history final exam
Over the history of our country, Indians owned the lands and prospered, but a foreign country would always discover the riches of this land, and try to either kill the natives or make them slaves to gain the countries riches for the foreigners benefit. Through different historical documents, one can see the differences in how people felt about the Indians, and what should be done about them. Bartolome de Las Casas, who was born in Spain, and went to Cuba to fight for the Spaniards, later became a priest, a Dominican friar, and Bishop of Chiapas in
Guatemala, speaking and getting laws passed prohibiting Indian slavery and safeguarding the rights of the Indians. He was originally given an encomienda for his military services to Spain, which included Indian slaves. Several years later when he became the first priest ordained in America, he renounced all his claims on his Indian serfs. From that time on, he dedicated his life to becoming a fierce advocate for Indians, speaking and writing on behalf of their fair treatment, including traveling to Spain to find support for a series of new towns in which Spaniard and Indian ould live together in peace and equality.
He was widely admired as an early pioneer of social Justice, and widely denounced as an irresponsible pamphleteer and spreader of slanders (through his Brief Report on the Destruction of the Indians, or Tears of the Indians, which was used to stir up English feeling against the Spanish as a cruel race, the so called Black Legend, whom England ought to be aware of). Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was famed for his ability to use violence to make room for the expansion of white culture in America.
He proudly announced to Congress that the removal of Indians from white settlements was approaching a happy consummation. He believed that by buying Indian land, paying for their relocation, and supporting them for a year in their new location, would end any and all problems between whites and Indians (including repelling future invasions without remote aid, free them from the power of the States, enable them to pursue their own happiness their own way, and generally create safe and happy separate communities). But Jackson’s fame for violence towards Indians has proved itself over history in the way the relocation was consummated.
Jackson didn’t honor his speech to Congress once it was approved, because if the Indians didn’t peacefully agree to the terms of their relocation, Jackson gladly used any means at his disposal to remove the Indians, including murdering them to acquire their lands. Helen Hunt Jackson remains an exemplar of contributions of women to literature and reform as she was the first to report to Congress the abuses of the Indians of the West and writing a novel detailing how state and federal policy failed to ensure fair treatment of Native Americans.
Her advocacy convinced the Senate to pass legislation to protect them from further mistreatment, but it failed to pass in the House. In her research, she found 130,000 Indians were self-supporting on their own reservations, with the remaining 84,000 partially supported by the government in forms of the interest money due them and their annuities as provided by treaties. She also observed that of all these Indians, there is not one among them who had not suffered ruelly at the hands of either the Government or of white settlers.
The more helpless United States in her writing that no matter when or where in history you looked, that all tribes were wronged, oppressed, and murdered by the whites’ greed for Indian land and resources, that the history of Government connections with the Indians is a shameful record of broken treaties and unfilled promises. Both Bartolome de Las Casas and Helen Hunt Jackson believed Indians had been innocent people subjected to cruelties by invading countries, while Andrew Jackson ad long hated the Indians and didn’t care what happened to them, as long as they were far removed from civilization for the good of everyone.
Las Casas and Hunt Jackson saw such mistreatment of the Indians, that they dedicated their lives to informing the people of the atrocities committed against the Indians, and the passage of laws to protect the Indians for the future. Andrew Jackson spoke to the country of his grand plans to relocate the Indians so that they could live separately in their own happiness. But as Helen Hunt Jackson described to the country, Andrew
Jackson and any other politician could speak all they wanted about what should be done for the Indians, but until the cheating, robbing, broken promises, and refusal of protecting the laws of the Indians’ rights of property including life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness stopped, then no steps can be taken toward righting the wrongs, curing the ills, and wiping out the disgrace to us of the present conditions of our Indians. Las Casas and Hunt Jackson believed both white and red men could peaceably live together while Andrew Jackson did not. HeH