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The United States ideology : ownership, domination, and treatment of the Indians

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The United States ideology : ownership, domination, and treatment of the Indians
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Davis, Michael
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Denver, Colo.
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Metropolitan State University of Denver
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English

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An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial completion of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Honors Program

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The United States Ideology: Ownership, Domination., and treatment of the Indians
by Michael Davis
An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial completion of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Honors Program
December 2011
Enrique Maestas
Dr. Amy Eckert Dr. Megan Hughes-Zarzo
Primary Advisor
Second Reader
Honors Program Director


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Michael Davis Senior Thesis December 13, 2011
Prior to the establishment of the United States, the Indians had maintained their lands, political autonomy and political standing under European rule of the New World, as evidenced by the European and United States' adoption of treaty practices by the Indians. However, as the United States accumulated political power, they would begin to adhere to principles of sovereignty, defined as politically stripping Indian tribes of power and cultural imposition on Indians. Indian lands, political autonomy, and political standing would recede as the United States made territorial gains and thus claimed ownership of the land and supremacy over Indians. These practices would act as the reigning ideology of America, which was reflected in the legislation and the judicial interpretations of the United States' government. In time, the legislation and judicial interpretation of legislation would become a means to claim ownership over the land and dominance over the Indians, creating an identity of ownership and dominance which would drive westward expansion. This would permeate through the discovery doctrine and the concept Manifest Destiny which would drive the United States expansion. This process was primarily applied through the Commerce Clause, which allotted Congress all necessary jurisdictions over Indian tribes as evidenced through the Indian Removal Act, Major Crimes Act, and General Allotment Act. The Supreme Court's interpretation of Indian standing in the United States would only justify that claim to sovereignty and strip the Indian tribes' political sovereignty and land rights. In all, this paper analyzes the United States rising claim to dominance and cultural imposition, a sovereign identity, and American superiority though
illustration of their treatment of the Indians.


This driving sovereign ideology of the United States is conveyed through John Locke's philosophy. Locke's philosophy encapsulated the principles of ownership and dominance that
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the United States adhered to. Therefore, this paper discusses the principles of Locke's philosophy in length in order to convey the practice of specific behaviors that the United States practiced. Those behaviors of the United States that were aligned with Locke's philosophy would include the practice of absolute ownership over land, a hierarchal structure necessitating a ruler and the ruled, the justification of this power through theology, and the virtue of cultivating land correctly, which is to say the utilization of land for the purposes of maximizing growth and development of the nation. These practices are analyzed first in the writings of Locke and then analyzed in the development of the United States from the colonial period through westward expansion.
The distinction between Locke's principles of land utility and the principles of Indians generally differed. The distinction between the principles of land use is illustrated by Georgiana C. Nammack in Fraud, Politics, and the Dispossession of the Indians, when he discusses the ownership principles of the Iroquois Indians: No one Indian, or any tribe of Indians, had the right to dispose of the land, for the only land tenure recognized by the natives was that of occupancy while cultivating or using the land to obtain food (Nammack, XIV). Nammack understood the Iroquois Indians' land use through the principle of utility. Under this, land could not be claimed in terms of absolute possession. In general, the Iroquois understood the land as a provider for all inhabitants. This type of ownership was not absolute and acted as a unity between man and nature: Their land belonged to all their people who inhabited it, hunted on it, and cultivated it, and that each generation held the land in trust for future generations (Nammack, XV). This was a respect for the land: the recognition of the land as a provider for every new generation. This perception of land, where man and nature worked in unison,


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acknowledged mans role in nature: a role of unity and not man's dominance and ownership of nature.
This perspective by the Indian, that land ownership is not absolute and is instead based on cultivation of the lands offerings, would be exploited by the Europeans and their understanding of absolute land ownership. Land hunger, apparently a characteristic of all classes in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, became a motivating factor in the development of the colonies (Nammack, XIV). The expansion of colonies would become an extension of this importance of land as the colonies would vie for increasing territory. Due to the disconnect between European and Native American land ownership, Indians appeared to have accepted the idea that they could permit the white people to use and cultivate the land in return for payment, because the colonists' so-called land purchases were not considered final sales by the Indians (Nammack, XV). This disconnect, in which the Indians did not understand the ramifications of the land cessions because they did not comprehend absolute ownership, was irreparable and a means to acquire an abundance of land from the Indians.
The colonies would begin to practice dominance over the Indians as they exploited this ideological disconnect: Even the most formidable Indians of North America were to find themselves almost powerless to combat the cunning ingenuity of the land-hungry colonists (Nammack, XVI). The colonists exploited the disconnection of ideology and this would become a commentary on the colonists dealings with the Indians. The colonists were concerned with their prosperity and viewed the Indians as competitors for that prosperity. Accordingly, the colonists instituted exploitation as they perceived Indians as competitors for land. These early dealings with the Indians by the colonists would determine the relationship of the Indians and the United States. Through time, as colonies became the United States, that European ideology of acquisition, ownership, and dominance would progress and manifest into legislation that held sovereignty over the Indians.


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This European notion of ownership and dominance, as understood through Locke, which plagued the Indians by the colonists and later the United States, is described in Forgotten Founders by Bruce E. Johansen. Lockes philosophy reflected America and its native inhabitants observations.. .packaged them into theories, and exported them back to America, where people such as Franklin and Jefferson put them into practice (Johansen, 120). Locke's philosophy reflected the European ideology of ownership and sovereignty, as depicted in Locke's Second Treatise of Government, printed in Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy, by Steve Cahn, which states that God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life, and convenience (Locke, 468). According to Locke, the world was bestowed by God to man. In Gods benevolence, God gave man discretion over the world as a means to prosperity. However, this discretion is not for the betterment and continuity of the land. This discretion is for the betterment and continuity of man. Therefore, Locke perceives land as a means to the betterment of man. Under this, man is able to better himself through land by sound discretion of how to use that land as God imparted man with reason in order to determine how to utilize the world in the best means.
For justification of Gods giving the earth to man, Locke turns to biblical scriptures.
First, Locke utilized Psalms 115: 16: He [God] has given the earth to human beings (Locke, 467). Locke also turns to ITimothy 6: 17: God...richly provides us [human beings] with everything for our enjoyment (Locke, 469). For a comparison to these scriptures, the definition of sovereign is analyzed in The American Heritage Dictionary. Sovereign Def. 1) Independent: a sovereign state. 2) Having supreme rank or power. 3) Paramount; supreme. (Fourth ed.,
2001). The biblical scriptures and definition of sovereign are similar in that they both recognize a hierarchy and a means to utilize that which is below another. As God gives the earth to man, man is given discretion and control over the earth, thereby being in control of the earth. Comparatively, a sovereign will utilize what is under their control for their prosperity. Thus, by


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adhering to religious principles, man's work ethic, his spiritual endeavor, is achieved and applied to the social understanding of land, cultivation, ownership, and dominance. Through this understanding, Locke is defining man as a sovereign over the earth as he interprets man's role as a utilizer of the world, through cultivation, for the betterment of man. This understanding of man's role over the earth would carry into the political and social practices of the United States: man would dominate the land through ownership and supremacy over the Indians through legislation and terms such as the discovery doctrine and Manifest Destiny.
As man is dominant over nature, man can claim nature as his: Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself (Locke, 468). As nature is inferior to man, man is able to claim nature as his property, which no other man can take from him: Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property (Locke, 468). Accordingly, man is allotted ownership over nature because man is natures sovereign through his labor. This is to say that man can claim land as his own, making that land separate from another mans land. Therefore, only that man who labors on that plot of land may benefit from that land which he labors on. Subsequently, as that man has claimed a right to that land, no other man possesses a right to labor or benefit from that land. That land becomes an extension of the man who owns it. Mans labor on land indicates a transition of the role of land: it is a subservient commodity for the betterment of one man, as opposed to all men, when labor is introduced.
This ownership of land will extend as far as labor, as much as any one can make use of [nature] to any advantage of life before it spoils (Locke, 469). This relies on a man's ability to lay, claim, and hold ownership over a land through his labor. This role of land is a virtue for Locke: God gave the world to men in common; but since he gave it them for their benefit...it


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cannot be supposed he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated (Locke, 469). Locke interprets uncultivated land as a conflict with God's will. As God gave man the world, man is required to act as a sovereign over it for their benefit and individually claim ownership over it based on their labor of it. To neglect this process, to leave land uncultivated would be to neglect man's purpose of existence. Therefore, man must endeavor to appropriate land and to utilize land through their labor for man's wellbeing. The extent to which he does is based on his ability: The measure of property nature has well set by the extent of men's labour... and though man is unable toil all land, .. .No man's labour could subdue or appropriate all (Locke, 470). Under this rationale, man is able to infinitely claim ownership over land because man could not possibly consume all land. As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property (Locke, 469). This rationale of ownership, where the magnitude of the world allots every man space to own land, discerns the world as an infinite commodity. This suggests that it would be senseless for a man to attempt to claim another man's land after it is owned because the world, appropriated by God, is plentiful enough for all men. Therefore, all men can labor and claim land as their own.
These principles of infinite land and cultivation along with the principles of absolute ownership and the utilization of land as a means for man's wellbeing must be taken into account when analyzing the United States' treatment of the Indians. The United States applied these principles to the land and to the Indians, through ideology and policy, and treated these principles as rationale for territorial expansion and removal of the Indians from their land. According to these principles, the Indians must move aside for a prospering nation. Further, there is nothing morally wrong with the removal of the Indians from their lands as the land is plentiful and infinite for all. Therefore, for the cultivation of the land, as God had intended, the Indians must move aside for the prospering nation under God and move further west since the land is immense enough to accommodate both the prospering nation and the Indians.


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Colonial Relations with Indians
This ideology would substantially impact Indian tribes as the European powers were expelled in lieu of an autonomous American government that was concerned with expansion and development. However, before America constructed itself under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the British and French governments would vie for dominating roles in the New World. This competition between the British and the French would require the alliance of Indians in order to claim a dominant position over the other country. As the European powers vied for the Indian alliance, Indian tribes were accorded with political power and influence. This need of political alliance would shield Indian tribes from exploitation and conflict with European powers as the Europeans required Indian alliance. Accordingly, the need for political alliance would also shield Indians from colonial trickery and fraud. However, this political power by the Indians would be lost when America claimed independence, accumulated military strength and subsequently claimed supremacy over the Indians.
The diplomatic relationship between Europeans and Indian tribes, based on competition between European powers, was beneficial to all parties and encouraged the sharing of culture and skills. Before America had been established the initial contacts between Indian and white men were in many respects beneficial to the Indians, for trade was then the primary objective of the colonists (Nammack, 8). Johansen discusses this mutually beneficial relationship: The Indians knew how to live in America, and the colonists, from the first settlers onward, had to learn (Johansen, 34). The relationship between the Native Americans and the Europeans was relatively peaceful in the beginning and coexistence allotted adoption of culture and principles. This adoption of culture and principles would also carry into political practices such as treaty making, as will be discussed. In all, the initial contacts were largely beneficial, they encouraged communication and cultural sharing, and the Indians were not treated as politically inferior.


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As alliances were being established, the British gained alliance with Iroquois Confederacy, known as the Six Nations, which formed an alliance between the Onondaga,
Sencas, Mohawks, Oneidas, and Cayugas to become the Five Nations and would later become the Six Nations with the acceptance of Tuscaroras (Johansen, 21). As these tribes coalesced into a united Indian power, they would prove to be a formidable ally for the British. Along with a military presence, the Six Nations also offered trade as an important component in their relationship with the British (Johansen, 45). For the British, trade with the Six Nations.. .presented an opportunity to mix and mingle with the Indians, and to convert them to the British Colonial interest (Johansen, 44). Through trade, the alliance between the Six Nations and the British provided a reciprocal environment in which all parties benefitted. Thus, through trade, a generally positive relationship was constructed. By maintaining a positive relationship with the Six Nations, the British enhanced a strategic position and military strength, as well as diplomatic and military power as early as 1687 (Johansen, 45). This alliance between the Six Nations and British would play a pivotal role in the outcome of British and French possession of the New World. Accordingly, it was within the political interests of the British to ensure that the Six Nations were treated appropriately, thus preventing unwanted colonial expansion into Indian lands.
The Six Nations offered the British multiple military and political strategies. For example, the Six Nations' geographic location offered the only relatively level pass between the mountains that otherwise separated British and French settlement in North America.. .Between the English and the French stood the Iroquois and their allies (Johansen, 42). As the British relied on the Six Nations' military strength, diplomacy with neighboring Indians, and geographical positioning, the Six Nations enjoyed considerable diplomatic leverage (Johansen, 42). This diplomatic power by the Six Nations with the Crown directly acted as a barrier between the Indians and the colonies, as the colonies were concerned with expansion not political


alliances with the Indians. The Crown, then, were in favor of the Indians' wellbeing in order to maintain alliance over the French.
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However, to obtain land, and in defiance of the Crown, the colonies would practice trickery or blatantly act in contrast to agreements in treaties to expand their territory, a testament to the government that would later form. Such trickery by the colonies would induce tension between the colonies and Indians and would require redress. This redress would largely come in the form of placation. For example, an abundance of gifts were offered to the Six Nations at the 1744 treaty conference: 220 pounds sterling and 15 shillings, including 200 shirts, four duffle blankets, forty-seven guns, one pound of vermillion, 100 flints, four dozen Jews Harps, 202 bars of lead, two quarters shot, and two half barrels of gun powder(Johansen, 46). These gifts by the colonies were by no means altruistic. The 1744 treaty conference illustrates that gifts were a means to assuage the Indians complaints of encroaching settlers and the colonies inaction to prevent that encroachment. The Six Nations complained that settlers were moving onto Indian land without permission, disrupting hunting and social life (Johansen, 58). Though their complaints were voiced, the colonies provided only vague assurances.. .that the flow of settlers into the disputed lands would be controlled as much as possible (Johansen, 61). This type of placation by the colonies would prove to be more the rule than the exception.
These situations would frequently require intervention by the Crown in order to maintain their alliance with the Indians: Convinced that the friendship of the Indians was necessary for the peaceful settlement.. .the Crown continually reminded the colonials of these factors and stressed the need for good Anglo-Indian relations (Nammack, 22). This incessant encroachment and the subsequently strained relations with the Native Americans are exemplified by the Albany settlement. In September, 1733, Mohawks accused the Albany settlement of fraudulent land dealings:


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The Mohawk sachems asked for redress of a gross land fraud perpetrated by the city of Albany. The Mohawks claimed that about 1731 the mayor and other officials of Albany had convinced them that the only way to protect their lands was to deed them to the city to hold in trust for as long as the Indians saw fit....Some time later, the tribesmen were informed that the deed was, in reality, an absolute conveyance of 1,000 acres of prime meadowland... When the deed had been read and interpreted, the Indians declared it was fraudulent, complaining that if they received no redress, they would sever their ties with the English and go over to the French. Cosby could not find that the Indians had been given consideration in goods or money, which would have been proof of an intention to purchase. To Cosby, this fact was evidence of fraud, and when the Indians demanded the deed, he gave it to them, and they, with satisfaction, tore it up and threw it into the fire (Nammack, 23-24).
This dispute indicates a large discrepancy between the objectives of colonies and the objectives of the Crown. The actions of the colonies were focused on initial benefits, i.e. the accumulation of land. For the Crown, political concerns over rival European powers in the New World superseded the accumulation of land.
During the Albany Conference of 1754, the Crowns loyalty to their alliance with the Six Nations put them directly at odds with the colonies. At the Albany Conference of 1754, it was recommended, first, that future purchases of lands from the Indians be void unless made by the government and with the approval of the Indians in a body in their public councils, as well as any complaints of the Indians relative to any grants of land fraudulently obtained be investigated and all injuries redressed (Nammack, 88-89). In this ruling, the British understood that the Indians were concerned with their land and would ally with those powers that did not threaten, or threatened least, their land.
The British understanding of the Indian alliance, based on mutual benefit, illustrates the role of the British in the New World: a concern for politically beneficial relationship with Indians so as not to upset their Indian allies. However, the colonies were represented different concerns. The behavior of the colonies indicates an early concern for expansion and domination. Though they would be unable to fully practice this expansion and domination until militarily capable, the behavior of the colonies at these early stages indicates that their initial objectives were similar to the objectives of the United States as a formidable political and military opponent.
Post Colonial Era


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The alliance of Indians with different European powers would play a substantial role in the outcome of the accumulation of power for the United States. Political relationships between
European powers and Indians were constructed through such concerns as land. For example, Howard Zinn, in A People's History of the United States, discusses these concerns of land through the European's occupation of Indian land. Occupation, and the threat that imposed on Indian land, was less of a concern with the French for the Indians. Therefore, many Indians allied with the French during the Seven Years War since the French were traders but not occupiers of Indian lands, while the British clearly coveted their hunting grounds and living space (Zinn, 87). In essence, the Indians were concerned with their wellbeing and thus political alliances with European nations were constructed under their concern for wellbeing. Though Indians had largely allied with the British against the colonies, the French had posed less of a threat than both the British and the colonies in many situations.
As the French posed less of a threat than the British, the British posed far less of a threat than the colonies. In essence, many Indian tribes were vying to maintain political autonomy and protect their land. The fact that the large majority of the Iroquois later sided with the British against the colonists in the war for independence can be largely attributed to Indian hostility toward the colonials over land (Nammack, 106). Reginald Horsman took this perspective as well in his work Expansion and American Indian Policy 1783 1812. According to Horsman, many Indian tribes cast their lot with the British for the simple reason that they had less to fear from British officials and traders than from American land speculators and farmers (Horsman, 3). This depicts the overall struggle to maintain their way of life as it was being threatened by outside powers, such as the rising United States.
However, once the United States had established itself as an independent nation, it initially adhered to Indians' political principles due to the United States' insufficient military strength. For instance, the United States initially abided by peaceful principles of treaty making,


