal is referred to as the "Trail of Tears" and resulted in the loss of 4,000 people or about 1/4 of the Cherokee Nation. The other Five Civilized Tribes in the Eastern Woodlands hoped for federal protection and justice only to be forcibly removed in their own Trail of Tears with the forced removal of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and many Seminole. The 19th century marks one of the greatest mass migrations in history but at the expense of the displacement of Native peoples.
As the Indian Territory filled up with Eastern Woodland people, Prairie/Plains people were also put into reservations in the western part of the territory but the government began to run out of room and so the U.S. government began to create reservations in the desert areas of the Plains and Far West (Basin, Plateau, Northwest Coast, California). Also, in California the state legislature blocked removal of California Indians to Indian Territory so as to retain a cheap labor force in California ranchos.
4. Indian Wars and Religious Movements
The American Frontier had a powerful effect on non-Indians and created a culture of values dominated by 'limitless' opportunity and individuality. In turn this effect produced an innovative and pragmatic people trying to live up to democratic ideals, while trying to control rampant greed and destruction of Native America.
EASTERN WOODLAND WARS (AMERICAN REPUBLIC) 1788-
Native Americans are often portrayed as posing minimal resistance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eastern Woodland peoples were established farmers and resisted in many ways. Like all cultures that have been invaded, people will resort to various forms of assimilation, fight or flight. In many cases fighting was combined with complex religious/cultural revitalization movements.
|Pueblo Revolt||1680||Pueblo (Tewa)||Pope'|
|San Diego Revolt||1774-80||Diegueno (Kumeyaay)||Carlos, Francisco|
|Inca Revolt||1780||Quechua (Inca)||Condorcanqui|
|Pontiac's Rebellion||1762||Ottawa, Delaware,+||Delaware Prophet|
|Longhouse Movement||1799||Iroquois||Handsome Lake|
|Shawnee Prophet||1805||Shawnee,Miami, Illinois||Tenskwatawa, Tecumseh|
|Sauk-Fox WarsBlack Hawk & son||1838-52||Sauk-Fox, Winnebago||Patheske|
|Ghost Dance I||1869||Paiute, Yokut, Pomo||Tavibo|
|Smohalla Movement||1870-75||Wanapum, Umatilla (Warm Springs)||Smohalla|
|Nez Perce Breakout||1875-77||Nez Perce||Smohalla influence:Toohulhulsote|
|Yakima Shaker Movement||1880-90||Yakima||Kotaiaqan|
|Salish Shaker Movement||1881||Squaxin (Salish)||Squsachtun (John Slocum)|
|Apache Revolt||1881||White Mt Apache||Nakaidoklini (murdered)|
|Potawatomi Prophet||1883||Potawatomi||Potawatomi Prophet|
|Crow Uprising||1889||Crow||Cheeztahpaezh (The Sword Bearer) (murdered)|
|Ghost Dance II||1887||Paiute||Wovoka (Jack Wilson)|
|Plains Ghost Dance||1890||Arapaho,Cheyenne,Lakota,etc.||Short Bull, Sitting Bull (murdered)|
Most of these revolts were a combination of spiritual revitalization that were based on prophetic visions that instructed the people to return to traditions, how to bring back the dead, and even brought powers of invincibility in conflict with European Americans. Sometimes this brought disaster, but in many cases it brought hope and supported traditional revitalizations that shunned the worst vices of European American culture.
Initially the Indian territory was relatively stable with the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs (1832) and the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 designed to keep peace between new Eastern Indians and the Western tribe/ nations. Also, Indian Country was to be protected while Whites launched their treks West to Oregon and California in the 1840's. However, the immigrants swelled in number disrupting stability with disease, trade goods, reduction of game, etc. Treaties were broken and promises of payment in goods and services for land taken were not fulfilled by the government . Native American response to invasion, subsequent reduction of land and relocation became increasingly violent Some of the wars were coupled with new religious movements (see Revitalization Movements) , while others were just military attempts to stop invasion or retribution for broken promises.
|Remington's Rescue||Crook's Apache Scouts|
Before and after the Civil War (1861-65) marked major conflicts (Plains Wars 1851-1890) that changed warfare strategies and demonstrated that Plain Indians
could defeat the U.S. Army. The Battle of the Little Bighorn of 1876 was such a striking to the U. S. Army that under W. T. Sherman, the Western Army took on the strategy to destroy the subsistence base of the Plains people, the bison. By the end 1880s the 60 million American Bison were nearly extinct. Given that the Indian Territory was shrinking many of the Western Tribes were placed on new unwanted Reservation lands.
