Content of the Paper
Choose any parcel of land in the American West (West of the Mississippi) that was ceded from a Native American group to the U.S. government between 1865 and 1900. If you are from the U.S. West, you may want to choose your hometown. If not, then you can choose a place that you have visited or always wanted to visit. The decision is entirely yours.
Once you choose a place, study the documents associated with that parcel. You will want to choose a parcel that has an â€œExecutive Orderâ€ or â€œTreatyâ€ text, or some other kind of formal document associated with it. This is the primary source you will analyze.
Your essay should address some or all of the following questions:
â—Who gave up the land? Offer some historical background on the group and why they made this decision. (You will need to do some research using the web.)
â—Why did the federal government want this land? (Again, you will need to do some research).
â—In what regards did the specified Indians value the land?
â—How did the federal government value the land?
â—In the document you find associated with the parcel of land, there will be names cited as part of the transaction. Find at least one of these people who were a party to the treaty and discuss what their specific role was in the transaction.
â—What behaviors, practices, and terms of ownership did the treaties seek to define? Why do you think these were singled out?
â—How does your particular case fit within broader patterns of settlement in the U.S. West? You will want to consult the lecture material as well as Ch. 15 of the Global Americans textbook. It will be helpful to think about themes such as racial domination, displacement, boundary-making, and native-settler cohabitation.
â—Think about the character in Little House on the Prairie. How did Laura and her family benefit from such land cessessions.
Mechanics of the Paper
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