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which had been adopted by previous European nations from the Five Nations. This is discussed by Howard R. Berman in Exiled in the Land of the Free. Berman discusses the previous European powers who had adopted the treaty making principles of the Six Nations, and subsequently, each successive European state seeking to establish commercial or settler colonies necessarily as a matter of course entered into treaty relations with indigenous nations (Berman, 128). As each European nation had dealt with the Six Nations through peace treaties, so too would the United States in order to maintain peaceful boundaries while the United States did not possess the military strength to conduct mass removal of the Indians through conflict.
Initially, European treaties were inherently different than the Six Nations' treaties. European treaties regulated the practice of state or state-sanctioned private reprisals in the event of an injury to a national in the territory of another state (Berman, 138). Treaties under this context necessitated war and the treaty was a means to agreement to discontinue conflict. Thus, this practice required conflict before peace and agreement could be established. This is a component of the treaty that the Six Nations did not practice. The Six Nations' treaty principles did not consist of victor and defeated through military conflict. In short, their treaties were not based on domination (Berman, 186). Instead, their treaties were based on an idea of peace through wampum: Guswenta is a long beaded belt of white wampum with two parallel lines of purple along its length. The lines symbolize the distinct identity of the two peoples and a mutual engagement to coexist in peace (Berman, 135). Under this practice, treaties were a means of cooperation and peace and did not necessitate conflict to reach agreement. This is directly relevant to the United States' methods of removal in that the United States would conduct treaties under this notion of peace with Indian tribes until they were militarily capable of conducting treaties under coercive tactics.
These principles of treaty making would continue from European nations to the United States, which began with the Dutch as they were compelled to seek the 'good offices' of the


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Mohawk Nation (Berman, 138). Subsequent to the Dutch adoption of these principles, other European nations would adopt these tactics in order to gain political alliance with the Indians. This practice would continue with the French as they established peaceful relations with the Haudenosaunee, which marked the beginning of a new era in treaty language (Berman, 142). To follow, the British would likewise adopt these methods in the 1664 treaty with the Mohawk and Seneca nations, which provided for an agreed mechanism for peaceful dispute settlement (Berman, 145). These treaties signify the traditions of the Six Nations that were being adopted by the European powers as a means to gain favor and effectually establish political relationships.
As the Europeans had adopted these principles of peace and coexistence as foundational characteristics in treaties, the United States would follow in accordance with Europe as they were unable to establish their own government if not for these methods of treaty principles.
When the United States came into being, it joined a political reality and a received tradition that determined the practice of its relations with the Indian nations. In seeking to consolidate its own political existence, one of the first imperatives for the United States was the negotiation of actively of treaties of peace with many of the same Indian nations that had been actively involved in European diplomacy and whose hostility posed a serious threat to the stability of the new state (Berman, 187).
This illustrates the political position of the United States at the development of their government. They were by no means a powerful and established force. Rather, they adopted the Five Nations principles of treaty making, and in this, a hybrid between the Indian's treaty making principles and European's treaty making principles was established with the creation of the United States. This method of treaty making would hybridize with the European method as the Wampum demonstrated a well-developed indigenous philosophy of respect for...the right of self-determination of peoples as the basis for coexistence (Berman, 149). Thus, treaties were a means to ensure peace and coexistence.
However, the United States would only utilize this method to the extent that they were required based on the military restrictions that they faced in the early years of their nation. The United States' necessity to conduct relations with Indian tribes in this manner would begin to


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subside with the acquisition of territory. For instance, the Treaty of Paris would play a pivotal role in the oncoming struggle for the Indians as the United States obtained land to the Mississippi River with the signing of the peace treaty with the British that took place on September 3, 1783 after the Revolutionary War (Horsman, 4). The Treaty of Paris represented the initiation of the United States' acquisition of land and power. First, it illustrated the United States' principles of ownership. As the Treaty of Paris was signed, it was assumed that the land to the Mississippi was solely American and that the Indians were only pawns to be moved when and where the United States government desired (Horsman, 171). This treaty between European powers and the United States would accord the Indians in that region an ambiguous position in the dealings as the land acquired under the Treaty of Paris assigned a legal ownership of that land an ownership adopted by European principles to the United States. However, Indians resided on this land, which would have introduced questions of the extent of ownership: If the United States legally owned the land, then does that ownership extend to all on the land, and if not then what was to be done with those residing on that land?
To answer this, the United States would act in the assumption that Indians were inhabitants and resided without legal standing. The United States would discern themselves as possessors of the land and the Indians as an inconvenience on that land. However, still in their early stages, the United States would be unable to conduct themselves as sovereigns. In the years immediately following the Revolution the Americans assumed that they could secure Indian lands simply as a result of their victory over the British in the Revolution (Horsman, 5).
It would follow that the United States government would begin to face resistance by the Indians, would diminish what little resources the United States had at this time. General Henry Knox wrote to George Washington and justified the retention of a military force on the grounds that it would be needed to protect the extensive western country ceded by the British (Horsman, 5). The territory acquired under the Treaty of Paris accorded the United States a legal right, though


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that legal right could not be enforced at this time. This attempt to claim ownership of the land that the Indians resided on and to secure that land from Indians enforced the principles in which the United States was built upon and indicated their sway from the treaty principles of coexistence and peace. This attempt to secure land and claim ownership lacked even a right of soil in the land on which they [Indians] lived (Horsman, 12). The United States had adopted the Indians' principles of coexistence under the wampum belt; however they were rapidly defining themselves under traditional European principles.
However, some government officials opposed these principles of land acquisition that the United States were beginning to adhere to. For instance, General Knox questioned the legitimacy of the United States actions in recognizing the Indians as only inhabitants of the land, void of any rights to the land: The Indians being the prior occupants, possess the right of the soil. It cannot be taken from them unless by their free consent, or by the right of conquest in case of a just war. To fail to recognize this prior occupation is to dispossess them on any other principle, [and] would be a gross violation of the fundamental laws of nature (Horsman, 55). However, Knox's analysis neglects an important element: arbitrary power. When he states that dispossession can only be justified through a just war, he overlooks the government's power to declare exactly which wars will be just and for what reasons they will be just.
Since all wars are just in the eyes of the nation that fights them, this provision could come [to],.. considerable use to justify warfare for land (Horsman, 55). The United States could use General Knoxs logic to use force against the Indians for rights to territory. With this practice, the Americans could begin the inexorable process of pushing the Indians off their lands, killing them if they resisted (Zinn, 86). With their new-found nation, the United States would claim the right to land in proportion with the military force that they could exert against Indian opposition. And accordingly, would only abide by those principles of peace and coexistence while militarily weak. In this, America would begin their own imperialism in the


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West (Zinn, 86). This is to say that the boundaries of the United States were established through their military strength: without the necessity of peace, there would be no peace as the United States was concerned with expansion and not coexistence.
The concern with expansion would mark the transition of the United States from a country that adhered to the Six Nations principles of peace and coexistence in the treaty process to a nation concerned with expansion and dominance. In time, the treaty making would also begin to adhere to these concerns of expansion and dominance. Vine Deloria Jr. discusses this in Spirit & Reason. In this work, Deloria Jr. describes a 1793 land cession dispute between the Seven Nations of Canada and other Indian tribes with the United States which would mark the transition of the United States priorities from peace and coexistence to expansion and dominance. As the United States offered to purchase Ohio land, the Indians replied:
Brothers, money to us is of no value... we hope we may be allowed to point out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and peace obtained. Brothers, we know that these settlers are poor, or they would never have ventured to live in a country which has been in continual trouble ever since they crossed the Ohio. Divide therefore this large sum of money, which you have offered to us among these people; and we are persuaded they would most readily accept it in lieu of the lands you sold to them (Deloria, Jr., 207).
This pointedly marks expansion and power as the priorities of the United States. The United States clearly are not concerned about the well-being of their citizens. Rather, they are concerned with acquisition of territory. This behavior of the United States would continue, in which the government would willingly sacrifice their citizens lives and Indian lives in order to acquire land.
This land acquisition would also take place through another form, based on social standards: assimilation. Though this assimilation would not fully form until the General Allotment Act of 1887, the notion of American cultural superiority had begun to root in the culture. This superiority would be to attempt to determine what is right. Under this notion, the United States would attempt to educate the Indians in appropriate ways of life as a means to acquire land. In this, by attempting to dictate what is right, the United States was acting as a


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moral force over the Indians. This can be viewed as another form of dominance and ownership: to determine what is right and to dictate the correct way of life is to place ones own culture and way of life above another and in so doing, to claim ones culture and way of life as superior and the other as inferior.
This emphasis on the American's way of life as an alternative to the Indian's way of life was utilized as a method of land acquisition by president Jefferson: He said he would be glad to see influential Indians run into debt at these trading houses, for when the debts were more than they could pay, they would be willing to settle them by a cession of land (Horsman, 112). This approached the question of land through culture. If the Indians adopted methods of transaction by the United States, such as debt and trade, then the United States would be able to obligate those Indians to partake in land cessions. However, this method extended beyond debt and trade. Jefferson also instituted methods to detract the Indians traditional way of life for a Western way of life. For instance, Jefferson tried to provide the various tribes with agents to teach the men stock raising and crop cultivation and the women spinning and weaving (Horsman, 109). The emphasis of this approach was the concept of private property which would result in the establishment of an agricultural society for the Indians (Horsman, 109). Jefferson was attempting to detract the Indians' traditional ways of life by establishing the notion of ownership that the United States operated under. As Locke had espoused the benefits of ownership, Jefferson would similarly propose this way of life as more enjoyable, more efficient, and more prosperous to the Indians. By doing this, Jefferson was proposing cultural domination. The United States' way of life, methods of labor, and methods of trade, were more enjoyable, more efficient, and in a word, were right and the Indians stood to benefit from adopting this way of life.
For Jefferson, this adoption of way of life was necessary and he viewed American expansion in terms of the spreading of civilization, the bringing of a new and better way of life


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(Horsman, 108). To profess the superiority of an American way of life, Jefferson would promote agriculture to the Creek Indians as hunting was already insufficient to furnish them with clothing and subsistence (Horsman, 110). According to this reasoning, the Indians would be able to progress along with the new nation. In the matter of transitioning Indians to agriculture, Jefferson would praise the benefits for all parties:
This will enable them to live on much smaller portions of land... While they are learning to do better on less land, a coincidence of interests will be produced between those who have lands to spare, and want other necessaries, and those who have such necessaries to spare, and want lands. This commerce then, will be for the good of both and those who are friends to both ought to encourage it (Horsman, 110).
The Indians' way of life was dismissed for the United States' way of life, and it was hoped that if the Indians would learn to operate on less land then the United States would benefit through land cessions.
Under this claim of cultural superiority as a means to land acquisition, a notion would begin to arise: The sense of'Manifest Destiny,' of moralistic expansion (Horsman, 108). As Jefferson espoused the American way of life as a component of his Indian policy, Americas perspective of cultural superiority would likewise begin to permeate into other policies. This ideology would continue to burgeon and manifest itself in Indian policy and influence both the legislation and the Supreme Courts rulings. As a culmination of this ideology, the Courts and legislation would establish their principles under ethnocentrism and the United States would attempt to claim itself sovereign over the Indians most noticeably during Americas westward expansion.
However, before westward expansion, these early attempts of espousing the American way of life failed (Horsman, 112). It was hoped that formal purchases of land would satisfy the Indians and that definite boundary lines would be established, as a means of expanding American boundaries with the lowest amount of resistance by the Indians (Horsman, 171). However, the United States did not possess the military strength to conduct their selves in this manner at this point, evidenced by the Indians' refusal to adopt the American way of life. Though


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the Indians were reluctant to give up their way of life for an American way of life, the threat to their lands would only increase: Jefferson was willing to offer the Indians the benefits of the American civilization that was to supersede their own way of life, but if they did not accept this offer, then they would be swept aside (Horsman, 111). This would prove true as the United States gained strength, a strength that they did not possess at the time of Jefferson's presidency.
These threats by the United States ensured the Indians alliance with the British during the War of 1812. This reverts to the principle of alliance between Indians and powers that least threatened their land and autonomy. As the United States threatened the Indians' way of life, the Indians would ally with the power who did not pose that threat. Vine Deloria Jr. discusses the ramifications of the United States Indian policy prior to the War of 1812 in Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence: When war was declared in June, 1812, Tecumseh immediately proceeded into the Ohio valley area and rallied the tribes against Americans, which would include the Shawnees, Miamis, Wyandottes, and Potawatomi (Deloria, Jr., 124). The Indian policy of the United States had only succeeded in provoking the hostility of the tribes.. .as far south as the Floridas (Deloria, Jr., 124). These tribes did not ally against the United States merely as a means of retribution for the United States Indian policy. The war itself must be understood as the final spasm of Indian efforts to play Great Britain off against the United States in order to preserve their own political independence (Deloria, Jr., 124). With the Indians lands and political autonomy being threatened, the War of 1812 was a final effort to resist the strengthening United States.
However, the War of 1812 would not invoke positive changes for the Indians. On the contrary, the power of the United States would ascend and, therefore, they were no longer concerned with avoiding conflict with the Indians. The treaty process up to this point had been dictated by the principles of coexistence and peace. However, with the United States' accumulation of power after this point, peace was no longer a necessity. Deloria, Jr. discusses


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this in Exiled in the Land of the Free. With the conclusion of the war, the United States would begin to insist that the Indian nations of the interior recognize it [United States] as the solitary sovereign to whom they [Indians] should be accountable (Deloria, Jr., 283). This would become the reigning ideology of the United States and this would be a primary actor in the abrogation of Indians' autonomy and land. In this claim of sovereignty, the United States would claim the title of all lands then occupied by the Indians that were not subject to the superior claim of any other sovereign (Deloria, Jr., 283). The United States, founded under an identity of dominance, though unable to aptly practice it until this point, would apply that sovereignty to their Indian policy. This new Indian policy would be highlighted under Andrew Jackson, in which the United States arrogated sovereignty and treated the Indian inhabitants as inconvenient litigations to be processed in accordance with the due process of law. This approach would eventually allow the United States to claim all the lands presently encompassing the continental land area of the contiguous forty-eight states (Deloria, Jr., 283). This new policy, the perception of political and territorial sovereignty by the United States, would treat the Indians accordingly.
Jacksons Treaty in 1814 illustrated the new approach to treaty making that contradicted the prior treaty process of the Indians that was adopted by the Europeans and United States. This treaty in 1814 would instead support a prospering country concerned with ownership and dominance. Jackson's policy, in some ways, was not different than Jefferson's policy. Like Jeffersons policy, Jackson's Indian policy was concerned with espousing the American way of life and expansion. However, Jacksons Treaty in 1814 succeeded where Jefferson's failed:
Jacksons 1814 treaty with the Creeks started something new and important. It granted Indians individual ownership of land, thus splitting Indian from Indian, breaking up communal landholding, bribing some with land, leaving others out introducing the competition and conniving that marked the spirit of Western capitalism. It fitted well the old Jeffersonian idea of how to handle the Indians, by bringing them into civilization (Zinn, 128).


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This new Indian policy would approach Creek Indians in the same manner that Jefferson had. Though, with the strengthening military, the Indians would not be as successful in refusing this policy. This marks the transition in the United States' Indian policy.
The United States would be able to conduct land cessions with Creek Indians at a greater pace as they encouraged conflict as a means to land cessions: He [Jackson] encouraged white squatters to move into Indian lands, then told the Indians the government could not remove the whites and so they had better cede the lands or be wiped out (Zinn, 128-129). These tactics, with the rising power of the United States, were utilized to their greatest extent as a means to maximize the United States' acquisition of land: Every time a treaty was signed, pushing the Creeks from one area to the next, promising them security there, whites would move into the new area and the Creeks would feel compelled to sign another treaty (Zinn, 129). The struggle between the United States' land acquisition and the Indians can be deduced to the matter of military strength: prior to this, the United States had proposed peace and, once the necessary military strength had been acquired, the United States would utilize fear and avarice as a means to gain territory. In treaties spanning from 1814 to 1824, the United States would acquire enormous amounts of land unavailable prior to this. Three-fourths of Alabama and Florida, one-third of Tennessee, one-fifth of Georgia and Mississippi, as well as sections of both Kentucky and North Carolina were are acquired by the United States during this time period (Zinn, 128).
This process reverts back to the notion of deeming a war just by Congress. White settlers were moved onto the borders of Indian lands, and inevitably, Indians attacked.
Atrocities took place on both sides (Zinn, 129). Such attacks evoked a military response. With settlers attacked, Congress would approve of just military action. As the Creek Indians attacked those settlers encroaching on their borders, Jackson began raids into Florida...Thus began the Seminole War of 1818, leading to the American acquisition of Florida. It appears on classroom maps politely as 'Florida Purchase, 1819' (Zinn, 129). Congress would wage just


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wars, and the spoils of that war would be the Indian land. This was the principles of Indian policy that the United States would align itself with: encroaching settlements and military intervention. This policy would extend into future policies, legislation, and classification of the Indians in relation to the United States: a relationship between the ruler (sovereign) and ruled (dependent).
This new approach to Indian policy would continue when Jackson introduced the Indian Removal Act after winning the Presidency in 1828, which was called, at the time, 'the leading measure' of the Jackson administration and 'the greatest question that ever came before Congress' except for matters of war and peace (Zinn, 130). The Indian Removal Act would be another step toward the United States' claim to sovereignty and the destructive impact that that claim would have on the Indians. This act would force seventy thousand Indians across the Mississippi River (Zinn, 130). As a sovereign, the United States would attempt to claim rule over the Indians and, as viewed under Jefferson, the United States perceived themselves as better or right, which was also articulated by Secretary of War and Presidential candidate Lewis Cass:
A principle of progressive improvement seems almost inherent in human nature... We are all striving in the career of life to acquire riches of honor, or power, or some other object, whose possession is to realize the day dreams of our imaginations; and the aggregate of those efforts constitutes the advance of society. But there is little of this in the constitution of our savages (Zinn, 131).
Cass had exemplified the superiority mood of the United States. In this, the United States would attempt to force the Indians into the role of inferiority as they were deemed savages and in need of cultural amelioration.
As another indicator of the United States' claim to sovereignty, they would begin to attempt to diminish the political autonomy of the Indians. As Jackson was elected President, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia would all pass laws that would expand state sovereignty over Indian territory which did away with the tribe as a legal unit, outlawed tribal meetings, took away the chiefs' powers, made the Indians subject to militia duty and state taxes, but denied them the right to vote, to bring suits, or to testify in court (Zinn, 133). By this time, the Indians would


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no longer enjoy the political position that they once held with European powers. At this time, the Indians' political position had receded, they were coerced into land cessions, and their tribal autonomy was being diminished.
Under the states' claim to sovereignty over the tribes, Indians would be subject to the state law. The Indians would not be 'forced' to go West. But if they chose to stay they would have to abide by state laws, which destroyed their tribal and personal rights and made them subject to endless harassment and invasion by the white settlers (Zinn, 133). Such a policy would leave the Indians with an incentive to leave their land and relocate further west as the federal government would give them financial support and promise them lands beyond the Mississippi (Zinn, 133). And furthermore, the Indians could practice tribal political authority without interference from the states. This, however, would prove fallacious as any claim to nonintervention that the United States had offered would be temporary.
This temporary maintenance of nonintervention would be crystallized, had it not been before, under the Treaty of Washington. The United States had grown less concerned with the relations with the Indians as the necessity of that relationship dwindled when the United States had accumulated the necessary power. Therefore, the United States government would operate under principles of expansion. The new approach to treaties was a testament to that approach. With each treaty followed a set of conditions that were not abided by, though those conditions were never as short as they were in Treaty of Washington.
Creek Indians met in Washington to sign the Treaty of Washington. This outlined an agreement to a removal beyond the Mississippi River: They gave up 5 million acres, with the provision that 2 million of these would go to individual Creeks, who could either sell or remain in Alabama with federal protection (Zinn, 142). However, this treaty would set a new precedent for the United States refusal to abide by the agreement. No agreement between white men and Indians had ever been so soon abrogated as the 1832 Treaty of Washington, which took a matter


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of days for the United States to break (Zinn, 142). The United States had no intention to maintain the agreements in the treaty. Treaties were instead a means to acquire land, followed by encroachment, and new treaties. As the white settlers encroached on the Creeks' land directly following the Treaty of Washington, the federal government did nothing. Instead it negotiated a new treaty providing for prompt emigration west (Zinn, 142). This illustrates the United States establishment of new treaty principles which opposed the old treaty principles of coexistence and peace. This process would continue west, with each new tribe facing similar treatment: encroachment and coercion. These tactics spoke to the ideology of the United States as a dominant force that claimed ownership over the land and the Indians. This ideology of the United States, once established and common, would begin to reflect itself in the legislation and the Courts which would only reinforce the notions of American superiority for future generations in both government and society.
Legislation and Ideology
The catapult of this ideologys intermingling with legislation and judicial interpretation would be most prevalent during the United States westward expansion, in which the United States would eventually acquire land from the East Coast to the West Coast. As the Europeans been settled on the continent for several hundred years prior to this point in time, the sudden expansion would come through this legislation and judicial decisions which established the principle of the discovery doctrine. These components were present in that era and prior to it, as evidenced by Indian policy under Jefferson and Jackson, but would culminate with the possession of the continental United States. Subsequently, the social term Manifest Destiny would reflect this and convey the notion of American superiority. Together, the legislation and judicial interpretations would act concurrently and in response to each other to establish a notion of ownership and sovereignty. In short, legislation and judicial interpretation would act as Americas catalyst to amalgamate the land.


