Each year, the city turns the town square along Main Street into a Christmas town, with light displays and festive activities, giving Charlestown its reputation as Southern Indiana's Christmas town. The city of Charlestown, which was established in 1808, was named after one of its surveyors, Charles Beggs. The mills were an important component of the city. Charlestown was also home to Jonathan Jennings, Indiana's first state governor.
Clark County, in which this city is located, was established in 1801 as part of the Northwest Territory. Long before the terms “Native American” or “Indian” were necessary, tribes spread across the Americas. Before a white man set foot in this territory, it was colonized by the ancestors of the gangs we now call Sioux, Cherokee or Iroquois. For thousands of years, American Indians developed their customs and legacy without interference.
From the Mayan and Inca ruins, from the remaining mounds in the central and southern parts of what is now the United States. UU. It's a story of beautiful art and profound spirituality. Archaeologists have discovered very advanced structures and public works.
While there was an inevitable tribal conflict, that was nothing more than a small stain on the history of our ancestors. They were at peace with this beautiful continent and were intensely connected with nature. The English, the French and the Spanish rushed to divide the “New World” by sending ill-prepared colonists as quickly as possible. At first, they faced alarmed Indians on the east coast of the United States.
But that soon gave way to trade, because the Europeans who arrived here learned that their survival was doubtful without the help of the natives. This was followed by decades of relative peace as the colonists settled on U.S. soil. However, the pressure to move inland came soon after.
Kings and queens thousands of miles away were anxious to find additional resources, and some colonists came in search of freedom and opportunity. And so began the process of keeping American Indians out of the way. It took the form of cash payments, bartering and, as is well known, treaties that were almost systematically ignored after the Indians were expelled from the land in question. Government policies toward Native Americans in the second half of the 19th century were motivated by a desire to expand westward to the areas occupied by these Native American tribes.
In the 1850s, nearly all Native American tribes, approximately 360,000, lived west of the Mississippi River. These American Indians, some of the Northwest and Southeastern territories, were confined to the Indian territory located in present-day Oklahoma, while the Kiowa and Comanche Native American tribes shared the territory of the Southern Plains. Sioux, crows and blackfeet ruled the northern plains. These Native American groups experienced adversity, as the constant flow of European immigrants to the cities of the northeastern United States brought an influx of immigrants to the Western lands already occupied by these diverse groups of Indians.
The beginning of the 19th century in the United States was marked by its continuous expansion into the Mississippi River. However, due to the Gadsden purchase, that led to the U.S. Control of the southern border areas of New Mexico and Arizona together with the authority over the country of Oregon, Texas and California; the expansion of the United States would not end there. Between 1830 and 1860, the United States nearly doubled the amount of land under its control.
Native American politics can be defined as regulations and procedures developed and adapted in the United States to summarize the relationship between Native American tribes and the federal government. When the United States initially became a sovereign country, it adopted European policies with respect to local peoples, but over the course of two centuries the United States,. It adapted its own and varied regulations with respect to the changing perspectives and requirements of Native American supervision. In 1824, in order to apply American law,.
Under government policies on Native Americans, Congress created a new office within the War Department called the Office of Indian Affairs, which worked directly with the U.S. At times, the federal government recognized the Indians as independent and autonomous political communities with different cultural identities; however, other times the government tried to force Native American tribes to abandon their cultural identity, renounce their lands and assimilate into American customs. With the constant flow of colonists to Indian-controlled lands, Eastern newspapers broadcast sensational stories about wild native tribes who committed mass massacres of hundreds of white travelers. Although some colonists lost their lives due to American Indian attacks, this was not the norm at all; in fact, Native American tribes repeatedly helped colonists cross the plains.
The American Indians not only sold wild game animals and other essential items to travelers, but they also served as guides and messengers between wagons and trains. Despite the great nature of the American Indians, the colonists still anticipated the possibility of an attack. To allay these concerns, in 1851 the United States,. The Government presented a conference with several local indigenous tribes and established the Fort Laramie Treaty.
Under this treaty, each Native American tribe acceded to limited territory, allowed the government to build roads and forts in this territory, and pledged never to persecute colonists; in return, the federal government pledged to respect the boundaries of each tribe's territory and make total annual payments to the Indians. The Native American tribes responded discreetly to the treaty; in fact, the Cheyenne, Sioux, Crow, Arapaho, Assinibione, Mandan, Gros Ventre and Arikara tribes, who signed the treaty, even agreed to end hostilities between their tribes to accept the terms of the treaty. In a series of new treaties, the United States,. The government ordered Native Americans to surrender their land and move to reserves in exchange for protecting themselves from attacks by white colonists.
