Americanization of Native Americans

Americanization Of Native Americans

The cultural assimilation of Native Americans was an assimilation effort by the United States to transform Native American culture to European–American culture between the years of 1790–1920. George Washington and Henry Knox were first to propose, in an American context, the cultural transformation of Native Americans. They formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process. With increased waves of immigration from Europe, there was growing public support for education to encourage a standard set of cultural values and practices to be held in common by the majority of citizens. Education was viewed as the primary method in the acculturation process for minorities.

Americanization policies were based on the idea that when indigenous people learned United States (American) customs and values, they would be able to merge tribal traditions with American culture and peacefully join the majority society. After the end of the Indian Wars, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the government outlawed the practice of traditional religious ceremonies. It established boarding schools which children were required to attend. In these schools they were forced to speak English, study standard subjects, attend church, and leave tribal traditions behind.

The Dawes Act of 1887, which allotted tribal lands in severalty to individuals, was seen as a way to create individual homesteads for Native Americans. Land allotments were made in exchange for Native Americans' becoming US citizens and giving up some forms of tribal self-government and institutions. It resulted in the transfer of an estimated total of 93 million acres (380,000 km2) from Native American control. Most was sold to individuals. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was also part of Americanization policy.

Read more about Americanization Of Native Americans:  Europeans and Native Americans in North America, 1601–1776, The United States and Native Americans, 1776–1860, Americanization and Assimilation (1857–1920), Decisions Focusing On Sovereignty, Suppression of Religion, Lasting Effects of The Americanization Policy

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