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Through this possession of the land, and the related political authority, the United States would adhere to the discovery doctrine and maintain possession of the land. In doing so, the United States were actively reducing the political sovereignty of tribes, which would contribute to a state of quasi-sovereignty for Indian tribes in which the Indian tribes, though falling under the political body of the United States, would continue to maintain their political and cultural practices. The justification of the United States political authority is discussed by David Wilkins in American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court through the utilization of the discovery doctrine, which was an inferior status [of] Indian property rights, the notion of conquest, the allegedly inferior cultural standing of tribes, the impaired ability of tribes to sell their incomplete title, and the so-called diminished political status of tribes (Wilkins, 31).
The implications of this notion, in which European-descendants sovereignty over Indians was based on the European claim to have discovered and therefore claimed the land and rightfully purchased, would have a lasting impact on the United States' Indian policy. Though the principles of this doctrine may have been practiced in the United States prior to this point, the doctrine would be termed through the interpretation of legislation in several Supreme Court cases. This interpretation would formally subject the Indians to legislation that was based on the dictation of the Court who based their interpretation on legislation that challenged Indian sovereignty.
The legislation that would catapult the discovery doctrines judicial interpretation would maintain its power through the Commerce Clause and Treaty Clause. The President shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur (U. S. Const. Art. II, Sect. 2, Cl. 2). Under this, the Executive branch will maintain the power to conduct treaties with the Indians. The treaty process can be understood as the government and tribes entering into a wide array of treaties and agreements -peace, friendship, military alliance, physical removal, boundaries, trade, land cession, reservation


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establishment, and continuation and protection of certain rights for either or both parties (Wilkins, 150). Most appropriately, the Treaty Clause can be viewed as a means to establish relations and conduct economic dealings with the Indians.
The second Constitutional power, allotted to Congress, is the Commerce Clause. In terms of Congressional power, the Commerce Clause is arguably the most powerful instrument of Congress. Under this power, Congress will regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Indian tribes (U.S. Const. Art I Sect. 8, Cl. 3). However, the interpretation of the Commerce Clause, specifically the extent of regulation between states, would prove to be ambiguous. This ambiguity would cause the Commerce Clause to undergo vague interpretations of its extent of applicability. Accordingly, an arbitrator may define the Commerce Clause as it relates to their understanding, and that personal understanding would be valid under the Constitution. Under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Commerce Clause was interpreted broadly, which expanded Congress regulation of activities. As the applicability of the Commerce Clause expanded, Congress would possess heightened power to regulate the activity associated with interstate commerce. Subsequently, the regulation of Indian tribes under the interpretation of the Commerce Clause would immensely impact the Indians as Congress possessed broad powers to regulate them.
In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion would arbitrate the extent of the Commerce Clause, which in turn would drastically impact the extent to which Congress could impose regulation of Indians. In Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course, Marshall dictates in Ogden that under the Commerce Clause, "Congress is empowered by the Constitution to regulate it. The power to regulate interstate commerce is complete and has no limitation other than what may be found in other constitutional provisions (Epstein & Walker, 215). This power was fortified in Marshalls opinion:


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The nullity of any act, inconsistent with the constitution, is produced by the declaration, that the constitution is the supreme law. The appropriate application of that part of the clause which confers the same supremacy on laws and treaties, is to such acts of the State Legislatures as do not transcend their powers, but, though enacted in the execution of acknowledged State powers, interfere with, or are contrary to the laws of Congress, made in pursuance of the constitution, or some treaty made under the authority of the United States. In every such case, the act of Congress, or the treaty, is supreme (Epstein & Walker, 215).
This passage solidifies the power of the Commerce Clause as a power given to Congress, that whenever an activity is ruled as interstate commerce, and ruling that the act is within the scope of the Constitution, it possesses the superiority of the Constitution. And, as discussed by Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), when an Act is within the spirit of the Constitution, it becomes Constitutional: Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional (Epstein& Walker, 104). Marshalls opinions fundamentally achieved a direction for the Commerce Clause: a power that arbitrates what activities are interstate commerce and thus the power of Congress to regulate that activity is deemed interstate commerce through the legitimacy of the Constitution. And, as stated in McCulloch, what is in the spirit of the constitution is constitutional.
Therefore, as Congress deems an activity as interstate commerce, it is interstate commerce and their power to regulate that activity is absolute under the supremacy of the Constitution. Accordingly, Congressional power in relation to the dealings of Indians would fall under the supposition of Marshall's opinion and others that would likewise convey a similar message. Subsequently, congressional power became absolute over Indian tribes and Congressional legislation was Constitutional as it fell within the Constitutional scope.
Plenary Power
This ruling would define Congress' plenary power, which would be practiced in relation to the dealings with Indian tribes. With the Constitutional power established in Ogden under the Commerce Clause, Congress would act in accordance with the Constitution to claim a sovereign


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right over Indian tribes. Legislation would be established in accordance with this plenary notion. In Ogden, Marshall related the plenary power to Congress:
It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution... If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of Congress, though limited to specific object, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States (Epstein & Walker [Marshall], 214).
Marshall's opinion would bestow the plenary power upon Congress as a power that is absolute and within the Constitution as long as that legislation is ruled Constitutional. In accordance with such interpretations, Congress would adopt plenary power and apply it to legislation concerning Indian tribes. In years to follow the opinion of Marshall, Congress would embrace this, establish their plenary power, strip Indian tribes of sovereignty, impose federal laws on Indian tribes, and later attempt to assimilate Indians through legislation.
Following the opinion in Gibbons, another of Marshalls opinions would drastically impact Indian tribes. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), Marshall ruled that Indians are a dependent-domestic nation (Wilkins, 89). Marshalls interpretation of Indians as being dependent upon the United States government along with his introduction of Congress plenary power under the Constitution would result in an inferior position for the Indians justified by the nations most powerful legal document. As such, Indian tribes would be unable to maintain sovereignty or a political role within state or federal jurisdiction. This can be viewed as a struggle between superiority and inferiority: the United States had claimed superiority, evidenced by their developing plenary power and ruling Indians as dependent, while discerning Indians as inferior by ruling them as dependent-domestic. As the courts interpretation of Indians inferiority was established, Congress legislation would likewise follow that trend. The Indian tribes would begin to fall under the rule of the United States under the plenary power of Congress.


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Congress would practice that plenary power and strip tribal sovereignty in the case of Cherokee Tobacco (1870). This case would be detrimental to the treaties of the Indian tribes after
the Supreme Court ruled that though Indians had been previously exempt from taxes on tobacco and alcohol sales, the government could now tax them for those items. Under the Cherokee Treaty of 1866, Indians were exempt from taxes levied by the United States, which was challenged by a General Revenue Law to tax these products (Wilkins, 55). As Indians were previously exempt from paying these taxes under the Cherokee Treaty of 1866, the Supreme Court's decision to impose taxes was establishing the extent of plenary power. If Congress could enact legislation that would conflict with past treaties, then those treaties, and any other treaties, and Indians as an extension, are by all intents and purposes subservient to Congress.
Justice Noah Swayne clarifies this when he discussed Congress intention and assumption of the existence of intention in order to question Congresss power to tax certain tobacco in the territory of the Cherokee nation, in the face of a prior treaty between that nation and the United States, that such tobacco should be exempt from taxation (Wilkins, 55). In this opinion, the question of Congresss intent would yield an imperative question pertaining to plenary power: Whether tribes, as preexisting and extraconstitutional entities, may be included or excluded under the scope of general laws enacted by Congress (Wilkins, 55). The importance in this case lies in the transition to inclusion: Out of The Cherokee Tobacco... [There] would emerge a new interpretation that general congressional acts do apply to tribes unless Congress explicitly excludes them (Wilkins, 55). As Indian tribes became included within the sovereignty of Congress, they would be unable to practice political autonomy. Therefore, by including Indians in congressional acts, Congress was effectively diminishing any political sovereignty of Indians and instating their own sovereignty over Indians.
This inclusion of Indian tribes regarding congressional acts would encourage sovereign oriented legislation. Swayne's opinion ensured the demolition of prior treaty-making based on


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coexistence when he ruled that whichever was in place first, be it a Congressional Act or a treaty, would supersede the other:
Overtime, this section has been shortened to the following rule, popularly known as the last-in-time' rule.
In effect, whichever is latest in time, be it a treaty or a statute, stands. This was and remains a catastrophic precedent for tribes because the treaty termination law enacted two months earlier had effectively frozen tribes in political limbo and left them completely at the mercy of Congress. Theoretically and practically, any law enacted after March 3, 1871, could override any prior treaty (Wilkins, 59).
Swayne's opinion would ensure the superiority of Congressional acts of treaties, and therefore destroy the power of treaties through the Treaty Termination Law. Forward from this point, treaty rights frozen in 1871 could now be eradicated by 'later' and implicit congressional laws (Wilkins, 63). As Congress had claimed plenary power, the European notion of absolutism, such as that in land ownership, had been recognized by the Courts in the matters of Indian sovereignty when it was in conflict with United States' sovereignty under plenary power.
The Courts would continue to practice absolute power under the notion of plenary power in the matters of Indian tribal sovereignty for future cases. Under plenary power, the United States would continue to enforce their claim to sovereignty in other cases. As Congress had accrued the power to supersede treaties through the Treaty Termination Law, they were maintaining absolute power over treaties. Cases from this point would be ruled under the notion of plenary power in matters ranging from jurisdiction in Indian lands, treaties, and assimilation.
The rising of assimilative powers of Congress would be introduced through the Major Crimes Act, which was enacted after the ruling of Ex Parte Crow Dog (1883). The Act came into practice after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indian sovereignty in Ex Parte Crow Dog, claiming that the United States lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed by one Indian against another (Wilkins, 68). This decision was not aligned with the mood of the time. The Supreme Court had stripped the sovereignty of Indian tribes through their interpretation of the Indians as dependent and under the plenary power of Congress. Suffice it to say that this conflict of interpretation was the exception and not the rule between the judicial and legislative branches.


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As a reaction to this ruling, which had undermined the direction of the United States government in relation to their dealings with Indian tribes, Congress would create legislation that extended jurisdiction to Indian Territory through the Major Crimes Act, thereby stripping political autonomy from the Indian tribes. This case served as the final catalyst necessary to people the jurisdiction changes viewed as essential by the melange of groups that desired to have federal law replace tribal law (Wilkins, 68). The Major Crimes Act would be a response to an unfavorable ruling, thereby expediting the loss of Indian autonomy and the ascension of the sovereignty of the United States.
Less than two years after the ruling in Crow Dog, Congress extended federal criminal jurisdiction over 'all' Indians for seven major crimes murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with intent to kill,, arson, burglary, and larceny (Wilkins, 68-69). Ostensibly, this law could have been justified as a means to ensure protection of the Indians given that the Indians were ruled as dependent upon the government. However, it is clear that this act was a means of assimilation by the Federal government. The Major Crimes Act was merely a means to inculcate Indians of the Western way of life. This, as other methods instituted by the United States, illustrated the superiority ideology of the United States, who would teach the Indians on the proper ways of life, whether that be notions of ownership, of government, or of culture. The assimilative intentions of this Act are observed by its enforcement. For example, the Five Civilized tribes were not held accountable under the Major Crimes Act as other tribes were because their perception was that the Five Tribes were 'civilized enough' because of their institutionalized forms of governance modeled loosely after those of the United States (Wilkins, 70).
Accordingly, only tribes who did not yet possess the correct way of life would fall under the jurisdiction of the Major Crimes Act. Congress would dictate the appropriateness of laws, the formation of government, and actions within the confines of the United States of America. Therefore, Indian tribes would adhere to the sovereign laws of the United States. Plenary power


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had been established, validated through military strength, and the Indian tribes would succumb to the behaviors appropriated by Congress.
With the Major Crimes Act, Congress had extended the United Statesjurisdiction, though that expansion would be challenged when the constitutionality of the Act would be determined. That Constitutional test came in United States v. Kagama (1886). After a murder on the Hoopa Reservation, two Indians, Kagama, and Mahawaha, were charged under the Major Crimes Act (Wilkins, 69). The Constitutional determination of the enactment of this Act under the commerce clause for a murder charge would dictate the future of Indian sovereignty. The constitutionality of the Major Crimes Act was decided under the following logic:
If we are asked in what respect the commission of a crime by an Indian upon an Indian can relate to the questions of intercourse with an Indian tribe, we deem it an efficient answer to say that if we have to maintain intercourse with the Indians, it is necessary and proper that they shall not be permitted to destroy each other. If they are permitted to murder each other, it is certainly an interference with intercourse; because the number with whom intercourse will be held is thereby diminished (Wilkins, 70-71).
This rationale logically justifies the commerce clause. As Marshall had arbitrated the broad interpretation of the commerce clause, such a justification for its application was appropriate. In essence, without the help of the government, the Indians would destroy each other and subsequently disrupt commercial activity. And, as granted by the Constitution, Congress is granted the power to regulate this commercial activity when it is determined to fall within the bounds of interstate commerce hence the relevance of the commerce clause and Congress regulation of activity threatening commerce.
Furthermore, this defense by the government, that Indians would simply murder each other if not under the jurisdiction of the United States, suggests that Indian reservations except the Five Civilized Tribes were absolutely lawless and anarchic (Wilkins, 71). This reiterates the claim of the domestic-dependent perception claimed in Cherokee Nation and re-interpreted in subsequent cases: That Indians would exterminate themselves if Congress was not allowed to step in and asset control over internal tribal criminal manners (Wilkins, 71). In this, the United


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States was exhibiting its cultural despotism: if the Indians did not adhere to the reigning culture, then they were depicted as lawless and in need of regulation. With this Congressional oversight, maintained through the plenary power that was established based on the Indian dependency, it was absolutely justified by the Supreme Court as an appropriate jurisdiction per the Constitution's commerce clause.
As perceived by the government, Indians were perceived as inferior to the United States government. Marshall had crystallized this under his classification of Indians as a domestic-dependent nation. Similarly, legislation and the Court's interpretation of that legislation would coalesce following that notion of inferiority and the Indian's inability to maintain existence without regulation. As sovereign, the United States would not allow any other political power to exist within their established boundaries. Therefore, Indian tribes treaties were superseded by Congressional acts and Supreme Court decisions that maintained the inferior status of Indian tribes.
Discovery Doctrine
This plenary power represented the discovery doctrine, an ethnocentric notion founded in Europe. The discovery doctrine would maintain influence over the legislation and interpretation of legislation in the dealings of the United States and Indian tribes. This doctrine is a perspective of the rightful place of Europeans:
On the discovery of this immense continent, the great nations of Europe were eager to appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively acquire...But as they were all in pursuit of nearly the same object, it was necessary...to establish a principle...which all should acknowledge as the law by which the right of acquisition, which they all asserted, should be regulated as between themselves. This principle was, that discovery gave title to the government by whose subjects, or by whose authority, it was made, against all other European governments, which title might be consummated by possession. The exclusion of all other Europeans necessarily gave to the nation making the discovery the sole right of acquiring the oil from the natives, and establishing settlements upon it (Wilkins, 32).
Upon this description, the discovery doctrine is a common understanding among European countries regarding the distribution of land in America during colonization. However, as America came into existence, the principles of this doctrine were established in the New World, therefore,


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as stated in the above definition of the discovery doctrine, discovery gave title to the government. The United States government would acquire land under the same principles that the Europeans utilized to allocate colonies. Under this, European countries divided land in terms of discovery: as land was discovered, a legal title was imposed. America, in its creation, would adopt that principle of discovery and legal right, evidenced by the introduction of discovery in the Supreme Court Johnson v. McIntosh (1823).
In terms of sovereignty, the discovery doctrine can be discerned as a subjective justification for plenary power and the cultural understanding of ownership that would direct legislation. Under this, the discovery doctrine acted as an intangible character active in legislation that would have an irreversible impact on the Indian lands, on Indian tribe sovereignty, and their way of life. As the government would apply this notion, as it had in cases such as Cherokee Tobacco and Kagama, it would interpret under the guise of the discovery doctrine: a term with a cultural foundation in Europe, adopted by America, and imposed on the Indians in such a way that all tribal land and political sovereignty would become null and void under the terms of discovery.
The discovery doctrine affected an inferior cultural standing of tribes, the impaired ability of tribes to sell their 'incomplete' title, and...diminished political status of tribes (Wilkins, 31). As mentioned prior, the legal standing of the discovery doctrine would be established through McIntosh. This case was a precedent that would solidify the discovery doctrine and influence ideology in regard to future legislation and interpretation. McIntosh was a result of treaty disputes:
The principal question to be resolved by the Court was whether the Indian title which had been ceded by the Illinois and Piankeshaw tribes to plaintiffs Joshua Johnson and Thomas J. Graham under two separate land transactions in 1773 and 1775 could be 'recognized in the courts of the United States' or whether the title purchased from the United States in 1818 by the defendant, William McIntosh, to land that was part of Johnson's original purchase from the Indians could be considered valid (Wilkins, 28-29).


