Decline of Indian Southwest

Powerful Essays
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...

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...hwest might still thrive today.


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