American History: Indian Policy

Indian Policy: In 1881, President Chester Arthur said that the U.S. had to deal with "the appalling fact that though thousands of lives have been sacrificed and hundreds of millions of dollars" have been spent on "the Indian problem," nothing has been permanent or satisfactory. And so, he proposed: one, apply state laws to the Indians living on reservations within each state; and two, give the Indians land in the West in turn for their agreement to "sever their tribal relations and to engage at once in agricultural pursuits" (after all, "their hunting days are over" and its best for them to "conform…to the new order of things…") (www.pbs.org).
In 1835, the policy of the United States towards Native Americans was explained in President Andrew Jackson's 7th Annual Message to Congress. The proposal for "removing the aboriginal people who yet remain" east of the Mississippi to lands "west of the Mississippi" was adopted "on the most mature consideration of the condition of this race." The policy was basically conjured up "…Independently of the treaty stipulations into which we have entered with the various tribes for the usufructuary rights they have ceded to us…" (www.pbs.org).
Foreign Policy: The way in which the Indian "problem" was "solved" is closely tied into the American policy of "Manifest Destiny," which was the belief that the United States had "a mission to expand, spreading its form of democracy and freedom" (http://en.wikipedia.org).Some American leaders even promoted the idea that "there was a divine sanction" giving the U.S. the moral and spiritual "right" to expand its territory across North America and beyond. America had a "mission" in the world to spread its way of life; and there was a belief in the "natural superiority" of the &quot…