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The conflict over these treaties was an ostensible debate over a far more important question regarding the standing of the Indian tribes. The ruling in McIntosh represents the standing of the government: Indian inhabitants are to be considered merely as occupants, to be protected, indeed, while in peace, in the possession of their lands, but to be deemed incapable of transferring the absolute title to others (Wilkins, 33). Therefore, Indians were inhabitants of the American land, and, as Marshall had ruled in Cherokee Nation, were dependent. As dependents, they did not hold the power to transfer land title because the land was American land. As the United States had claimed power over the land, it would maintain its dominance and interpret the extent of that power in that ruling of McIntosh. With Marshall's ruling, McIntosh would become the foundational case addressing aboriginal possessory rights (Wilkins, 28). However, McIntosh was a foundation based on the absence of aboriginal possession rights through the development of the discovery doctrine. Marshall would impose the authority of the discovery doctrine and maintain that discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or conquest (Wilkins, 32). Therefore, this case would answer the question of Indian tribes' standing of land in conflict with the United States government and more importantly, the standing of Indian tribes. This standing was ruled inferior to the United States.
In order to discern the inferiority of Indian tribes, America would mirror their European descendants by claiming a right to land through their discovering of that land. In discovery, America would hold the plenary power over the land and all inhabitants of that land. Importantly, Marshall articulated the right to dominate land in a fashion that was not new to America. Rather, this was a succession of thought. Knox had previously conveyed this land principle when he had addressed Congress in 1783, as previously discussed, when he stated that the only just means of acquiring Indian land was by their free consent, or by the right of conquest in case of a just war (Horsman, 55). As Knox would justify the land acquisition under these principles, Marshall


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would similarly apply his judicial rulings by stating that the taking of land was just through purchase or conquest. Therefore, as stated by Knox and later by Marshall, the United States could justly take land under these principles, which, as Marshall introduced, was the foundation of the discovery doctrine and plenary power.
With the ruling m McIntosh, Marshall had acknowledged that tribal nations possessed certain rights and a form of title that could be disposed of under certain situations (Wilkins, 33). These disposed rights and titles under certain situations, under purchase or conquest, would be arbitrated by the government for the betterment of the United States without regard to the Indian tribes evidence of their sovereign practices. The consequence of the discovery doctrine would be a further minimization of Indian tribal rights, land rights, and the perception of inferiority. The discovery doctrine would become a rule of Marshall's innovative deployment of the historically fictitious doctrines of discovery and conquest to legitimize the United States' power over tribes (Wilkins, 34). As a rule of the court, the discovery doctrine would become a catalyst in the degradation of Indian rights and the continued accumulation of power of the United States.
As the Court had reduced tribal authority over land dealings by recognizing Indians as inferior and the United States as superior under the discovery doctrine, the Court would again distinguish their ideology of sovereignty and reduction the tribal power in the case US v. Rogers (1846). This case reiterated the notions of the discovery doctrine and culminated with the recognition of Indian tribes officially residing on United States territory and denying Indian tribes the right to approach the judicial branch with legislative grievances. In essence, Rogers' represented continuing degradation of Indian rights in the court of law and recognized Congress plenary power as absolute over Indians.
Rogers arose when a United States citizen, William S. Rogers, immigrated to the Cherokee Nation and later murdered another United States citizen who had also immigrated to


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the Cherokee Nation (Wilkins, 39). When indicted in federal court, Rogers argued that the district court lacked jurisdiction to try him because both he and the deceased were regarded legally as Indians...under the 1834 trade and intercourse act (Wilkins, 39). This case directly approached the question of jurisdiction by the United States. This is also to be interpreted as the United States arbitration of the jurisdiction on Indian land their claim of legal sovereignty of Indian tribes. If the United States held the absolute power to conduct law and order over Indian tribes, then the Indian tribes would cease any legitimate authority. Therefore, the Indian tribes would be held under the jurisdiction of the United States government. The opinion by Justice Taney would clarify this position of the United States:
The country in which the crime is charged to have been committed is a part of the territory of the United States, and not within the limits of any particular State. It is true that it is occupied by the tribe of Cherokee Indians. But it has been assigned to them by the United States, as a place of domicile for the tribe, and they hold and occupy it with the assent of the United States and under their authority. The native tribes who were found on this continent at the time of its discovery have never been acknowledged or treated as independent nations by the European governments, nor regarded as the owners of the territories they respectively occupied (Wilkins, 43).
This opinion by Justice Taney recognizes the discovery of America and the resulting inferiority of the Indians: Native tribes who were found on this continent at the time of its discovery have never been acknowledged or treated as independent nations. Therefore, upon discovery, America had claimed its dominance over the land. And, though tribes did maintain a presence, they did not maintain any legitimate rights to the land. Rather, the Indians were occupants on American land, and treated as such.
The distinction between Rogers and Kagama was the question of judicial review.
Kagama had primarily answered the question of jurisdiction regarding the Major Crimes Act. Rogers established an extended jurisdiction for the United States but, more importantly, determined that Indian tribes could no longer take their grievances to the Courts. Taney dismissed the case based on the political question, that the issue at hand was not a judicial question but a political question, which would prevent any future cases from having a forum for


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the airing of tribal or individual Indian grievances against federal, state, corporate, or private interest injudicial corridors (Wilkins, 45). Rogers would impede judicial review, thus leaving the Indian tribes with little hope to challenge legislation that was geared toward deconstructing Indian autonomy. This decision reflects the political mood of the country as the United States held political reign over the Indians.
Manifest Destiny
The continued reduction of political autonomy and land rights for the Indian tribes over time was a of the American identity. As the United States began to increasingly identify itself under the role of ruler, their identity as a dominant force would continue to cultivate and the Indians would find themselves on the conflicting side of that identity. That identity was one of ownership: both of land and of society. This is to say that the United States, a conglomeration of government, ideas, and citizens, held a sovereign identity over the land identified as American territory. This identity would continue to drive the continued expansion of the United States and this expansion would further establish that identity. Likewise, the Indians were, through these discussed Supreme Court decisions and legislation, treated as a product under the control of the United States. Therefore, both the land and the Indians would fall victim to the American identity in that both the land and the Indians were perceived as subservient, as a means of prosperity and mediums of cultivation that America would utilize for an identity befitting their cultural practice of ownership and sovereignty. As land was owned and cultivated for the purposes of economic development, the Indians were cultivated for the purpose of a societal manifest of America's notions of right and wrong. The land and the Indians were one and the same: a means of cultivation for America and America's culture.
This cultivation by the notion and practice of domination would socially articulate itself through the concept Manifest Destiny. In July, 1845, the term Manifest Destiny was coined by John O' Sullivan in the magazine The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, pages 5-


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10, retrieved from www.historytools.org, when Sullivan stated that the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions (historytools.org). This defined a previously established ideology which had eclipsed America. It was something known and practiced, though not specifically conveyed. For example, this concept had been practiced with the land cessions of the United States and with the legislation and interpretation of that legislation against the Indians up to this point in time. As the colonies attempted, or did, unjustly purchase land, practiced trickery to take land from Indians, as Jefferson had first attempted to culturally indoctrinate the Indians, which is to suggest that the American culture had been right or better while the Indian culture had been wrong or worse, as Congress had utilized their Constitutional power to acquire land and dismiss Indian political autonomy, as the Supreme Court interpreted that legislation and encouraged the notion of a domestic-dependent Indian, as government and society would claim sovereignty, they would do so far before this comcept Manifest Destiny had been coined but would accept this term and its implications bestowed by no less than God as a means to better the world through America's destiny: a destiny manifested by God.
This same magazine that coined Manifest Destiny would depict the qualities of Manifest Destiny in the November 1839 issue by William Bryant, Volume 6, Issue 23, pages 426-430.
This issue adopts Manifest Destiny as a responsibility placed on Americans by God for the moral progression of man:
Our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity (Bryant, 426).
In this statement, Bryant is recognizing America as a distinct force among other nations and among Indians. America is unique in comparison to all others: a pedestal nation, standing out among all others that have been appropriated to help others. Bryant discusses the future, not of America, but of the world. It is not the duty of other nations to ensure the prosperity of the world


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for their future. The concern of the future, of progression, falls in the hands of America: an American burden. Therefore, as it is America's job to ensure a prosperous future, it will do so through morality: what is right and wrong, just and unjust, and, in the case of the Indians, what is legal and what is illegal. This question of legality was settled and deemed constitutional with the placement of the Major Crimes Act. America recognized their role as moral dictators: It presides in all the operations of the physical world, and it is also the conscious law of the soul -the self-evident dictate of morality, which accurately defines the duty of man, and consequently man's rights as man (Bryant, 426). As Bryant espouses the self-evident dictate of morality, he would claim America's duty to determine morality: what is good and evil.
This moral claim of self-evident can be easily associated with the text of the Declaration of Independence. As a duty is self-evident, it has associated itself with the political fundamentals of America and as the duty is bestowed by God, it has also aligned itself with the theological fundamentals of America. Together, under the core political and religious beliefs of America, there would be no further need to legitimize moral duty. To run contradictory to such a duty aligned with the foundation of a country is to conflict with that country. Such a self-evident truth, a maxim of duty, is associated with America, is America, and under this, all others would be saved by America.
Under this notion, America would act as a benevolent sovereign concerned with saving others in order to build a more perfect tomorrow:
We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that 'the gates of hell the powers of aristocracy and monarchy 'shall not prevail against it' (Bryant, 427).
As God and the Declaration of Independence morally dictated the nation, America promises to continue forward, not for them, but for all others to ensure a future that befits all.
The Indians, however, would have begged to differ as they had resisted the attempt of social


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assimilation and land dealings. The Indians would have begged to differ this self-evident truth as their tribal autonomy was replaced by the United States government, as they were forcibly removed under the Indian Removal Act, as they were forced West, as their political autonomy fell victim to the constitutional powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause, as they were unable to bring their grievances to the courts. The Indians resisted this self-evident truth of duty and future bestowed by God for the prosperity of the Indians for their way of life. However, the Indians were stripped of autonomy as they were declared subjects of the sovereign and that sovereign claimed through space and time, [that] the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles (Bryant, 427). Accordingly, it would exercise those God-given rights, not for themselves but for the prosperity of the future and for the Indians.
Under these principles, America would claim the Indians as subjects and subjected to American rule, within their governmental jurisdiction, for the betterment of the Indians because they were unfit to direct their own path, lead their own people, and sustain a political autonomy -lest they destroy themselves. Therefore, America's benevolence dictated that the Indians must be governed by God's natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood of'peace and good will amongst men' (Bryant, 427). God's law would be governed by America towards the Indians, the stripping of their way of life and political system, through treaty and force, for their well-being.
The destruction of the Indian way of life in the name of a more perfect moral and social life bestowed from God to America and finally to the Indians would call for official assimilation tactics by the United States. Thus the General Allotment Act in 1887 was passed into law. The Native American Almanac, by Hirschefelder de Montano, discusses the impact of the General Allotment Act on Indians. It ignored Indian land use patterns that were thousands of years old. It enshrined in law the idea that American Indians should be assimilated into white


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civilization, embrace agrarian values, and become individual land owners (Montano, 20-21).
As the United States had attempted to dictate the Indians' way of life through examples provided by the Jefferson and Jackson administration, the General Allotment Act conveys the social mood of America, their claim to political and social superiority, as the Act was concerned with officially assimilating Indians under the United States. This Act allotted reservation land to Indians for farming purposes, which remained tax-free for the first twenty five years while Indians established their 'competency.' After the trust period ended, the land became taxable and the allottee became a citizen (Montano, 21). America would partake in legislation such as the General Allotment Act to spread their social system and assimilate the lesser culture.
The purpose and ideology of this Act is discussed by John Bodley in Victims of Progress: Indian administrators had long assumed that tribal forms of land ownership constituted an obstacle to progress (Bodley, 100). This obstacle was an ideological obstacle. Throughout its history, the United States had practiced land ownership, as articulated by Locke. On the contrary, the Indians had practiced communal land use that did not include absolute ownership. As early as the 1830s an Indian commissioner had maintained that 'common property and civilization cannot coexist. The views found expression in the General Allotment Act of 1887 (Bodley, 100). This conflicting ideology had followed many Indian tribes and the United States through time. As the United States vied and claimed sovereignty, they would maintain their land ownership ideology, and attempt to accord the Indians with that ideology. This was the Manifest Destiny in action: assimilation to American's way of life in the promise of a prosperous future. However, this Act did not provide that prosperity: Its effects were devastating...More than 60 percent of the 56.7 million hectares then in Indian hands was lost, and the tribes were left with only 20 million hectares of often marginal land (Bodley, 100). This Act exemplified the social mood at this time: America must show the Indians the correct way to live, act, toil land etc. because America claimed itself both the political and social sovereign.


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This Act exemplifies a culmination of the development of America. Through time and experience, America began to align itself under a specific ideology and that ideology was not conducive with the Indians that had inhabited the land. Therefore, America would attempt to inculcate the Indians with the correct way of life a way of life that was conducive with the progression of America. In this attempt to assimilate, as well as the prior legislation, land dealings, treaties, and judicial decisions, America deemed itself as sovereign and adhered to the principles of sovereignty through the attempted destruction of any opposing political or social rival which the Indians had exhibited.
The United States would abide by these sovereign principles, in which they imposed cultural standards on Indians, and construct the United States government according to these principles. Likewise, the identity of America would adhere to this cultural imposition that the government partook through legislation and Supreme Court decisions, thus Manifest Destiny would be established. Subsequently, this identity of the United States would drive the continued expansion west and Indian tribes would face diminished rights to land and political autonomy. However, Indian tribes would still maintain a state of quasi-sovereignty in which they maintained their political and cultural traditions despite falling under the political body of the United States. In the birth of the United States, the government had adopted Indian treaty practices as a means to maintain relations. This adoption signifies the coalescence of culture between the United States and the Indians. However, through time, as the United States amassed power, which is to say that they established themselves as a formidable military opponent, they would increasingly exercise their notions of sovereignty over the Indians. The United States would claim sovereignty by practicing different methods of treaty making which relied on coercive methods rather than the peaceful methods of the Indians, and coercive land cessions were the ending result. The coercive land cessions would illustrate the United States practice of absolute ownership and their display of might over the Indians in order to acquire the land.


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This sovereign identity of the United States was also exemplified through their cultural imposition as they dictated the right and wrong way of life which they determined should be adopted by the Indians. Under this, the United States would progressively diminish the Indians' political autonomy through claims to jurisdiction and legislation which merely depicted ethnocentrism. This sovereign identity was established, interpreted, and manifested through legislation and the courts and socially represented under the concept Manifest Destiny. This would articulate the ethnocentrism of the United States and their claim to sovereignty over the Indians, both cultural and political.


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American Heritage Dictionary. 2001. New York: Dell.
Berman, Howard and Deloria, Vine. 1992. Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution. Santa Fe: Clear Light.
Bodley, John. 2008. Victims of Progress. United Kingdom: AltaMira.
Bryant, William, The Great Nation of Futurity. The United States and Democratic Review Volume 0006 Issue 23 (November, 1839): 426-430. Accessed September 10, 2011. http://digital.library. Cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pagevieweridx?c=usde;cc=usde;rgn=full%20text;idno= usde0006-4;didno=usde0006-4;view=image;seq=0350;node=usde0006-4%3A6
Cahn, Steven. 2002. Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy. New York: Oxford University.
Deloria, Vine. 1974. Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence. New York: Delacorte.
Deloria, Vine. 1999. Spirit & Reason. Golden: Fulcram.
Epstein, Lee and Walker, Thomas. 2009. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course. Washington DC: CQ.
Horsman, Reginald. 1967. Expansion and Indian Policy, 1783-1812. Michigan: Michigan State University.
Johansen, Bruce. 1982. Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy. Boston: Harvard Common.
Montano, Hirschfelder. 1993. The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today. New York: Prentice Hall.
Nammack, Georgiana. 1969. Fraud, Politics, and the Dispossession of the Indians: The Iroquois Land Frontier In the Colonial Period. Norman: University of Oklahoma.


New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Edition with the Apocrypha. 2010. Michael D. Coogan, Editor. New York: Oxford.
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O'Sullivan, John. Annexation. The United States and Democratic Review 17 (July 1845): 5-10. Accessed September 10, 2011. http://www.historytools.org/sources/manifest_destiny.pdf
Wilkins, David. 1997. American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court. Austin: University of Texas.
Zinn, Howard. 2005. A People's History of the United States. New York: HaperCollins


Full Text

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The United States Ideology: Ownership, Domination., and treatment of the Indians by Michael Davis An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial completion of the M etropolitan State University of D enver Honors Program December 2011 Enrique Maestas Dr. Amy Eckert Dr. Megan Hughes Zarzo Primary Advisor Second Reader Honors Program Director

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! Michael Davis Senior Thesis December 13, 2011 Prior to the establishment of the United States, the Indians had maintained their lands, political autonomy and political standing under European rule of the New World, as evidenced by the European and United States' adoption of treaty practices by the Indians. However, as the United States accumulated political power, they would begin to adhere to principles of sovereignty, defined as politically stripping Indian tribes of power and cultural imposition on Ind ians. Indian lands, political autonomy, and political standing would recede as the United States made territorial gains and thus claimed ownership of the land and supremacy over Indians. These practices would act as the reigning ideology of America, whi ch was reflected in the legislation and the judicial interpretations of the United States' government. In time, the legislation and judicial interpretation of legislation would become a means to claim ownership over the land and dominance over the Indians creating an identity of ownership and dominance which would drive westward expansion. This would permeate through the discovery doctrine and the concept Manifest Destiny which would drive the United States' expansion. This process was primarily applied through the Commerce Clause, which allotted Congress all necessary jurisdictions over Indian tribes as evidenced through the Indian Removal Act, Major Crimes Act, and General Allotment Act. The Supreme Court's interpretation of Indian standing in the Uni ted States would only justify that claim to sovereignty and strip the Indian tribes' political sovereignty and land rights. In all, this paper analyzes the United States' rising claim to dominance and cultural imposition, a sovereign identity, and America n superiority though illustration of their treatment of the Indians.

