Friday, May 30, 2014

Forced to Change

My topic is the Native Americans and America's westward expansion. It is also about how this westward expansion effected the Native Americans already living in these territories. I chose this topic because I thought that it was very interesting. I previously did not know that Native Americans were living where America was expanding so I wanted to learn more about that. I also wanted to explore any potential conflict that aroused because of this expansion and whether or not it has real world impact today. Overall, I thought this topic would be perfect for the theme of People, Places, and Power.
Key Terms:
Expansion- the act or process of expanding
Pacific Railway Acts- a series of acts of Congress that promoted the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies
Homestead Act- several United States federal laws that gave an applicant ownership of land, typically called a "homestead", at little or no cost
Sitting Bull- a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies
Reservations- a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose, as for the use of an Indian tribe
Ghost Dance-  a new religious movement incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems
Massacre- the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder
George Custer- a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars
Dawes Act- adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey American Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians
Assimilation- to take in and incorporate as one's own
Allotment- to divide or distribute by share or portion
Indian Reorganization Act- U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans (known in law as American Indians or Indians), including Alaska Natives
John Collier - an American social reformer and Native American advocate
Navajos- largest federally recognized tribe of the United States of America with 300,048 enrolled tribal members
Enduring Understandings:
People in Power abuse those not in Power by manipulating them to do things that only help them.
Collier betrayed the Indians trust and it caused them hunger and poverty. (The Indian Question, 230)
Allotment had been transforming Indians into landless people. (The Indian Question, 224)
People in Power force those not in Power to relocate in order to advance their personal needs.
Military abused power by corralling Indians into reservations and shooting them if they ever stepped out. (The Indian Question, 220)
Native Americans were put into reservations because they were not "Using their land properly" (The Indian Question, 223)
So far, my topic relates to People Places and Power because the Indian People were being forced into reservation Places by the People in Power and their are many different conflicts that arose. These themes will definitely develop further as I do more reading and more connecting. So far, it's been a good process reading and relating passages and events to the overall theme.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DBQ- Who Killed Reconstruction?

After the Civil War, blacks problems fighting for justice and equality were far from over. This included the 12 years directly after the Civil War, which was called the reconstruction. While there was an increase in freed slaves, there was also a resistance to change, coming mainly from the South. Then, after 12 years, the reconstruction ended. This was due to many things, including violence and threats from the South and overall neglect from the North. While both sides contributed to the death of reconstruction, the combination of violence and threats in the South made them the main culprit. 

First, the South killed reconstruction through violence and threats. First, there is a document where a former white soldier is writing to Congress and pleading for their help. He claims that the KKK, a white supremacist group, has killed a white senator who was trying to help blacks obtain their rights. (Doc A). He also claims that anybody who ignores these serious threats are "a coward, a traitor, or a fool"(Doc A). This shows that the South killed reconstruction through acts of violence because the KKK would kill anybody who supported the change in ideas that came with reconstruction. Their violence led to many people being too afraid to step in and help, this causing reconstruction to be killed altogether. While the KKK didn't always kill people, most of the time they would at least threaten them. It was known that the KKK would go to voting booths and threaten blacks who tried to vote so that they would be too afraid to use their rights and vote. They would use violence sometimes along with these threats by pointing guns at black's heads. (Doc B). This shows that the south killed reconstruction through the KKK's constant threats so that the blacks were not able to vote and use their rights that reconstruction had fought for them to have.  
While the South was the majority of the reason why reconstruction was killed, they also had some help from their friends in the North. In the North, they had been growing tired of all of the South's problems and began to disregard them. They started to focus on more national problems including the scandal inside of Grant's government. (Doc C). This shows that the North had a hand in killing reconstruction because they stopped helping the South to focus on problems that they cared about more. The North was also not all supportive of blacks rights. Blacks were called, "unfitted for the proper exercise of political duties." (Doc D). By saying this, it shows that the North didn't feel that blacks were ready for the rights that reconstruction had given them so that played a hand in them helping to kill reconstruction. Blacks were depicted very stereotypically in the North also. In one edition of Harper's Weekly, they are shown being loud and crazy in a political office while whites look on confused and scared. (Doc D). This also proves that that the North helped to kill reconstruction because not all of them supported blacks rights that reconstruction had given them. 

While both sides contributed to the death of reconstruction, the combination of violence and threats in the South made them the main culprit. This was due to the many violence and threats that came from the South during this time. Especially from the KKK, who did not support blacks to have any rights and took action against it. After the Civil War, blacks problems fighting for justice and equality were definitely far from over.