American Indian treaties: the history of a political anomaly by Francis Paul Prucha

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By Francis Paul Prucha

American Indian affairs are a lot within the public brain today--hotly contested debates over such concerns as Indian fishing rights, land claims, and reservation playing carry our cognizance. whereas the original felony prestige of yankee Indians rests at the ancient treaty dating among Indian tribes and the government, in the past there was no complete historical past of those treaties and their function in American life.Francis Paul Prucha, a number one authority at the historical past of yank Indian affairs, argues that the treaties have been a political anomaly from the very starting. The time period "treaty" implies a freelance among sovereign autonomous countries, but Indians have been continually able of inequality and dependence as negotiators, a incontrovertible fact that complicates their present makes an attempt to regain their rights and tribal sovereignty.Prucha's impeccably researched e-book, in accordance with an in depth research of each treaty, makes attainable an intensive knowing of a criminal limitation whose legacy is so palpably felt at the present time.

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Many Indians relied on this concept of national honor in dealing with the United States, asserting their belief in honorable treatment by the federal government (even though long experience might have cautioned them against it), and they pleaded with the government not to violate its plighted faith and the national honor. Such tactics had considerable influence, for they touched a sympathetic chord among many white citizens and their official leaders. The cry for living up to treaty stipulations made by the articulate opponents of Indian removal in the 1820s and 1830s, for example, softened the blow of removal and left the southern Indian nations intact.

PapersClarence E. , The Territorial Papers of the United States. 26 vols. WD LSLetters Sent by the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs, 18001824. National Archives Record Group 75 (M15) For documents in the Congressional Serial Set the numbers of the Congress and session are given in this abbreviated form: 46-2. The abbreviations used in the citations to some legal sources follow the forms given in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 15th ed. (Cambridge: Harvard Law Review Association, 1991).

The postCivil War drive to detribalize the Indians and assimilate them as individuals into the dominant white society was a culmination of a movement that had long been under way. Resolution of disputes between the tribes and the United States has always been the business of federal courts, not international tribunals. It is true that some Indians in the twentieth century have demanded 32 There is nothing about formal treaty making in James P. Ronda, Lewis and Clark among the Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984), although Ronda discusses Jefferson's concern to bring the western Indians into America's political orbit by making trading arrangements with them.

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