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# This driving sovereign ideology of the United States is conveyed through John Locke's philosophy. Locke's philosophy encapsulated the principles of ownership and dominance that the Unite d States adhered to. Therefore, this paper discusses the principles of Locke's philosophy in length in order to convey the practice of specific behaviors that the United States practiced. Those behaviors of the United States that were aligned with Locke' s philosophy would include the practice of absolute ownership over land, a hierarchal structure necessitating a ruler and the ruled, the justification of this power through theology, and the virtue of cultivating land "correctly," which is to say the utili zation of land for the purposes of maximizing growth and development of the nation. These practices are analyzed first in the writings of Locke and then analyzed in the development of the United States from the colonial period through westward expansion. The distinction between Locke's principles of land utility and the principles of Indians generally differed. The distinction between the principles of land use is illustrated by Georgiana C. Nammack in Fraud, Politics, and the Dispossession of the India ns when he discusses the ownership principles of the Iroquois Indians: "No one Indian, or any tribe of Indians, had the right to dispose of the land, for the only land tenure recognized by the natives was that of occupancy while cultivating or using the l and to obtain food" (Nammack, XIV). Nammack understood the Iroquois Indians' land use through the principle of utility. Under this, land could not be claimed in terms of absolute possession. In general, the Iroquois understood the land as a provider for all inhabitants. This type of ownership was not absolute and acted as a unity between man and nature: "Their land belonged to all their people who inhabited it, hunted on it, and cultivated it, and that each generation held the land in trust for future g enerations" (Nammack, XV). This was a respect for the land: the recognition of the land as a provider for every new generation. This perception of land, where man and nature worked in unison,

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$ acknowledged man's role in nature: a role of unity and not man's dominance and ownership of nature. This perspective by the Indian, that land ownership is not absolute and is instead based on cultivation of the land's offerings, would be exploited by the Europeans and their understanding of absolute land ownership. "La nd hunger, apparently a characteristic of all classes in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe, became a motivating factor in the development of the colonies" (Nammack, XIV). The expansion of colonies would become an extension of this importance of lan d as the colonies would vie for increasing territory. Due to the disconnect between European and Native American land ownership, "Indians appeared to have accepted the idea that they could permit the white people to use and cultivate the land in return fo r payment," because "the colonists' so called land purchases were not considered final sales by the Indians" (Nammack, XV). This disconnect, in which the Indians did not understand the ramifications of the land cessions because they did not comprehend abs olute ownership, was irreparable and a means to acquire an abundance of land from the Indians. The colonies would begin to practice dominance over the Indians as they exploited this ideological disconnect: "Even the most formidable Indians of North America were to find themselves almost powerless to combat the cunning ingenuity of the land hungry colonists" (Nammack, XVI). The colonists exploited the disconnection of ideology and this would become a commentary on the colonists' dealings with the Indians. The colonists were concerned with their prosperity and viewed the Indians as competitors for that prosperity. Accordingly, the colonists instituted exploitation as they perceived Indians as competitors for land. These early dealings with the Indians by the colonists would determine the relationship of the Indians and the United States. Through time, as colonies became the United States, that European ideology of acquisition, ownership, and dominance would progress and manifest into legislation that held sovereignty over the Indians.

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% This European notion of ownership and dominance, as understood through Locke, which plagued the Indians by the colonists and later the United States, is described in Forgotten Founders by Bruce E. Johansen. Locke's philosophy reflected "America and its native inhabitants observationspackaged them into theories, and exported them back to America, where people such as Franklin and Jefferson put them into practice" (Johansen, 120). Locke's philosophy reflected the European ideo logy of ownership and sovereignty, as depicted in Locke's Second Treatise of Government, printed in Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy by Steve Cahn, which states that "God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life, and convenience" (Locke, 468). According to Locke, the world was bestowed by God to man. In God's benevolence, God gave man discretion over the world as a means to prosperity. However, this discretion is no t for the betterment and continuity of the land. This discretion is for the betterment and continuity of man. Therefore, Locke perceives land as a means to the betterment of man. Under this, man is able to better himself through land by sound discretion of how to use that land as God imparted man with reason in order to determine how to utilize the world in the best means. For justification of God's giving the earth to man, Locke turns to biblical scriptures. First, Locke utilized Psalms 115: 16: "He [G od] has given the earth to human beings" (Locke, 467). Locke also turns to 1Timothy 6: 17: "God...richly provides us [human beings] with everything for our enjoyment" (Locke, 469). For a comparison to these scriptures, the definition of sovereign is anal yzed in The American Heritage Dictionary : Sovereign Def. "1) Independent: a sovereign state 2) Having supreme rank or power. 3) Paramount; supreme." (Fourth ed., 2001). The biblical scriptures and definition of sovereign are similar in that they both re cognize a hierarchy and a means to utilize that which is below another. As God gives the earth to man, man is given discretion and control over the earth, thereby being in control of the earth. Comparatively, a sovereign will utilize what is under their control for their prosperity. Thus, by

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& adhering to religious principles, man's work ethic, his spiritual endeavor, is achieved and applied to the social understanding of land, cultivation, ownership, and dominance. Through this understanding, Locke is def ining man as a sovereign over the earth as he interprets man's role as a utilizer of the world, through cultivation, for the betterment of man. This understanding of man's role over the earth would carry into the political and social practices of the Unite d States: man would dominate the land through ownership and supremacy over the Indians through legislation and terms such as the discovery doctrine and Manifest Destiny. As man is dominant over nature, man can claim nature as his: "Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself" (Locke, 468). As nature is inferior to man, man is able to claim nature as his property, which no other man can take f rom him: "Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property" (Locke, 468). Accordingly, man is allotted owner ship over nature because man is nature's sovereign through his labor. This is to say that man can claim land as his own, making that land separate from another man's land. Therefore, only that man who labors on that plot of land may benefit from that lan d which he labors on. Subsequently, as that man has claimed a right to that land, no other man possesses a right to labor or benefit from that land. That land becomes an extension of the man who owns it. Man's labor on land indicates a transition of th e role of land: it is a subservient commodity for the betterment of one man, as opposed to all men, when labor is introduced. This ownership of land will extend as far as labor, "as much as any one can make use of [nature] to any advantage of life before it spoils" (Locke, 469). This relies on a man's ability to lay, claim, and hold ownership over a land through his labor. This role of land is a virtue for Locke: "God gave the world to men in common; but since he gave it them for their benefit...it

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' cannot be supposed he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated" (Locke, 469). Locke interprets uncultivated land as a conflict with God's will. As God gave man the world, man is required to act as a sovereign over it for their benefit and individua lly claim ownership over it based on their labor of it. To neglect this process, to leave land uncultivated would be to neglect man's purpose of existence. Therefore, man must endeavor to appropriate land and to utilize land through their labor for man's wellbeing. The extent to which he does is based on his ability: "The measure of property nature has well set by the extent of men's labour..." and though man is unable toil all land, "No man's labour could subdue or appropriate all" (Locke, 470). Under this rationale, man is able to infinitely claim ownership over land because man could not possibly consume all land. "As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property" (Locke, 469). This ratio nale of ownership, where the magnitude of the world allots every man space to own land, discerns the world as an infinite commodity. This suggests that it would be senseless for a man to attempt to claim another man's land after it is owned because the wo rld, appropriated by God, is plentiful enough for all men. Therefore, all men can labor and claim land as their own. These principles of infinite land and cultivation along with the principles of absolute ownership and the utilization of land as a means f or man's wellbeing must be taken into account when analyzing the United States' treatment of the Indians. The United States applied these principles to the land and to the Indians, through ideology and policy, and treated these principles as rationale for territorial expansion and removal of the Indians from their land. According to these principles, the Indians must move aside for a prospering nation. Further, there is nothing morally wrong with the removal of the Indians from their lands as the land is plentiful and infinite for all. Therefore, for the cultivation of the land, as God had intended, the Indians must move aside for the prospering nation under God and move further west since the land is immense enough to accommodate both the prospering nati on and the Indians.

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( Colonial Relations with Indians This ideology would substantially impact Indian tribes as the European powers were expelled in lieu of an autonomous American government that was concerned with expansion and development. However, before America constructed itself under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the British and French governments would vie for dominating roles in the New World. This competition between the British and the French would require the alliance of India ns in order to claim a dominant position over the other country. As the European powers vied for the Indian alliance, Indian tribes were accorded with political power and influence. This need of political alliance would shield Indian tribes from exploita tion and conflict with European powers as the Europeans required Indian alliance. Accordingly, the need for political alliance would also shield Indians from colonial trickery and fraud. However, this political power by the Indians would be lost when Ame rica claimed independence, accumulated military strength and subsequently claimed supremacy over the Indians. The diplomatic relationship between Europeans and Indian tribes, based on competition between European powers, was beneficial to all parties and encouraged the sharing of culture and skills. Before America had been established "the initial contacts between Indian and white men were in many respects beneficial to the Indians, for trade was then the primary objective of the colonists" (N ammack, 8). Johansen discusses this mutually beneficial relationship: "The Indians knew how to live in America, and the colonists, from the first settlers onward, had to learn" (Johansen, 34). The relationship between the Native Americans and the Europea ns was relatively peaceful in the beginning and coexistence allotted adoption of culture and principles. This adoption of culture and principles would also carry into political practices such as treaty making, as will be discussed. In all, the initial co ntacts were largely beneficial, they encouraged communication and cultural sharing, and the Indians were not treated as politically inferior.

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) As alliances were being established, the British gained alliance with Iroquois Confederacy, known as the Six Natio ns, which formed an alliance between the Onondaga, Sencas, Mohawks, Oneidas, and Cayugas to become the Five Nations and would later become the Six Nations with the acceptance of Tuscaroras (Johansen, 21). As these tribes coalesced into a united Indian pow er, they would prove to be a formidable ally for the British. Along with a military presence, the Six Nations also offered trade as an important component in their relationship with the British (Johansen, 45). For the British, "trade with the Six Nations presented an opportunity to mix and mingle with the Indians, and to convert them to the British Colonial interest" (Johansen, 44). Through trade, the alliance between the Six Nations and the British provided a reciprocal environment in which all parties b enefitted. Thus, through trade, a generally positive relationship was constructed. By maintaining a positive relationship with the Six Nations, the British enhanced a "strategic position and military strength," as well as "diplomatic and military power a s early as 1687" (Johansen, 45). This alliance between the Six Nations and British would play a pivotal role in the outcome of British and French possession of the New World. Accordingly, it was within the political interests of the British to ensure tha t the Six Nations were treated appropriately, thus preventing unwanted colonial expansion into Indian lands. The Six Nations offered the British multiple military and political strategies. For example, the Six Nations' geographic location offered "the onl y relatively level pass between the mountains that otherwise separated British and French settlement in North AmericaBetween the English and the French stood the Iroquois and their allies" (Johansen, 42). As the British relied on the Six Nations' militar y strength, diplomacy with neighboring Indians, and geographical positioning, "the Six Nations enjoyed considerable diplomatic leverage" (Johansen, 42). This diplomatic power by the Six Nations with the Crown directly acted as a barrier between the Indians and the colonies, as the colonies were concerned with expansion not political

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* alliances with the Indians. The Crown, then, were in favor of the Indians' wellbeing in order to maintain alliance over the French. However, to obtain land, and in defiance of the Crown, the colonies would practice trickery or blatantly act in contrast to agreements in treaties to expand their territory, a testament to the government that would later form. Such trickery by the colonies would induce tension between the colonies and Indians and would require redress. This redress would largely come in the form of placation. For example, an abundance of gifts were offered to the Six Nations at the 1744 treaty conference: "220 pounds sterling and 15 shillings, including 200 shirt s, four duffle blankets, forty seven guns, one pound of vermillion, 100 flints, four dozen Jews Harps, 202 bars of lead, two quarters shot, and two half barrels of gun powder"(Johansen, 46). These gifts by the colonies were by no means altruistic. The 17 44 treaty conference illustrates that gifts were a means to assuage the Indians' complaints of encroaching settlers and the colonies inaction to prevent that encroachment. The Six Nations complained that settlers "were moving onto Indian land without perm ission, disrupting hunting and social life" (Johansen, 58). Though their complaints were voiced, the colonies provided only "vague assurancesthat the flow of settlers into the disputed lands would be controlled as much as possible" (Johansen, 61). This t ype of placation by the colonies would prove to be more the rule than the exception. These situations would frequently require intervention by the Crown in order to maintain their alliance with the Indians: "Convinced that the friendship of the Indians was necessary for the peaceful settlementthe Crown continually reminded the colonials of these factors and stressed the need for good Anglo Indian relations" (Nammack, 22). This incessant encroachment and the subsequently strained relations with the Native A mericans are exemplified by the Albany settlement. In September, 1733, Mohawks accused the Albany settlement of fraudulent land dealings:

PAGE 11

!+ The Mohawk sachems asked for redress of a gross land fraud perpetrated by the city of Albany. The Mohawks claimed that about 1731 the mayor and other officials of Albany had convinced them that the only way to protect their lands was to deed them to the city to hold in trust for as long as the Indians saw fit....Some time later, the tribesmen were informed that the deed w as, in reality, an absolute conveyance of 1,000 acres of prime meadowland... When the deed had been read and interpreted, the Indians declared it was fraudulent, complaining that if they received no redress, they would sever their ties with the English and "go over to the French." Cosby could not find that the Indians had been given consideration in goods or money, which would have been proof of an intention to purchase. To Cosby, this fact was evidence of fraud, and when the Indians demanded the deed, he g ave it to them, and they, with satisfaction, tore it up a nd threw it int o the fire (Nammack, 23 24). This dispute indicates a large discrepancy between the objectives of colonies and the objectives of the Crown. The actions of the colonies were focused on initial benefits, i.e. the accumulation of land. For the Crown, political concerns over rival European powers in the New World superseded the accumulation of land. During the Albany Conference of 1754, the Crown's loyalty to their alliance with the Six Nations put them directly at odds with the colonies. "At the Albany Conference of 1754, it was recommended, first, that future purchases of lands from the Indians be void unless made by the government and with the approval of the Indians in a body in their public councils," as well as any "complaints of the Indians relative to any grants of land fraudulently obtained be investigated and all injuries redressed" (Nammack, 88 89). In this ruling, the British understood that the Indians were conc erned with their land and would ally with those powers that did not threaten, or threatened least, their land. The British understanding of the Indian alliance, based on mutual benefit, illustrates the role of the British in the New World: a concern for p olitically beneficial relationship with Indians so as not to upset their Indian allies. However, the colonies were represented different concerns. The behavior of the colonies indicates an early concern for expansion and domination. Though they would be unable to fully practice this expansion and domination until militarily capable, the behavior of the colonies at these early stages indicates that their initial objectives were similar to the objectives of the United States as a formidable political and m ilitary opponent. Post Colonial Era

PAGE 12

!! The alliance of Indians with different European powers would play a substantial role in the outcome of the accumulation of power for the United States. Political relationships between European powers and Indians were constructed through such concerns as land. For example, Howard Zinn, in A People's History of the United States discusses these concerns of land through the European's occupation of Indian land. Occupation, and the threat that imposed on Indian land, was less of a concern with the French for the Indians. Therefore, many Indians allied with the French during the Seven Years War since "the French were traders but not occupiers of Indian lands, while the British clearly coveted their hunting grounds and living space" (Zinn, 87). In essence, the Indians were concerned with their wellbeing and thus political alliances with European nations were constructed under their concern for wellbeing. Though Indians had largely allied with the British against the col onies, the French had posed less of a threat than both the British and the colonies in many situations. As the French posed less of a threat than the British, the British posed far less of a threat than the colonies. In essence, many Indian tribes were v ying to maintain political autonomy and protect their land. "The fact that the large majority of the Iroquois later sided with the British against the colonists in the war for independence can be largely attributed to Indian hostility toward the colonials over land" (Nammack, 106). Reginald Horsman took this perspective as well in his work Expansion and American Indian Policy 1783 1812. According to Horsman, many Indian tribes "cast their lot with the British for the simple reason that they had less t o fear from British officials and traders than from American land speculators and farmers" (Horsman, 3). This depicts the overall struggle to maintain their way of life as it was being threatened by outside powers, such as the rising United States. However, once the United States had established itself as an independent nation, it initially adhered to Indians' political principles due to the United States' insufficient military strength. For instance, the United States initially abided by peaceful p rinciples of treaty making,

PAGE 13

!# which had been adopted by previous European nations from the Five Nations. This is discussed by Howard R. Berman in Exiled in the Land of the Free. Berman discusses the previous European powers who had adopted the treaty makin g principles of the Six Nations, and subsequently, "each successive European state seeking to establish commercial or settler colonies necessarily as a matter of course entered into treaty relations with indigenous nations" (Berman, 128). As each European nation had dealt with the Six Nations through peace treaties, so too would the United States in order to maintain peaceful boundaries while the United States did not possess the military strength to conduct mass removal of the Indians through conflict. In itially, European treaties were inherently different than the Six Nations' treaties. European treaties regulated "the practice of state or state sanctioned private reprisals in the event of an injury to a national in the territory of another state" (Berma n, 138). Treaties under this context necessitated war and the treaty was a means to agreement to discontinue conflict. Thus, this practice required conflict before peace and agreement could be established. This is a component of the treaty that the Six Nations did not practice. The Six Nations' treaty principles did not consist of victor and defeated through military conflict. In short, their treaties were not based on "domination" (Berman, 186). Instead, their treaties were based on an idea of peace through wampum: "Guswenta is a long beaded belt of white wampum with two parallel lines of purple along its length. The lines symbolize the distinct identity of the two peoples and a mutual engagement to coexist in peace" (Berman, 135). Under this pract ice, treaties were a means of cooperation and peace and did not necessitate conflict to reach agreement. This is directly relevant to the United States' methods of removal in that the United States would conduct treaties under this notion of peace with In dian tribes until they were militarily capable of conducting treaties under coercive tactics. These principles of treaty making would continue from European nations to the United States, which began with the Dutch as they were "compelled to seek the 'good offices' of the

