Dawes Severalty Act Of 1887 Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Dawes Severalty Act Of 1887?
The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 was a piece of legislation passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Grover Cleveland. The act changed the way Native Americans were treated and it had far-reaching implications for their ability to own land, manage their affairs, and practice their cultures. The Act was named for Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts who championed it through the Senate. The purpose of the act was twofold: one, to break up tribal ownership of land so that individual Indians would be able to own plots; and two, to create an atmosphere where Native Americans could assimilate more easily into white society. The Act divided Indian reservations into small plots which could then be sold off to white settlers or individuals within the tribe. These plots were called allotments and they ranged in size from 40 acres (16 ha) up to 160 acres (65 ha). In exchange for these allotments, Native American tribes had to give up tribal titles over certain tracts of land or rights in them – often without getting anything in return. It also allowed non-Indians access to mineral resources on reservation lands as well as timber harvesting rights without permission from tribes or any royalties paid back in return. In addition, the Dawes Severalty Act sought to encourage assimilation by giving Native Americans U.S citizenship if they accepted an allotment, took an English name, abandoned any traditional cultural practices such as polygamy, and agreed not to leave the US without permission from federal authorities. This encouraged many Indians who wanted a better life away from their reservations but did not always lead them towards success either economically or culturally something that has been documented in history books since its passage over 130 years ago. The effects of this law have been felt ever since its passage even though much has changed in how Natives are treated today compared with how they were viewed at that time period when assimilation was seen as a goal rather than preservation and respect for indigenous cultures and customs being honored equally alongside those of other groups living within our nation’s borders. The Dawes Severalty Act is still seen today as a major step forward when it comes understanding what happened between Europeans settlers/colonizers and Indigenous people’s centuries ago – but with it comes both positive impacts on some individuals’ lives while simultaneously negative consequences for others whose families lost out on ancestral lands forever due largely due this legislation being enacted at all.