NORTHERN PLAINS: WARS & TREATIES
|1851||Ft. Laramie Treaty||Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, Shoshone, Crow, Assiniboines, Arikara, Atsina|
|1854||Gratton Affair||Sioux; death of Conquering Bear|
|1857||Sumner's Sabre Charge||Col. Sumner vs Cheyenne|
|1862||Sioux Uprising/Minnesota Massacre||Santee Sioux|
|1864||Sand Creek Massacre||Col. Chivington vs Black Kettle (Cheyenne)|
|1866-68||Red Cloud's War||Sioux block the use of the Bozeman Trail|
|1868||Ft. Laramie Treaty||US concedes the Great Sioux Reservation|
|1868||B. of the Washita||G. A. Custer attacks and destroys Cheyenne village under Black Kettle|
|1874-||Invasion of Black Hills||Custer leads 'Scientific Expedition', finds gold|
|Spring 1876||Little Bighorn Campaign||Gibbon, Crook and Terry|
|1876, June 19||B. of the Rosebud||Crazy Horse leads counter attach on Gen. Crooks assault on Cheyenne village|
|1876, June 25||B. of Little Bighorn||Crazy Horse, Two Moons and Gall defeat G. A. Custer, Reno, Benteen|
|1876-77||Yellowstone Expedition and Powder River Campaign|
|1876, Sep 9||B. of Slim Buttes||Crook vs American Horse|
|1876, Nov 25||B. of the Yellowstone||Miles vs Dull Knife|
|1877, Feb||Sitting Bull and Gall go to Canada|
|1877, Jan-Feb||B. of Tongue River||Miles running fights w/ Crazy Horse|
|1877 Aug||Crazy Horse surrenders||Crazy Horse murdered Ft. Robinson, Sep 5, 1877|
|1890, Dec 29||Wounded Knee Massacre||Bigfoot's Band surrounded by 7th Cav.|
SOUTHERN PLAINS WARS AND TREATIES
|1865||Battles of Tongue/Platte Rivers||Gen. Conner's War|
|1867||Medicine Lodge Treaty||S. Cheyenne, S. Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa Reservations|
|1868-69||S. Plains War||Gen Sheridan's Campaign/War against Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa|
|1874-75||Red River War||Comanche, Kiowa, S. Cheyenne; Isa-Tai & Quannah Parker|
|June 27, 1874||Adobe Walls|
|1875||Palo Duro Canyon|
In the Southwest the American domination came first with the Mexican American War and the treaty of Guadalupe Hildago in 1848. This ceded California and the northern frontiers of New Mexico (Arizona and New Mexico). In the Gadsden Purchase 1851 the southern halves of Arizona and New Mexico were ceded to the United States. This initiated strained and sometimes violent relations with various Apache bands living in the Southern Mountains.
In the Far West, beyond the Rocky mountains their were a series of conflicts as the Oregon Trail first brings settlers to the Wilammete Valley, Oregon in the 1840's and then to the California gold fields after 1849. Further ore strikes in the Basin and the settlement of the Northwest add more immigrants and conflict.