PAGE 14

!$ Mohawk Nation" (Berman, 138). Subsequent to the Dutch adoption of these principles, other European nations would adopt these tactics in order to gain political alliance with the Indians. This practice would continue with the French as the y established peaceful relations with the Haudenosaunee, which "marked the beginning of a new era in treaty language" (Berman, 142). To follow, the British would likewise adopt these methods in the 1664 treaty with the Mohawk and Seneca nations, which "pr ovided for an agreed mechanism for peaceful dispute settlement" (Berman, 145). These treaties signify the traditions of the Six Nations that were being adopted by the European powers as a means to gain favor and effectually establish political relationshi ps. As the Europeans had adopted these principles of peace and coexistence as foundational characteristics in treaties, the United States would follow in accordance with Europe as they were unable to establish their own government if not for these method s of treaty principles. When the United States came into being, it joined a political reality and a received tradition that determined the practice of its relations with the Indian nations. In seeking to consolidate its own political existence, one of the first imperatives for the United States was the negotiation of actively of treaties of peace with many of the same Indian nations that had been actively involved in European diplomacy and whose hostility posed a serious threat to the stability of the new state (Berman, 187). This illustrates the political position of the United States at the development of their government. They were by no means a powerful and established force. Rather, they adopted the Five Nations' principles of treaty making, an d in this, a hybrid between the Indian's treaty making principles and European's treaty making principles was established with the creation of the United States. This method of treaty making would hybridize with the European method as the "Wampum demonstr ated a well developed indigenous philosophy of respect for...the right of self determination of peoples as the basis for coexistence" (Berman, 149). Thus, treaties were a means to ensure peace and coexistence. However, the United States would only utili ze this method to the extent that they were required based on the military restrictions that they faced in the early years of their nation. The United States' necessity to conduct relations with Indian tribes in this manner would begin to

PAGE 15

!% subside with th e acquisition of territory. For instance, the Treaty of Paris would play a pivotal role in the oncoming struggle for the Indians as the United States obtained land to the Mississippi River with the signing of the peace treaty with the British that took pl ace on September 3, 1783 after the Revolutionary War (Horsman, 4). The Treaty of Paris represented the initiation of the United States' acquisition of land and power. First, it illustrated the United States' principles of ownership. As the Treaty of Par is was signed, "it was assumed that the land to the Mississippi was solely American and that the Indians were only pawns to be moved when and where the United States government desired" (Horsman, 171). This treaty between European powers and the United St ates would accord the Indians in that region an ambiguous position in the dealings as the land acquired under the Treaty of Paris assigned a legal ownership of that land an ownership adopted by European principles to the United States. However, Indian s resided on this land, which would have introduced questions of the extent of ownership: If the United States legally owned the land, then does that ownership extend to all on the land, and if not then what was to be done with those residing on that land? To answer this, the United States would act in the assumption that Indians were inhabitants and resided without legal standing. The United States would discern themselves as possessors of the land and the Indians as an inconvenience on that land. Howev er, still in their early stages, the United States would be unable to conduct themselves as sovereigns. In the years immediately following the Revolution the Americans assumed that they could secure Indian lands simply as a result of their victory over t he British in the Revolution" (Horsman, 5). It would follow that the United States government would begin to face resistance by the Indians, would diminish what little resources the United States had at this time. "General Henry Knox wrote to George Wash ington and justified the retention of a military force on the grounds that it would be needed to protect the extensive western country ceded by the British" (Horsman, 5). The territory acquired under the Treaty of Paris accorded the United States a legal right, though

PAGE 16

!& that legal right could not be enforced at this time. This attempt to claim ownership of the land that the Indians resided on and to secure that land from Indians enforced the principles in which the United States was built upon and indicated their sway from the treaty principles of coexistence and peace. This attempt to secure land and claim ownership "lacked even a right of soil in the land on which they [Indians] lived" (Horsman, 12). The United States had adopted the Indians' principles o f coexistence under the wampum belt; however they were rapidly defining themselves under traditional European principles. However, some government officials opposed these principles of land acquisition that the United States were beginning to adhere to. F or instance, General Knox questioned the legitimacy of the United States' actions in recognizing the Indians as only inhabitants of the land, void of any rights to the land: "The Indians being the prior occupants, possess the right of the soil. It cannot be taken from them unless by their free consent, or by the right of conquest in case of a just war." To fail to recognize this prior occupation is "to dispossess them on any other principle, [and] would be a gross violation of the fundamental laws of natu re" (Horsman, 55). However, Knox's analysis neglects an important element: arbitrary power. When he states that dispossession can only be justified through a "just war," he overlooks the government's power to declare exactly which wars will be just and f or what reasons they will be just. Since "all wars are just in the eyes of the nation that fights them," this "provision could come [to] considerable use" to justify warfare for land (Horsman, 55). The United States could use General Knox's logic to us e force against the Indians for rights to territory. With this practice, "the Americans could begin the inexorable process of pushing the Indians off their lands, killing them if they resisted" (Zinn, 86). With their new found nation, the United States w ould claim the right to land in proportion with the military force that they could exert against Indian opposition. And accordingly, would only abide by those principles of peace and coexistence while militarily weak. In this, America would begin "their own imperialism in the

PAGE 17

!' West" (Zinn, 86). This is to say that the boundaries of the United States were established through their military strength: without the necessity of peace, there would be no peace as the United States was concerned with expansion an d not coexistence. The concern with expansion would mark the transition of the United States from a country that adhered to the Six Nations' principles of peace and coexistence in the treaty process to a nation concerned with expansion and dominance. In t ime, the treaty making would also begin to adhere to these concerns of expansion and dominance. Vine Deloria Jr. discusses this in Spirit & Reason In this work, Deloria Jr. describes a 1793 land cession dispute between the Seven Nations of Canada and other Indian tribes with the United States which would mark the transition of the United States' priorities from peace and coexistence to expansion and dominance. As the United States offered to purchase Ohio land, the Indians replied: Brothers, money to us is of no valuewe hope we may be allowed to point out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and peace obtained. Brothers, we know that these settlers are poor, or they would never have ventured to live in a country which has been in cont inual trouble ever since they crossed the Ohio. Divide therefore this large sum of money, which you have offered to us among these people; and we are persuaded they would most readily accept it in lieu of the lands you sold to them (Deloria, Jr., 207). T his pointedly marks expansion and power as the priorities of the United States. The United States clearly are not concerned about the well being of their citizens. Rather, they are concerned with acquisition of territory. This behavior of the United Sta tes would continue, in which the government would willingly sacrifice their citizens' lives and Indian lives in order to acquire land. This land acquisition would also take place through another form, based on social standards: assimilation. Though this assimilation would not fully form until the General Allotment Act of 1887, the notion of American cultural superiority had begun to root in the culture. This superiority would be to attempt to determine what is "right." Under this notion, the United States would attempt to educate the Indians in appropriate ways of life as a means to acquire land. In this, by attempting to dictate what is right, the United States was acting as a

PAGE 18

!( moral force over the Indians. This can be viewed as another form of dominance and ownership: to determine what is right and to dictate the correct way of life is to place one's own culture and way of life above another and in so doing, to claim ones culture and way of life as superior and the other as inferior. This emphasis on the American's way of life as an alternative to the Indian's way of life was utilized as a method of land acquisition by president Jeffer son: "He said he would be glad to see influential Indians run into debt at these trading houses, for when the debts were more than they could pay, they would be willing to settle them by a cession of land" (Horsman, 112). This approached the question of land through culture. If the Indians adopted methods of transaction by the United States, such as debt and trade, then the United States would be able to obligate those Indians to partake in land cessions. However, this method extended beyond debt and tr ade. Jefferson also instituted methods to detract the Indians' traditional way of life for a Western way of life. For instance, Jefferson "tried to provide the various tribes with agents to teach the men stock raising and crop cultivation and the women s pinning and weaving" (Horsman, 109). The emphasis of this approach was "the concept of private property which would result in the establishment of an agricultural society for the Indians" (Horsman, 109). Jefferson was attempting to detract the Indians' traditional ways of life by establishing the notion of ownership that the United States operated under. As Locke had espoused the benefits of ownership, Jefferson would similarly propose this way of life as more enjoyable, more efficient, and more prospe rous to the Indians. By doing this, Jefferson was proposing cultural domination. The United States' way of life, methods of labor, and methods of trade, were more enjoyable, more efficient, and in a word, were "right" and the Indians stood to benefit fro m adopting this way of life. For Jefferson, this adoption of way of life was necessary and he "viewed American expansion in terms of the spreading of civilization, the bringing of a new and better way of life"

PAGE 19

!) (Horsman, 108). To profess the superiority of an American way of life, Jefferson would promote agriculture to the Creek Indians "as hunting was already insufficient to furnish them with clothing and subsistence" (Horsman, 110). According to this reasoning, the Indians would be able to progress alo ng with the new nation. In the matter of transitioning Indians to agriculture, Jefferson would praise the benefits for all parties: This will enable them to live on much smaller portions of land...While they are learning to do better on less land, a coin cidence of interests will be produced between those who have lands to spare, and want other necessaries, and those who have such necessaries to spare, and want lands. This commerce then, will be for the good of both and those who are friends to both ough t to encourage it (Horsman, 110). The Indians' way of life was dismissed for the United States' way of life, and it was hoped that if the Indians would learn to operate on less land then the United States would benefit through land cessions. Under this claim of cultural superiority as a means to land acquisition, a notion would begin to arise: "The sense of 'Manifest Destiny,' of moralistic expansion" (Horsman, 108). As Jefferson espoused the American way of life as a component of his Indian policy, Ame rica's perspective of cultural superiority would likewise begin to permeate into other policies. This ideology would continue to burgeon and manifest itself in Indian policy and influence both the legislation and the Supreme Court's rulings. As a culmina tion of this ideology, the Courts and legislation would establish their principles under ethnocentrism and the United States would attempt to claim itself sovereign over the Indians most noticeably during America's westward expansion. However, before west ward expansion, these early attempts of espousing the American way of life failed (Horsman, 112). "It was hoped that formal purchases of land would satisfy the Indians and that definite boundary lines would be established," as a means of expanding American boundaries with the lowest amount of resistance by the Indians (Horsman, 171). However, the United States did not possess the military strength to conduct their selves in this manner at this point, evidenced by the Indians' refusal to adopt the American w ay of life. Though

PAGE 20

!* the Indians were reluctant to give up their way of life for an American way of life, the threat to their lands would only increase: "Jefferson was willing to offer the Indians the benefits of the American civilization that was to superse de their own way of life, but if they did not accept this offer, then they would be swept aside" (Horsman, 111). This would prove true as the United States gained strength, a strength that they did not possess at the time of Jefferson's presidency. These threats by the United States ensured the Indians' alliance with the British during the War of 1812. This reverts to the principle of alliance between Indians and powers that least threatened their land and autonomy. As the United States threatened the In dians' way of life, the Indians would ally with the power who did not pose that threat. Vine Deloria Jr. discusses the ramifications of the United States' Indian policy prior to the War of 1812 in Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence : "When war was declared in June, 1812, Tecumseh immediately proceeded into the Ohio valley area and rallied the tribes against Americans," which would include "the Shawnees, Miamis, Wyandottes, and Potawatomi" (Deloria, Jr., 124). The Ind ian policy of the United States had only "succeeded in provoking the hostility of the tribesas far south as the Floridas" (Deloria, Jr., 124). These tribes did not ally against the United States merely as a means of retribution for the United States' Ind ian policy. "The war itself must be understood as the final spasm of Indian efforts to play Great Britain off against the United States in order to preserve their own political independence" (Deloria, Jr., 124). With the Indians' lands and political auton omy being threatened, the War of 1812 was a final effort to resist the strengthening United States. However, the War of 1812 would not invoke positive changes for the Indians. On the contrary, the power of the United States would ascend and, therefore, th ey were no longer concerned with avoiding conflict with the Indians. The treaty process up to this point had been dictated by the principles of coexistence and peace. However, with the United States' accumulation of power after this point, peace was no lo nger a necessity. Deloria, Jr. discusses

PAGE 21

#+ this in Exiled in the Land of the Free With the conclusion of the war, the United States would begin to "insist that the Indian nations of the interior recognize it [United States] as the solitary sovereign to whom they [Indians] should be accountable" (Deloria, Jr., 283). This would become the reigning ideology of the United States and this would be a primary actor in the abrogation of Indians' autonomy and land. In this claim of sovereignty, the United States wo uld claim "the title of all lands then occupied by the Indians that were not subject to the superior claim of any other sovereign" (Deloria, Jr., 283). The United States, founded under an identity of dominance, though unable to aptly practice it until thi s point, would apply that sovereignty to their Indian policy. This new Indian policy would be highlighted under Andrew Jackson, in which the United States arrogated sovereignty and treated the Indian inhabitants as inconvenient litigations to be processed in accordance with the due process of law. This approach would eventually allow the "United States to claim all the lands presently encompassing the continental land area of the contiguous forty eight states" (Deloria, Jr., 283). This new policy, the pe rception of political and territorial sovereignty by the United States, would treat the Indians accordingly. Jackson's Treaty in 1814 illustrated the new approach to treaty making that contradicted the prior treaty process of the Indians that was adopted b y the Europeans and United States. This treaty in 1814 would instead support a prospering country concerned with ownership and dominance. Jackson's policy, in some ways, was not different than Jefferson's policy. Like Jefferson's policy, Jackson's India n policy was concerned with espousing the American way of life and expansion. However, Jackson's Treaty in 1814 succeeded where Jefferson's failed: Jackson's 1814 treaty with the Creeks started something new and important. It granted Indians individual ownership of land, thus splitting Indian from Indian, breaking up communal landholding, bribing some with land, leaving others out introducing the competition and conniving that marked the spirit of Western capitalism. It fitted well the old Jeffersoni an idea of how to handle the Indians, by bringing them into "civilization" (Zinn, 128).

PAGE 22

#! This new Indian policy would approach Creek Indians in the same manner that Jefferson had. Though, with the strengthening military, the Indians would not be as successful in refusing this policy. This marks the transition in the United States' Indian po licy. The United States would be able to conduct land cessions with Creek Indians at a greater pace as they encouraged conflict as a means to land cessions: "He [Jackson] encouraged white squatters to move into Indian lands, then told the Indians the g overnment could not remove the whites and so they had better cede the lands or be wiped out" (Zinn, 128 129). These tactics, with the rising power of the United States, were utilized to their greatest extent as a means to maximize the United States' acqui sition of land: "Every time a treaty was signed, pushing the Creeks from one area to the next, promising them security there, whites would move into the new area and the Creeks would feel compelled to sign another treaty" (Zinn, 129). The struggle between the United States' land acquisition and the Indians can be deduced to the matter of military strength: prior to this, the United States had proposed peace and, once the necessary military strength had been acquired, the United States would utilize fear and avarice as a means to gain territory. In treaties spanning from 1814 to 1824, the United States would acquire enormous amounts of land unavailable prior to this. "Three fourths of Alabama and Florida, one third of Tennessee, one fifth of Georgia and Miss issippi," as well as sections of both Kentucky and North Carolina were are acquired by the United States during this time period (Zinn, 128). This process reverts back to the notion of deeming a war "just" by Congress. White settlers were moved onto the borders of Indian lands, and inevitably, "Indians attacked. Atrocities took place on both sides" (Zinn, 129). Such attacks evoked a military response. With settlers attacked, Congress would approve of "just" military action. As the Creek Indians attack ed those settlers encroaching on their borders, "Jackson began raids into Florida...Thus began the Seminole War of 1818, leading to the American acquisition of Florida. It appears on classroom maps politely as 'Florida Purchase, 1819'" (Zinn, 129). Congre ss would wage just

PAGE 23

## wars, and the spoils of that war would be the Indian land. This was the principles of Indian policy that the United States would align itself with: encroaching settlements and military intervention. This policy would extend into future policies, legislation, and classification of the Indians in relation to the United States: a relationship between the ruler (sovereign) and ruled (dependent). This new approach to Indian policy would continue when Jackson introduced the Indian Removal Act after winning the Presidency in 1828, which "was called, at the time, 'the leading measure' of the Jackson administration and 'the greatest question that ever came before Congress' except for matters of war and peace" (Zinn, 130). The Indian Removal Act w ould be another step toward the United States' claim to sovereignty and the destructive impact that that claim would have on the Indians. This act would force seventy thousand Indians across the Mississippi River (Zinn, 130). As a sovereign, the United S tates would attempt to claim rule over the Indians and, as viewed under Jefferson, the United States perceived themselves as "better" or "right," which was also articulated by Secretary of War and Presidential candidate Lewis Cass: A principle of progressi ve improvement seems almost inherent in human nature...We are all striving in the career of life to acquire riches of honor, or power, or some other object, whose possession is to realize the day dreams of our imaginations; and the aggregate of those eff orts constitutes the advance of society. But there is little of this in the constitution of our savages (Zinn, 131). Cass had exemplified the superiority mood of the United States. In this, the United States would attempt to force the Indians into the ro le of inferiority as they were deemed "savages" and in need of cultural amelioration. As another indicator of the United States' claim to sovereignty, they would begin to attempt to diminish the political autonomy of the Indians. As Jackson was elected P resident, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia would all pass laws that would expand state sovereignty over Indian territory which "did away with the tribe as a legal unit, outlawed tribal meetings, took away the chiefs' powers, made the Indians subject to mi litia duty and state taxes, but denied them the right to vote, to bring suits, or to testify in court" (Zinn, 133). By this time, the Indians would

PAGE 24

#$ no longer enjoy the political position that they once held with European powers. At this time, the Indians' political position had receded, they were coerced into land cessions, and their tribal autonomy was being diminished. Under the states' claim to sovereignty over the tribes, Indians would be subject to the state law. "The Indians would not be 'forced' to g o West. But if they chose to stay they would have to abide by state laws, which destroyed their tribal and personal rights and made them subject to endless harassment and invasion by the white settlers" (Zinn, 133). Such a policy would leave the Indians wi th an incentive to leave their land and relocate further west as "the federal government would give them financial support and promise them lands beyond the Mississippi" (Zinn, 133). And furthermore, the Indians could practice tribal political authority wi thout interference from the states. This, however, would prove fallacious as any claim to nonintervention that the United States had offered would be temporary. This temporary maintenance of nonintervention would be crystallized, had it not been before, un der the Treaty of Washington. The United States had grown less concerned with the relations with the Indians as the necessity of that relationship dwindled when the United States had accumulated the necessary power. Therefore, the United States government would operate under principles of expansion. The new approach to treaties was a testament to that approach. With each treaty followed a set of conditions that were not abided by, though those conditions were never as short as they were in Treaty of Washin gton. Creek Indians met in Washington to sign the Treaty of Washington. This outlined an agreement to a removal beyond the Mississippi River: "They gave up 5 million acres, with the provision that 2 million of these would go to individual Creeks, who could either sell or remain in Alabama with federal protection" (Zinn, 142). However, this treaty would set a new precedent for the United States' refusal to abide by the agreement. "No agreement between white men and Indians had ever been so soon abrogated as the 1832 Treaty of Washington," which took a matter

PAGE 25

#% of days for the United States to break (Zinn, 142). The United States had no intention to maintain the agreements in the treaty. Treaties were instead a means to acquire land, followed by encroachment, a nd new treaties. As the white settlers encroached on the Creeks' land directly following the Treaty of Washington, "the federal government did nothing. Instead it negotiated a new treaty providing for prompt emigration west" (Zinn, 142). This illustrates the United States' establishment of new treaty principles which opposed the old treaty principles of coexistence and peace. This process would continue west, with each new tribe facing similar treatment: encroachment and coercion. These tactics spoke to the ideology of the United States as a dominant force that claimed ownership over the land and the Indians. This ideology of the United States, once established and common, would begin to reflect itself in the legislation and the Courts which would only r einforce the notions of American superiority for future generations in both government and society. Legislation and Ideology The catapult of this ideology's intermingling with legislation and judicial interpretation would be most prevalent during the United States' westward expansion, in which the United States would eventually acquire land from the East Coast to the West Coast. As the Europeans been settled on the continent for several hundred years prior to this point in time, the sudden expansion wo uld come through this legislation and judicial decisions which established the principle of the discovery doctrine. These components were present in that era and prior to it, as evidenced by Indian policy under Jefferson and Jackson, but would culminate w ith the possession of the continental United States. Subsequently, the social term Manifest Destiny would reflect this and convey the notion of American superiority. Together, the legislation and judicial interpretations would act concurrently and in resp onse to each other to establish a notion of ownership and sovereignty. In short, legislation and judicial interpretation would act as America's catalyst to amalgamate the land.

