American Indians and World War II Essay

American Indians and World War II Essay

Length: 1338 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

By 1940, Native Americans had experienced many changes and counter-changes in their legal status in the United States. Over the course of the nineteenth century, most tribes lost part or all of their ancestral lands and were forced to live on reservations. Following the American Civil War, the federal government abrogated most of the tribes’ remaining sovereignty and required communal lands to be allotted to individuals. The twentieth century also saw great changes for Native Americans, such as the Citizenship Act and the Indian New Deal. Alison R. Bernstein examines how the Second World War affected the status and lives of Native Americans in American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs. Bernstein argues that natives’ experiences in the military and munitions factories reduced isolation by getting them off of reservations and increasing their contact with mainstream American society. Native American contributions to the war effort led both Indians and whites to reconsider the future of Indians’ political and cultural autonomy. “By war’s end,” the author states, “Indians were part of the American political process, their economic, social, and cultural status irrevocably altered by the conflict.”
The book’s seven thematic chapters form a roughly chronological narrative. The first chapter introduces the state of Indian affairs prior to World War II, following the Indian New Deal of the 1930s. Chapter 2 deals with Native American responses to the institution of American’s first peacetime draft in 1940, including legal challenges based on tribal sovereignty. Chapters 3 and 4 examine Indians’ experiences at war and on the home front. The remaining chapters deal with the political repercussions of ...


... middle of paper ...


...ive American history. Beyond its value as a historical work, the book can also inform opinions on contemporary issues affecting Native Americans. As reviewer James L. Morrison, Jr. notes, “It casts new light on the attitudes and behavior of whites as they cope with the incredibly complicated problem of what to do with a proud racial minority which treasures its separateness and… continues to grow in size.” Larry Burt calls it “a helpful aid in understanding recent Indian affairs.” American Indians in World War II is an insightful and accessible read for professional scholars, undergraduates, and laypersons interested in twentieth century Native American history or a little-known aspect of the Second World War.



Works Cited

Bernstein, Alison R. American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How American Indians Have Adapted their Culture Since Colonization Essay

- My essay will have an outlook of the history of the first Americans “Indians” and how they’ve adapted with their religion, subsistence strategy, social organization, and material culture. Over the years things have change in the history of Native Americans, prior to the reconstruction period, Native Americans knew who they were and what they lived for. Before the Europeans came and changed their living they one with nature and the land they’ve came to know. They believe that America was there’s and they lived free....   [tags: American Indians, Native Americans, Colonies]

Strong Essays
964 words (2.8 pages)

The Navajo Code Talkers in World War II Essay

- A. Plan of the Investigation This investigation evaluates to what extent did the Navajo code talkers aid the American military during WWII. In order to assess the extent to which these soldiers assisted the American military during WWII, this investigation focuses on their involvement in transmitting military messages in their native tongue, and the events surrounding these transmissions. In addition, the contribution of other Native American code talkers is considered and compared to that of the Navajos specifically within the investigation....   [tags: American Military, World War II, Native Tongue]

Strong Essays
1524 words (4.4 pages)

Eastern Woodland Indians and the Seven Years' War Essay

- War is always destructive and devastating for those involved leaving behind a trail of death and barren landscape leading to heartbreak and shattered lives. War has its subjugators and its defeated. One enjoys complete freedom and rights while the other has neither freedom nor rights. Defeated and broken is where the Eastern Woodland Indians found themselves after both the Seven Years' war and the American Revolution. The Europeans in their campaigns to garner control of the land used the native peoples to gain control and ultimately stripped the rightful owners of their land and freedoms....   [tags: american revolution, native americans]

Strong Essays
871 words (2.5 pages)

American Indians Essay

- The American Indians Between 1609 To 1865 The Native Americans or American Indians, once occupied all of the entire region of the United States. They were composed of many different groups, who speaked hundreds of languages and dialects. The Indians from the Southwest used to live in large built terraced communities and their way of sustain was from the agriculture where they planted squash, pumpkins, beans and corn crops. Trades between neighboring tribes were common, this brought in additional goods and also some raw materials such as gems, cooper....   [tags: essays research papers Native American Indian]

Free Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)

Athletes drafted into World War II Essays

- The most decorated and costly war in American history was World War II. Everyone understands the atomic bomb, Hitler rise to power, but many people do not know some American history during the war. The history of our sport world, it changed how people viewed and watched it. During the war many people were drafted into the war to help fight, like the fittest and strongest of athletes. Since many players were disbanded from their major sports like Jackie Robison or Del Bork, it changed how people look at this era in sports....   [tags: decorated, costly war, American History]

Strong Essays
1446 words (4.1 pages)

The American Revolution: A War for Independence Essay

- The American Revolution was a war for independence. It was a war which was fought for equal rights and the freedom of a would be nation. It showed the pure courage and heart of the American colonists by pitting them against a much more powerful opponent. The British had the best army in the world, and the colonists were often just poor farmers armed with their hunting muskets. It was truly a case of David versus Goliath. The reasons, course, and outcome of the American Revolution provided the perfect scenario for achieving independence....   [tags: American War of Independence]

Strong Essays
1414 words (4 pages)

Colonists and Indians Fight for Mutual Interests on the American Frontier

- Colonists and Indians Fight for Mutual Interests on the American Frontier Since the settling of the English colonies in the early 17th century, pioneers have been destined to expand into the North American frontier and to domesticate it with their Christian faith and progressive nature. In their exploration of the frontier, however, the Puritan colonists often encountered Indians whose savagery challenged their discipline and morals. Just as the colonists expanded, Indians also saw their native lands of many years vanish....   [tags: American America History]

Strong Essays
2234 words (6.4 pages)

American Indians Essay

- “’Indians’: Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History';, an essay written by Jane Tompkins, a professor of English at Duke University, outlines Tompkins dissatisfaction on how American Indians are portrayed throughout history. As children, we are taught that in “1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue';, and that Peter Minuet bought all of Manhattan Island from the Indians for only twenty-four dollars worth of trinkets. In high school, we were taught that in World War II, the Germans were all heartless savages, and that the best course of action to end the war was to use the atomic bomb on Japan....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
705 words (2 pages)

Ongoing Injustice: The American Indians Essay examples

- In the modern world we are bombarded by others’ teachings. Being constantly surrounded by the ideas of computers, televisions and books we are influenced, we are shaped. We accept what we’ve been told and avoid discovering the truth because we know no better, and it’s safer. Too often “We fail to step outside of that safe sanctuary defined by what other’s wish us to know.”1 If the general population of the United States of America were asked what they knew of the Indians, common replies would be of romantic visions of the once free roaming, free spirited peoples of the nine-teenth century, the melodrama of the conflicts between the pioneers and the Indians, the scalpings, painted bodie...   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
3242 words (9.3 pages)

Indians And Colonists Relations Essay example

- Reflecting on the colonization of North America is an uneasy topic for most Americans. The thought of war between the Indians and the early settlers creates an image of clashing cultures between the well-armed Europeans and the hand-crafted weaponry of the native Indians. We tend to have the perception that the early colonists came and quickly took away the land from the Indians but, in reality, the Europeans did not have this power. Though French explorers and English settlers had a different perception of land ownership than that of the Native Americans, the fate of the Europeans rested in the hands of the Indians....   [tags: American History]

Strong Essays
1223 words (3.5 pages)