WARS OF THE FARWEST
5. Assimilation Policies and Allotment
Some non-Indian immigrants were clearly in favor of displacing American Indians through various forms of genocide, but the majority of the public were for some form of assimilation. This attitude is based upon a manifest destiny combined with the notion that Western European culture was superior to Native American/American Indian cultures. Thus if you had some compassion you advocated converting or assimilating Native people. This did not necessarily advocate integration. The reservation succeeded in segregating Native Americans, but non Indian America felt obligated to assimilate Native Americans, which also became a means of controlling tribal governments and eventually a new technique of taking more land. The initial Indian Agents on the reservations were lazy, filthy and corrupt, so the government assigned missionaries to Indians already missionized by different denominations. This caused further conflict and was compounded by taking away the children to boarding schools that were not only corrupt and abusive, but taught that Euorpean American culture was superior but only taught domestic tasks to the girls and manual labor to the boys. Farming implements and training were never realized and in many cases would had been very productive. The Allotment Act was another method of assimilation by taking away tribal trusts and introducing privately owned allotments, but in reality the policy was designed to take away Indian owned lands and resources. The Dawes Commission was sent out to reservations to implement and enforce the Allotment Act after 1880 into the 1900s. When resources, like oil, were found non-Indians went into a frenzy of developing ways to dispossess Indians from resources and wealth, from murder to fraud. Some non-Indians felt that Native Americans were not worthy of the wealth as part of their justification for their own jealousy and greed.
6. Biological and Cultural Impact
WWI and U.S. Citizenship
The overall effect of the First World War was dramatic in terms of global politics, economics and demographic patterns. Certainly it was the end of the 'Gilded Age' in the U.S. or 'La Belle Epoch' in Europe. For the men and women that experienced this war there were far more severe psychological repercussions than any previous war resulting in 'the Lost Generation'. Native Americans fought in the 'Great War' with a greater ratio of participation than any other ethnic group in America (16% in Armed Services vs. 1% in the U.S. population). For many ethnic groups and women, participation in the war effort accentuated the inequality back home and stimulated action. Civil rights demands required multiple attempts, but women got the vote in 1920 (ratification of 19th Amendment) and Native Americans got the vote and became citizens in 1924. Before this the status of Native Americans varied, but in general they were considered wards of the government. So after 1924, if a person was of a federally recognized tribe/nation, one essentially became a dual citizen. Further, if you were a veteran of the U.S. Armed Services, a third set of rights applied.
Initially the interest of anthropology was focused on physical comparisons (see Repatriation), but by the 1880's and into the first half of the 20th century ethnography became a primary concern of anthropology. By 1900 Native Americans reached an all time low population of 375,000 in North America, coinsided with the peak immigration into the United States. Language and traditional cultural activities had all but disappeared or went underground. In the name of science many ethnologists were frantically conducting interviews of the last elders with memory of their traditional cultures. Unfortunately most of these researchers did not even bother to share the information they gleaned resulting in subsequent surviving generations having very little to pass down. Also, with the passage of the Antiquity Act (1906) archaeologists intensified accumulating artifacts on behalf of museum collections and university laboratories. During the depression, with huge public works projects like TVA, archaeological excavation became part of the New Deal. Native Americans were loosing people and cultural traditions; and in some cases during the depression whole families were loosing land with the enforcement of the Allotment Act of a 1880. In Oklahoma, American Indians were being swindled in and out of the courts, and murdered for oil rich land.
As part of the New Deal the Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934 as a measure to rectify the damage of the Allotment Act (1880) and the hard times of the depression. The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) attempted to restore land, revitalize traditional art and culture, and to strengthen tribal governments. Some of these goals were modestly implemented, but WWII severely rerouted funds and drained the leadership among tribal members.
The 19th century brought the displacement and assimilation of Native Americans, the closing of the frontier, and the destruction of 90% of America's original forests. The reservation effected the segregation of Native Americans. However, the loses were being felt and will launch anthropologists and conservationists in an attempt to recover cultural and natural resources. This begins in the late 19th century but really picks up before WWII. The cultural resources were of course Native American people and their traditional cultures. Some anthropologists saw this as an opportunity to gain fame and/ or preserve cultures that were quickly disappearing. Some Native Americans agreed and became informants or even anthropologists themselves. Others found anthropologists just as arrogant and greedy as other non-Indians. In some cases elders felt that some traditions included knowledge that embodied power that should not be abused and that the people no longer were capable of safely dealing with such matters, essentially entropy. This produced an even more radical view; with some merit at times, that some anthropologists were in the business of stealing cultures. Preserving traditional culture is a difficult task but it requires the preservation and recovering of traditional language. As we will see first basic citizenship and sovereignty are necessary in the 20th century, but traditional culture has begun to return as an issue today.
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Copyright © S. J. Crouthamel