PAGE 26

#& Through this possession of the land, and the related political authority, the U nited States would adhere to the discovery doctrine and maintain possession of the land. In doing so, the United States were actively reducing the political sovereignty of tribes, which would contribute to a state of quasi sovereignty for Indian tribes in which the Indian tribes, though falling under the political body of the United States, would continue to maintain their political and cultural practices. The justification of the United States' political authority is discussed by David Wilkins in America n Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court through the utilization of the discovery doctrine, which was an "inferior status [of] Indian property rights, the notion of conquest, the allegedly inferior cultural standing of tribes, the impaired ability o f tribes to sell their incomplete' title, and the so called' diminished political status of tribes" (Wilkins, 31). The implications of this notion, in which European descendants' sovereignty over Indians was based on the European claim to have discovered and therefore claimed the land and rightfully purchased, would have a lasting impact on the United States' Indian policy. Though the principles of this doctrine may have been practiced in the United States prior to this point, the doctrine would be terme d through the interpretation of legislation in several Supreme Court cases. This interpretation would formally subject the Indians to legislation that was based on the dictation of the Court who based their interpretation on legislation that challenged Ind ian sovereignty. The legislation that would catapult the discovery doctrine's judicial interpretation would maintain its power through the Commerce Clause and Treaty Clause. The President "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur" (U. S. Const. Art. II, Sect. 2, Cl. 2). Under this, the Executive branch will maintain the power to conduct treaties with the Indians. The treaty process can be understood as the gover nment and tribes entering "into a wide array of treaties and agreements peace, friendship, military alliance, physical removal, boundaries, trade, land cession, reservation

PAGE 27

#' establishment, and continuation and protection of certain rights for either or bo th parties" (Wilkins, 150). Most appropriately, the Treaty Clause can be viewed as a means to establish relations and conduct economic dealings with the Indians. The second Constitutional power, allotted to Congress, is the Commerce Clause. In terms of Con gressional power, the Commerce Clause is arguably the most powerful instrument of Congress. Under this power, Congress will "regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Indian tribes" (U.S. Const. Art I Sect. 8, Cl. 3). However, the interpretation of the Commerce Clause, specifically the extent of regulation between states, would prove to be ambiguous. This ambiguity would cause the Commerce Clause to undergo vague interpretations of its extent of applicability. Accordingly, an arbitrator may define the Commerce Clause as it relates to their understanding, and that personal understanding would be valid under the Constitution. Under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Commerce Clause was interpreted broadly, which expanded Congress' regulation of activities. As the applicability of the Commerce Clause expanded, Congress would possess heightened power to regulate the activity associated with interstate commerce. Subsequently, the regulation of Indian tribes under the interpretation of the Commerce Clause would immensely impact the Indians as Congress possessed broad powers to regulate them. In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion would arbitrate the extent of the Commerce Clause, which in turn would drastically impact the extent to which Congress could impose regulation of Indians. In Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course Marshall dictates in Ogden that under the Co mmerce Clause, "Congress is empowered by the Constitution to regulate it. The power to regulate interstate commerce is complete and has no limitation other than what may be found in other constitutional provisions" (Epstein & Walker, 215). This power was f ortified in Marshall's opinion:

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#( The nullity of any act, inconsistent with the constitution, is produced by the declaration, that the constitution is the supreme law. The appropriate application of that part of the clause which confers the same supremacy on laws and treaties, is to such acts of the State Legislatures as do not transcend their powers, but, though enacted in the execution of acknowledged State powers, interfere with, or are contrary to the laws of Congress, made in pursuance of the constitutio n, or some treaty made under the authority of the United States. In every such case, the act of Congress, or the treaty, is supreme (Epstein & Walker, 215). This passage solidifies the power of the Commerce Clause as a power given to Congress, that whenev er an activity is ruled as interstate commerce, and ruling that the act is within the scope of the Constitution, it possesses the superiority of the Constitution. And, as discussed by Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) when an Act is within the spi rit of the Constitution, it becomes Constitutional: "Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the lette r and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional" (Epstein& Walker, 104). Marshall's opinions fundamentally achieved a direction for the Commerce Clause: a power that arbitrates what activities are interstate commerce and thus the power of Congress to regulate that activity is deemed interstate commerce through the legitimacy of the Constitution. And, as stated in McCulloch, what is in the "spirit of the constitution" is constitutional. Therefore, as Congress deems an activity as interstate commerce, it is interstate commerce and their power to regulate that activity is absolute under the supremacy of the Constitution. Accordingly, Congressional power in relation to the dealings of Indians would fall under the supposition of Marshall's opinion and others that would likewise convey a similar message. Subsequently, congressional power became absolute over Indian tribes and Congressional legislation was Constitutional as it fell within the Constitutional scope. Plenary Power This ruling would define Congres s' plenary power, which would be practiced in relation to the dealings with Indian tribes. With the Constitutional power established in Ogden under the Commerce Clause, Congress would act in accordance with the Constitution to claim a sovereign

PAGE 29

#) right over Indian tribes. Legislation would be established in accordance with this plenary notion. In Ogden Marshall related the plenary power to Congress: It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, l ike all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitutionIf, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of Congress, though limited t o specific object, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on th e exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States (Epstein & Walker [Marshall], 214). Marshall's opinion would bestow the plenary power upon Congress as a power that is absolute and within the Constitution as long as that legislation is ruled Constitutional. In accordance with such interpretations, Congress would adopt plenary power and apply it to legislation concerning Indian tribes. In years to follow the opinion of Marshall, Congress would embrace this, establish their plenary power, strip Indian tribes of sovereignty, impose federal laws on Indian tribes, and later attempt to assimilate Indians through legislation. Following the opinion in Gibbons another of Marshall's opinions would drastically impact Indian tribes. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), Marshall ruled that Indians are a "dependent domestic nation" (Wilkins, 89). Marshall's interpretation of Indians as being dependent upon the United States government along with his introduction of Congress' plenary po wer under the Constitution would result in an inferior position for the Indians justified by the nation's most powerful legal document. As such, Indian tribes would be unable to maintain sovereignty or a political role within state or federal jurisdiction. This can be viewed as a struggle between superiority and inferiority: the United States had claimed superiority, evidenced by their developing plenary power and ruling Indians as dependent, while discerning Indians as inferior by ruling them as "dependent domestic." As the court's interpretation of Indians' inferiority was established, Congress' legislation would likewise follow that trend. The Indian tribes would begin to fall under the rule of the United States under the plenary power of Congress.

PAGE 30

#* Congress would practice that plenary power and strip tribal sovereignty in the case of Cherokee Tobacco (1870) This case would be detrimental to the treaties of the Indian tribes after the Supreme Court ruled that though Indians had been previously exempt from taxes on tobacco and alcohol sales, the government could now tax them for those items. Under the Cherokee Treaty of 1866, Indians were exempt from taxes levied by the United States, which was challenged by a General Revenue Law to tax these products (Wilkins, 55). As Indians were previously exempt from paying these taxes under the Cherokee Treaty of 1866, the Supreme Court's decision to impose taxes was establishing the extent of plenary power. If Congress could enact legislation that would conflict w ith past treaties, then those treaties, and any other treaties, and Indians as an extension, are by all intents and purposes subservient to Congress. Justice Noah Swayne clarifies this when he discussed Congress' intention and assumption of the existence o f intention in order to question Congress's "power to tax certain tobacco in the territory of the Cherokee nation, in the face of a prior treaty between that nation and the United States, that such tobacco should be exempt from taxation" (Wilkins, 55). In this opinion, the question of Congress's intent would yield an imperative question pertaining to plenary power: "Whether tribes, as preexisting and extraconstitutional entities, may be included or excluded under the scope of general laws enacted by Congres s" (Wilkins, 55). The importance in this case lies in the transition to inclusion: "Out of The Cherokee Tobacco [There] would emerge a new interpretation that general congressional acts do apply to tribes unless Congress explicitly excludes them" (Wilki ns, 55). As Indian tribes became included within the sovereignty of Congress, they would be unable to practice political autonomy. Therefore, by including Indians in congressional acts, Congress was effectively diminishing any political sovereignty of Ind ians and instating their own sovereignty over Indians. This inclusion of Indian tribes regarding congressional acts would encourage sovereign oriented legislation. Swayne's opinion ensured the demolition of prior treaty making based on

PAGE 31

$+ coexistence when he ruled that whichever was in place first, be it a Congressional Act or a treaty, would supersede the other: Overtime, this section has been shortened to the following rule, popularly known as the last in time' rule. In effect, whichever is latest in time be it a treaty or a statute, stands. This was and remains a catastrophic precedent for tribes because the treaty termination law enacted two months earlier had effectively frozen tribes in political limbo and left them completely at the mercy of Congre ss. Theoretically and practically, any law enacted after March 3, 1871, could override any prior treaty (Wilkins, 59). Swayne's opinion would ensure the superiority of Congressional acts of treaties, and therefore destroy the power of treaties through th e Treaty Termination Law. Forward from this point, "treaty rights frozen in 1871 could now be eradicated by 'later' and implicit congressional laws" (Wilkins, 63). As Congress had claimed plenary power, the European notion of absolutism, such as that i n land ownership, had been recognized by the Courts in the matters of Indian sovereignty when it was in conflict with United States' sovereignty under plenary power. The Courts would continue to practice absolute power under the notion of plenary power in the matters of Indian tribal sovereignty for future cases. Under plenary power, the United States would continue to enforce their claim to sovereignty in other cases. As Congress had accrued the power to supersede treaties through the Treaty Termination L aw, they were maintaining absolute power over treaties. Cases from this point would be ruled under the notion of plenary power in matters ranging from jurisdiction in Indian lands, treaties, and assimilation. The rising of assimilative powers of Congress would be introduced through the Major Crimes Act, which was enacted after the ruling of Ex Parte Crow Dog (1883) The Act came into practice after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indian sovereignty in Ex Parte Crow Dog claiming that "the United State s lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed by one Indian against another" (Wilkins, 68). This decision was not aligned with the mood of the time. The Supreme Court had stripped the sovereignty of Indian tribes through their interpretation of the Indians a s dependent and under the plenary power of Congress. Suffice it to say that this conflict of interpretation was the exception and not the rule between the judicial and legislative branches.

PAGE 32

$! As a reaction to this ruling, which had undermined the directio n of the United States government in relation to their dealings with Indian tribes, Congress would create legislation that extended jurisdiction to Indian Territory through the Major Crimes Act, thereby stripping political autonomy from the Indian tribes. This case "served as the final catalyst necessary to people the jurisdiction changes viewed as essential by the mÂŽlange of groups that desired to have federal law replace tribal law" (Wilkins, 68). The Major Crimes Act would be a response to an unfavorabl e ruling, thereby expediting the loss of Indian autonomy and the ascension of the sovereignty of the United States. Less than two years after the ruling in Crow Dog Congress "extended federal criminal jurisdiction over 'all' Indians for seven major crimes murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with intent to kill,, arson, burglary, and larceny" (Wilkins, 68 69). Ostensibly, this law could have been justified as a means to ensure protection of the Indians given that the Indians were ruled as "dependent" upon the government. However, it is clear that this act was a means of assimilation by the Federal government. The Major Crimes Act was merely a means to inculcate Indians of the Western way of life. This, as other methods instituted by the United States, ill ustrated the superiority ideology of the United States, who would "teach" the Indians on the "proper" ways of life, whether that be notions of ownership, of government, or of culture. The assimilative intentions of this Act are observed by its enforcement For example, the Five Civilized tribes were not held accountable under the Major Crimes Act as other tribes were because "their perception was that the Five Tribes were 'civilized enough' because of their institutionalized forms of governance modeled lo osely after those of the United States" (Wilkins, 70). Accordingly, only tribes who did not yet possess the "correct" way of life would fall under the jurisdiction of the Major Crimes Act. Congress would dictate the appropriateness of laws, the formation of government, and actions within the confines of the United States of America. Therefore, Indian tribes would adhere to the sovereign laws of the United States. Plenary power

PAGE 33

$# had been established, validated through military strength, and the Indian tribes would succumb to the behaviors appropriated by Congress. With the Major Crimes Act, Congress had extended the United States' jurisdiction, though that expansion would be challenged when the constitutionality of the Act would be determined. That Constituti onal test came in United States v. Kagama (1886) After a murder on the Hoopa Reservation, two Indians, Kagama, and Mahawaha, were charged under the Major Crimes Act (Wilkins, 69). The Constitutional determination of the enactment of this Act under the com merce clause for a murder charge would dictate the future of Indian sovereignty. The constitutionality of the Major Crimes Act was decided under the following logic: If we are asked in what respect the commission of a crime by an Indian upon an Indian can relate to the questions of intercourse with an Indian tribe, we deem it an efficient answer to say that if we have to maintain intercourse with the Indians, it is necessary and proper that they shall not be permitted to destroy each other. If they are perm itted to murder each other, it is certainly an interference with intercourse; because the number with whom intercourse will be held is thereby diminished (Wilkins, 70 71). This rationale logically justifies the commerce clause. As Marshall had arbitrated the broad interpretation of the commerce clause, such a justification for its application was appropriate. In essence, without the help of the government, the Indians would destroy each other and subsequently disrupt commercial activity. And, as granted b y the Constitution, Congress is granted the power to regulate this commercial activity when it is determined to fall within the bounds of interstate commerce hence the relevance of the commerce clause and Congress' regulation of activity threatening comm erce. Furthermore, this defense by the government, that Indians would simply murder each other if not under the jurisdiction of the United States, "suggests that Indian reservations except the Five Civilized Tribes were absolutely lawless and anarc hic" (Wilkins, 71). This reiterates the claim of the "domestic dependent" perception claimed in Cherokee Nation and re interpreted in subsequent cases: "That Indians would exterminate themselves if Congress was not allowed to step in and asset control over internal tribal criminal manners" (Wilkins, 71). In this, the United

PAGE 34

$$ States was exhibiting its cultural despotism: if the Indians did not adhere to the reigning culture, then they were depicted as lawless and in need of regulation. With this Congressiona l oversight, maintained through the plenary power that was established based on the Indian dependency, it was absolutely justified by the Supreme Court as an appropriate jurisdiction per the Constitution's commerce clause. As perceived by the government, I ndians were perceived as inferior to the United States government. Marshall had crystallized this under his classification of Indians as a "domestic dependent nation." Similarly, legislation and the Court's interpretation of that legislation would coalesce following that notion of inferiority and the Indian's inability to maintain existence without regulation. As sovereign, the United States would not allow any other political power to exist within their established boundaries. Therefore, Indian tribes' tre aties were superseded by Congressional acts and Supreme Court decisions that maintained the inferior status of Indian tribes. Discovery Doctrine This plenary power represented the discovery doctrine, an ethnocentric notion founded in Europe. The discovery doctrine would maintain influence over the legislation and interpretation of legislation in the dealings of the United States and Indian tribes. This doctrine is a perspective of the rightful place of Europeans: On the discovery of this immense continent, the great nations of Europe were eager to appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively acquire...But as they were all in pursuit of nearly the same object, it was necessary...to establish a principle...which all should acknowledge as the law by which the right of acquisition, which they all asserted, should be regulated as between themselves. This principle was, that discovery gave title to the government by whose subjects, or by whose authority, it was made, against all other Eu ropean governments, which title might be consummated by possession. The exclusion of all other Europeans necessarily gave to the nation making the discovery the sole right of acquiring the oil from the natives, and establishing settlements upon it (Wilki ns, 32). Upon this description, the discovery doctrine is a common understanding among European countries regarding the distribution of land in America during colonization. However, as America came into existence, the principles of this doctrine were esta blished in the New World, therefore,

PAGE 35

$% as stated in the above definition of the discovery doctrine, "discovery gave title to the government." The United States government would acquire land under the same principles that the Europeans utilized to allocate co lonies. Under this, European countries divided land in terms of discovery: as land was discovered, a legal title was imposed. America, in its creation, would adopt that principle of discovery and legal right, evidenced by the introduction of discovery in t he Supreme Court Johnson v. McIntosh (1823) In terms of sovereignty, the discovery doctrine can be discerned as a subjective justification for plenary power and the cultural understanding of ownership that would direct legislation. Under this, the disco very doctrine acted as an intangible character active in legislation that would have an irreversible impact on the Indian lands, on Indian tribe sovereignty, and their way of life. As the government would apply this notion, as it had in cases such as Chero kee Tobacco and Kagama it would interpret under the guise of the discovery doctrine: a term with a cultural foundation in Europe, adopted by America, and imposed on the Indians in such a way that all tribal land and political sovereignty would become null and void under the terms of discovery. The discovery doctrine affected an "inferior cultural standing of tribes, the impaired ability of tribes to sell their 'incomplete' title, and...diminished political status of tribes" (Wilkins, 31). As mentioned prio r, the legal standing of the discovery doctrine would be established through McIntosh This case was a precedent that would solidify the discovery doctrine and influence ideology in regard to future legislation and interpretation. McIntosh was a result of treaty disputes: The principal question to be resolved by the Court was whether the Indian title which had been ceded by the Illinois and Piankeshaw tribes to plaintiffs Joshua Johnson and Thomas J. Graham under two separate land transactions in 1773 an d 1775 could be 'recognized in the courts of the United States' or whether the title purchased from the United States in 1818 by the defendant, William McIntosh, to land that was part of Johnson's original purchase from the Indians could be considered va lid (Wilkins, 28 29).

