Decline of Indian Southwest

analytical Essay
2648 words
2648 words

Decline of Indian Southwest

Lord Acton said, “The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by its minorities.” In the late 1800’s the security of the minorities in the southwest was in serious jeopardy. For the Apache’s the security was promised but rarely upheld by the American government. The minimal security the Navajo enjoyed vanished by 1846. Men like Kit Carson desired but often failed to maintain the peace and security for these Indian tribes.

Kit Carson’s actions and the actions of others began the deterioration of the Indian culture in the southwest. The decline of the Indian southwest was caused by the idea of Manifest Destiny, which led to Indian confinement to reservations and the decline of Native American society.

The idea of Manifest Destiny led the Americans to war with Mexico. In 1846, America gained control of what is now the Southwest. With this acquisition, America inherited years of Navajo-Mexican warfare. The Mexicans became American citizens; the Natives, being Indians, did not. Therefore, Indians were punished for attacks on Mexicans but not vice-versa (Brown 14). General Stephen Watts Kearney put it this way, addressing the Mexicans: 'The Apaches and the Navajos come down and carry off your sheep and your women whenever they please. My government will correct all this. They will keep off the Indians, protect you in persons and property " (L.

Bailey 2). American officials, in an attempt to halt conflict between the Indians and the new settlers, prevent expensive wars, and open up lands to white settlers, created reservations for the Indians, crowding the Indians into areas and constricting them from finding or growing food. Wi...

... middle of paper ...

...hwest might still thrive today.


Bailey, Lynn. The Long Walk. Pasedena: Socio-Technical Books, 1970.

Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. Chicago: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.

Debo, Angie. Geronimo The Man, His Time, His Place. University of Oklahoma Press, 1976.

Hurtado, Albert L, ed. Major Problems in American Indian History. Lexington, Massachusetts, D.C. Heath and Company, 1994.

Quaife, Milo Milton. Kit Carson’s Autobiography. University of Nebraska Press, 1935.

Simmons, Mark S. “Kit and the Indians“ University Press of Colorado, 1996. Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, 1868.

Utley, Robert M. The Indian Frontier of the American West 1846-1890. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984.

White, David. It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West. University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the security of the indian southwest was in serious jeopardy in the late 1800's. the minimal security the navajo enjoyed vanished by 1846.
  • Explains that kit carson's actions and others began the deterioration of the indian culture in the southwest. the idea of manifest destiny led to indian confinement to reservations and the decline of native american society.
  • Explains that the idea of manifest destiny led the americans to war with mexico.
  • Explains that american officials created reservations for the indians, constricting them from finding or growing food, and adding more people to the united states in general.
  • Explains that the first people attracted by the opening of the land were miners, followed by entrepreneurs to capitalize on new mining settlements. the tension came to a head in 1860 when an apache chief, mangas coloradas, visited the mining camp alone in good faith.
  • Explains that the disappearance of an eleven-year-old boy in one of the cattle raids began a bloody chain of events in apache history. lieutenant bascom was sent with about 50 men to recover the missing boy.
  • Analyzes how cochise denied having anything to do with the boy and cut his way out of the tent. he took three hostages from a stage station and offered an exchange.
  • Explains that the government created a plan to contain the indians, despite the fact that it was indian land being invaded.
  • Opines that the sacredness of this obligation shall never be lost sight of by the saidgovernment, when providing for the removal of indians from any portion of said territories, or for its settlement by citizens of the united states.
  • Explains that in 1871 congress appropriated seventy thousand dollars for the apaches of arizona and new mexico upon reservations, furnishing them with subsistence and other necessary articles, and to promote peace and civilization among them.
  • Describes how general oliver otis howard met with the warm springs apache and was told of their removal and placement in the tularosa valley.
  • Explains that the tularosa reservation was abandoned and the apaches settled in warm springs. the agent john clum liked indians and treated them with respect.
  • Explains that indian – white relations were in the best state since the 1860s, but the indian office began to carry out the concentration policy. this cruel and stupid uprooting of barely tamed hostiles brought eleven more years of apache wars.
  • Explains that the apaches were not the only victims of the american pursuit of manifest destiny. in 1863, american general james carleton told the navajo that there would be no peace until they left their homeland and went to a small reservation called bosque redondo.
  • Analyzes how the government used brutal and ruthless tactics to deal with the indians.
  • Explains how the army attacked navajos on sight and attempted to destroy their ability to make a living, by killing animals and burning land.
  • Analyzes how carleton gave an order to kill every navajo off the reservation without a pass in 1865.
  • Explains that james carleton and kit carson were american military leaders involved in indian affairs. carson grew up in a hostile indian country, where war parties of indians gather and arrange themselves to do battle.
  • Explains that the constant struggles between the american military and the indians inched its way into the lives of the trappers.
  • Explains that many trappers had to absorb the cultures and attitudes of the native americans. carson married a few indian maidens and accepted indian speech, costume, and modes of conduct.
  • Explains that the fight between indians and the american military caused many injustices, including the atrocities that carson was ordered to commit towards the native americans.
  • Explains that carson's loyalty to the united states gave him a sense of duty, leading him into acts against those who taught him survival in the wild. he was feared and sought after to lead many war parties against the native americans.
  • Explains that carson's knowledge of the indians' plan of attack would give him even more power and authority among the united states military.
  • Analyzes how kit carson's relationship with native americans enabled him to have inside knowledge of indian battle techniques. the navajo, who at first had good relations with carson, were forced to live on an unsuitable reservation.
  • Cites bailey, lynn, bury my heart at wounded knee, debo, angie, urtado and quaife.
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