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$& The conflict over these treaties was an ostensible debate over a far more important question regarding the standing of the Indian tribes. The ruling in McIntosh represents the standing of the government: "Indian inhabitants are to be considered merely as occupants, to be protected, indeed, while in peace, in the possession of their lands, but to be deemed incapable of transferring the absolute title to others" (Wilkins, 33). Therefore, Indians were inhabitants of the American land, an d, as Marshall had ruled in Cherokee Nation were dependent. As dependents, they did not hold the power to transfer land title because the land was American land. As the United States had claimed power over the land, it would maintain its dominance and int erpret the extent of that power in that ruling of McIntosh With Marshall's ruling, McIntosh would become "the foundational case addressing aboriginal possessory rights" (Wilkins, 28). However, McIntosh was a foundation based on the absence of aboriginal p ossession rights through the development of the discovery doctrine. Marshall would impose the authority of the discovery doctrine and maintain that "discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or conque st" (Wilkins, 32). Therefore, this case would answer the question of Indian tribes' standing of land in conflict with the United States government and more importantly, the standing of Indian tribes. This standing was ruled inferior to the United States. In order to discern the inferiority of Indian tribes, America would mirror their European descendants by claiming a right to land through their "discovering" of that land. In discovery, America would hold the plenary power over the land and all inhabitants of that land. Importantly, Marshall articulated the right to dominate land in a fashion that was not new to America. Rather, this was a succession of thought. Knox had previously conveyed this land principle when he had addressed Congress in 1783, as prev iously discussed, when he stated that the only just means of acquiring Indian land was "by their free consent, or by the right of conquest in case of a just war" (Horsman, 55). As Knox would justify the land acquisition under these principles, Marshall

PAGE 37

$' wou ld similarly apply his judicial rulings by stating that the taking of land was just through "purchase or conquest." Therefore, as stated by Knox and later by Marshall, the United States could justly take land under these principles, which, as Marshall intr oduced, was the foundation of the discovery doctrine and plenary power. With the ruling in McIntosh "Marshall had acknowledged that tribal nations possessed certain rights and a form of title that could be disposed of under certain situations" (Wilkins, 33). These disposed rights and titles under "certain situations," under "purchase or conquest," would be arbitrated by the government for the betterment of the United States without regard to the Indian tribes evidence of their sovereign practices. The c onsequence of the discovery doctrine would be a further minimization of Indian tribal rights, land rights, and the perception of inferiority. The discovery doctrine would become a rule of "Marshall's innovative deployment of the historically fictitious doc trines of discovery and conquest to legitimize the United States' power over tribes" (Wilkins, 34). As a rule of the court, the discovery doctrine would become a catalyst in the degradation of Indian rights and the continued accumulation of power of the Un ited States. As the Court had reduced tribal authority over land dealings by recognizing Indians as inferior and the United States as superior under the discovery doctrine, the Court would again distinguish their ideology of sovereignty and reduction the t ribal power in the case US v. Rogers (1846). This case reiterated the notions of the discovery doctrine and culminated with the recognition of Indian tribes officially residing on United States territory and denying Indian tribes the right to approach the judicial branch with legislative grievances. In essence, Rogers represented continuing degradation of Indian rights in the court of law and recognized Congress' plenary power as absolute over Indians. Rogers arose when a United States citizen, William S. Rogers, immigrated to the Cherokee Nation and later murdered another United States citizen who had also immigrated to

PAGE 38

$( the Cherokee Nation (Wilkins, 39). When indicted in federal court, Rogers argued "that the district court lacked jurisdiction to try him because both he and the deceased were regarded legally as Indians...under the 1834 trade and intercourse act" (Wilkins, 39). This case directly approached the question of jurisdiction by the United States. Thi s is also to be interpreted as the United States' arbitration of the jurisdiction on Indian land their claim of legal sovereignty of Indian tribes. If the United States held the absolute power to conduct law and order over Indian tribes, then the Indian tribes would cease any legitimate authority. Therefore, the Indian tribes would be held under the jurisdiction of the United States government. The opinion by Justice Taney would clarify this position of the United States: The country in which the crime is charged to have been committed is a part of the territory of the United States, and not within the limits of any particular State. It is true that it is occupied by the tribe of Cherokee Indians. But it has been assigned to them by the United States, as a place of domicile for the tribe, and they hold and occupy it with the assent of the United States and under their authority. The native tribes who were found on this continent at the time of its discovery have never been acknowledged or treated as indepen dent nations by the European governments, nor regarded as the owners of the territories they respectively occupied (Wilkins, 43). This opinion by Justice Taney recognizes the discovery of America and the resulting inferiority of the Indians: "Native tribe s who were found on this continent at the time of its discovery have never been acknowledged or treated as independent nations." Therefore, upon discovery, America had claimed its dominance over the land. And, though tribes did maintain a presence, they di d not maintain any legitimate rights to the land. Rather, the Indians were occupants on American land, and treated as such. The distinction between Rogers and Kagama was the question of judicial review. Kagama had primarily answered the question of juri sdiction regarding the Major Crimes Act. Rogers established an extended jurisdiction for the United States but, more importantly, determined that Indian tribes could no longer take their grievances to the Courts. Taney dismissed the case based on the poli tical question, that the issue at hand was not a judicial question but a political question, which would prevent any future cases from "having a forum for

PAGE 39

$) the airing of tribal or individual Indian grievances against federal, state, corporate, or private in terest in judicial corridors" (Wilkins, 45). Rogers would impede judicial review, thus leaving the Indian tribes with little hope to challenge legislation that was geared toward deconstructing Indian autonomy. This decision reflects the political mood of the country as the United States held political reign over the Indians. Manifest Destiny The continued reduction of political autonomy and land rights for the Indian tribes over time was a of the American identity. As the United States began to increa singly identify itself under the role of ruler, their identity as a dominant force would continue to cultivate and the Indians would find themselves on the conflicting side of that identity. That identity was one of ownership: both of land and of society. This is to say that the United States, a conglomeration of government, ideas, and citizens, held a sovereign identity over the land identified as American territory. This identity would continue to drive the continued expansion of the United States and this expansion would further establish that identity. Likewise, the Indians were, through these discussed Supreme Court decisions and legislation, treated as a product under the control of the United States. Therefore, both the land and the Indians would fall victim to the American identity in that both the land and the Indians were perceived as subservient, as a means of prosperity and mediums of cultivation that America would utilize for an identity befitting their cultural practice of ownership and sov ereignty. As land was owned and cultivated for the purposes of economic development, the Indians were cultivated for the purpose of a societal manifest of America's notions of right and wrong. The land and the Indians were one and the same: a means of cu ltivation for America and America's culture. This cultivation by the notion and practice of domination would socially articulate itself through the concept Manifest Destiny. In July, 1845, the term Manifest Destiny was coined by John O' Sullivan in the m agazine The United States Magazine and Democratic Review pages 5

PAGE 40

$* 10, retrieved from www.historytools.org, when Sullivan stated that "t he fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions" (historytools.org). This defined a previously established ideology which had eclipsed America. It was something known and practiced, though not specifically conveyed. For example, this concept had been practiced with the la nd cessions of the United States and with the legislation and interpretation of that legislation against the Indians up to this point in time. As the colonies attempted, or did, unjustly purchase land, practiced trickery to take land from Indians, as Jeff erson had first attempted to culturally indoctrinate the Indians, which is to suggest that the American culture had been "right" or "better" while the Indian culture had been "wrong" or "worse," as Congress had utilized their Constitutional power to acquir e land and dismiss Indian political autonomy, as the Supreme Court interpreted that legislation and encouraged the notion of a "domestic dependent" Indian, as government and society would claim sovereignty, they would do so far before this comcept Manifes t Destiny had been coined but would accept this term and its implications bestowed by no less than God as a means to "better" the world through America's destiny: a destiny manifested by God. This same magazine that coined Manifest Destiny would depict the qualities of Manifest Destiny in the November 1839 issue by William Bryant, Volume 6, Issue 23, pages 426 430. This issue adopts Manifest Destiny as a "responsibility" placed on Americans by God for the moral progression of man: Our national birth wa s the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, poli tical, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity (Bryant, 426). In this statement, Bryant is recognizing America as a distinct force among other nations and among Indians. America is uni que in comparison to all others: a pedestal nation, standing out among all others that have been appropriated to "help" others. Bryant discusses the future, not of America, but of the world. It is not the duty of other nations to ensure the prosperity of the world

PAGE 41

%+ for their future. The concern of the future, of progression, falls in the hands of America: an American burden. Therefore, as it is America's job to ensure a prosperous future, it will do so through morality: what is right and wrong, just and u njust, and, in the case of the Indians, what is legal and what is illegal. This question of legality was settled and deemed constitutional with the placement of the Major Crimes Act. America recognized their role as moral dictators: "It presides in all t he operations of the physical world, and it is also the conscious law of the soul the self evident dictate of morality, which accurately defines the duty of man, and consequently man's rights as man" (Bryant, 426). As Bryant espouses "the self evident d ictate of morality," he would claim America's duty to determine morality: what is good and evil. This moral claim of "self evident" can be easily associated with the text of the Declaration of Independence. As a duty is "self evident," it has associated itself with the political fundamentals of America and as the duty is bestowed by God, it has also aligned itself with the theological fundamentals of America. Together, under the core political and religious beliefs of America, there would be n o further need to legitimize moral duty. To run contradictory to such a duty aligned with the foundation of a country is to conflict with that country. Such a self evident truth, a maxim of duty, is associated with America, is America, and under this, al l others would be saved by America. Under this notion, America would act as a benevolent sovereign concerned with "saving" others in order to build a more perfect tomorrow: We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, bene ficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that 'the gates of hell the powers of aristocracy and monarchy 'shall not prevail against it' (Bryant, 427). As God and the Declaration of Indepen dence morally dictated the nation, America promises to continue forward, not for them, but for all others to ensure a future that befits all. The Indians, however, would have begged to differ as they had resisted the attempt of social

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%! assimilation and lan d dealings. The Indians would have begged to differ this self evident truth as their tribal autonomy was replaced by the United States government, as they were forcibly removed under the Indian Removal Act, as they were forced West, as their political aut onomy fell victim to the constitutional powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause, as they were unable to bring their grievances to the courts. The Indians resisted this self evident truth of duty and future bestowed by God for the prosperity of the In dians for their way of life. However, the Indians were stripped of autonomy as they were declared subjects of the sovereign and that sovereign claimed through "space and time, [that] the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excell ence of divine principles" (Bryant, 427). Accordingly, it would exercise those God given rights, not for themselves but for the prosperity of the future and for the Indians. Under these principles, America would claim the Indians as subjects and subjecte d to American rule, within their governmental jurisdiction, for the betterment of the Indians because they were unfit to direct their own path, lead their own people, and sustain a political autonomy lest they destroy themselves. Therefore, America's b enevolence dictated that the Indians must be "governed by God's natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood of 'peace and good will amongst men'" (Bryant, 427). God's law would be governed by America towards the Indians, the stripping of t heir way of life and political system, through treaty and force, for their well being. The destruction of the Indian way of life in the name of a more perfect moral and social life "bestowed" from God to America and finally to the Indians would call for o fficial assimilation tactics by the United States. Thus the General Allotment Act in 1887 was passed into law. The Native American Almanac by Hirschefelder de Montano, discusses the impact of the General Allotment Act on Indians. It "ignored Indian lan d use patterns that were thousands of years old. It enshrined in law the idea that American Indians should be assimilated into white

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%# civilization, embrace agrarian values, and become individual land owners" (Montano, 20 21). As the United States had atte mpted to dictate the Indians' way of life through examples provided by the Jefferson and Jackson administration, the General Allotment Act conveys the social mood of America, their claim to political and social superiority, as the Act was concerned with of ficially assimilating Indians under the United States. This Act allotted reservation land to Indians for farming purposes, which remained tax free for the first twenty five years "while Indians established their 'competency.' After the trust period ended the land became taxable and the allottee became a citizen" (Montano, 21). America would partake in legislation such as the General Allotment Act to spread their social system and assimilate the "lesser culture." The purpose and ideology of this Act is discussed by John Bodley in Victims of Progress : "Indian administrators had long assumed that tribal forms of land ownership constituted an obstacle to progress" (Bodley, 100). This obstacle was an ideological obstacle. Throughout its history, the United States had practiced land ownership, as articulated by Locke. On the contrary, the Indians had practiced communal land use that did not include absolute ownership. "As early as the 1830s an Indian commissioner had maintained that 'common property and c ivilization cannot coexist. The views found expression in the General Allotment Act of 1887" (Bodley, 100). This conflicting ideology had followed many Indian tribes and the United States through time. As the United States vied and claimed sovereignty, they would maintain their land ownership ideology, and attempt to accord the Indians with that ideology. This was the Manifest Destiny in action: assimilation to American's way of life in the promise of a prosperous future. However, this Act did not prov ide that prosperity: "Its effects were devastating...More than 60 percent of the 56.7 million hectares then in Indian hands was lost, and the tribes were left with only 20 million hectares of often marginal land" (Bodley, 100). This Act exemplified the so cial mood at this time: America must show the Indians the correct way to live, act, toil land etc. because America claimed itself both the political and social sovereign.

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%$ This Act exemplifies a culmination of the development of America. Through time and experience, America began to align itself under a specific ideology and that ideology was not conducive with the Indians that had inhabited the land. Therefore, America would attempt to inculcate the Indians with the "correct" way of life a way of life that was conducive with the progression of America. In this attempt to assimilate, as well as the prior legislation, land dealings, treaties, and judicial decisions, America deemed itself as sovereign and adhered to the principles of sovereignty through the attempted destruction of any opposing political or social rival which the Indians had exhibited. The United States would abide by these sovereign principles, in which they imposed cultural standards on Indians, and construct the United States govern ment according to these principles. Likewise, the identity of America would adhere to this cultural imposition that the government partook through legislation and Supreme Court decisions, thus Manifest Destiny would be established. Subsequently, this ident ity of the United States would drive the continued expansion west and Indian tribes would face diminished rights to land and political autonomy. However, Indian tribes would still maintain a state of quasi sovereignty in which they maintained their politi cal and cultural traditions despite falling under the political body of the United States. In the birth of the United States, the government had adopted Indian treaty practices as a means to maintain relations. This adoption signifies the coalescence of culture between the United States and the Indians. However, through time, as the United States amassed power, which is to say that they established themselves as a formidable military opponent, they would increasingly exercise their notions of sovereignty over the Indians. The United States would claim sovereignty by practicing different methods of treaty making which relied on coercive methods rather than the peaceful methods of the Indians, and coercive land cessions were the ending result. The coerciv e land cessions would illustrate the United States practice of absolute ownership and their display of might over the Indians in order to acquire the land.

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%% This sovereign identity of the United States was also exemplified through their cultural impositi on as they dictated the "right" and "wrong" way of life which they determined should be adopted by the Indians. Under this, the United States would progressively diminish the Indians' political autonomy through claims to jurisdiction and legislation which merely depicted ethnocentrism. This sovereign identity was established, interpreted, and manifested through legislation and the courts and socially represented under the concept Manifest Destiny. This would articulate the ethnocentrism of the United Sta tes and their claim to sovereignty over the Indians, both cultural and political.

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%& American Heritage Dictionary 2001. New York: Dell. Berman, Howard and Deloria, Vine. 1992. Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution Santa Fe: Clear Light. Bodley, John. 2008. Victims of Progress United Kingdom: AltaMira. Bryant, William, "The Great Nation of Futurity." The United States and Democratic Review Volume 0006 Issue 23 (Novem ber, 1839): 426 430. Accessed September 10, 2011. http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pagev iewer id x?c=usde;cc=usde;rgn=full%20text;idno= usde0006 4;didno=usde0006 4;view=im age;seq=0350;node=usde0006 4%3A6 Cahn, Steven. 2002. Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy New York: Oxford University. Deloria, Vine. 1974. Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence New York: Delacorte. Delo ria, Vine. 1999 Spirit & Reason Golden: Fulcram. Epstein, Lee and Walker, Thomas. 2009. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course Washington DC: CQ. Horsman, Reginald. 1967. Expansion and Indian Policy, 1783 1812 Michigan: Michigan State University. Johansen, Bruce. 1982. Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy Boston: Harvard Common. Montano, Hirschfelder. 1993. The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today New York: Prentice Hall. Nammack, Georgiana. 1969. Fraud, Politics, and the Dispossession of the Indians: The Iroquois Land Frontier In the Colonial Period Norman: University of Oklahoma.

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%' New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Edition with the Apocrypha 2010. Michael D. Coogan, Editor. New York: Oxford. O'Sullivan, John. "Annexation." The United States and Democratic Review 17 (July 1845): 5 10 Accessed September 10, 2011. http://www.historytools.org/sources/manifest_destin y.pdf Wilkins, David. 1997. American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court Austin: University of Texas. Zinn, Howard. 2005. A People's History of the United States New York: HaperCollins