In addition, the Indians were allocated an annual stipend that would include money, in addition to food, livestock, household items, and agricultural equipment. These reserves were established in an attempt to pave the way for an increase in the U.S. Expansion and administration in the West, as well as keeping Native Americans separate from whites in order to reduce the possibility of conflict. Most importantly, many of the native peoples did not correctly understand the document they were signing or the conditions in it; in addition, the treaties did not recognize the cultural practices of the Native Americans.
In addition, the government agencies responsible for implementing these policies were plagued by mismanagement and corruption. In fact, many of the provisions of the treaties were never implemented. The government almost never fulfilled its part of the agreements, even when the Native Americans quietly moved to their reservations. Shady office agents often sold supplies that were intended for the Indians in the reserves to non-indigenous people.
In addition, as colonists demanded more territory in the West, the federal government frequently reduced the size of the reserves. By then, many of the Native Americans were unhappy with the treaties and were angry at the settlers' persistent land demands. This legislation marked a drastic change in the government's working relationship with native peoples: Congress now considered Native Americans, not as countries outside its jurisdiction, but as people under the tutelage of the government. By placing Native Americans under the tutelage of the “government,” Congress concluded that it was easier to make assimilation policy a widely recognized part of the dominant cultural mainstream in the United States.
Government representatives considered that assimilation was the most effective response to what they considered “the Indian problem” and the only long-term method to ensure that the U.S. Interests in the West and the survival of the American Indians. To achieve this, the government pressured Native Americans to move out of their usual homes, move to wooden houses, and become farmers. The federal government enacted laws that pressured Native Americans to reject their traditional appearance and way of life.
Some laws prohibited common religious practices, while others required Indian men to cut their long hair. Agents from more than two-thirds of the American Indian reservations organized courts to implement federal policies that often prohibited traditional ethnic and religious practices. To further the assimilation course, the government established Indian training centers that sought to quickly and vigorously Americanize Indian youth. According to the founder of the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, schools were designed to “kill the Indian and save the man.”.
To achieve this goal, schools required students to speak only English, to wear appropriate American dress and to change their Indian names to more “American” names. These new policies brought Native Americans closer to the end of their traditional tribal identity and to the beginning of their daily lives as citizens under the absolute control of the U.S. In 1887, Congress passed the General Appropriations Act, the most important part of the U.S. The government's assimilation program, which aimed to “civilize American Indians by educating them to become farmers”.
To achieve this, Congress planned to establish a non-public title to Indian property by dividing the reserves, which were collectively owned, and providing each family with its own plot of land. In addition to this, by forcing Native Americans to live on small plots, Western developers and colonists could purchase leftover land. The General Appropriations Act, known as the Dawes Act, required that Indian land be inspected and that each family receive a plot of between 80 and 160 acres, while single adults received between 40 and 80 acres; the rest of the land had to be sold. Congress thought that the Dawes Act would divide Indian tribes and inspire individual businesses, while reducing the costs of Indian oversight and providing premium properties for sale to white colonists.
The Dawes Act proved to be catastrophic for American Indians; for the next few generations, they existed under policies that prohibited their traditional approach to life and yet failed to provide the resources needed to support their businesses and families. The division of reserves into smaller parcels of land caused a significant decline in Indian-owned properties. Within three decades, tribes had lost more than two-thirds of the territory they controlled before the Dawes Act was enacted in 1887; most of the remaining land was sold to white settlers. Native Americans were usually tricked into keeping their plots or required to sell their land to pay their bills and feed their own families.
Because of this, the Indians were not “Americanized” and often could not become self-sufficient farmers or ranchers, as expected by the makers of politics. It also generated resentment among Indians about the United States,. The government, as a practice of adjudication, often destroyed lands that were the spiritual and cultural center of its day. Between 1850 and 1900, Native American lives changed dramatically.
Under government regulations, American Indians were forced to abandon their homes as their native lands were divided into parcels. The plains, which they had previously traveled without limits, were now inhabited by white colonists. Throughout these years, the Indians ended up being deceived into keeping their property, their food and their way of life, since the Indian plans of the federal government forced them to enter reserves and tried to “Americanize” them. Many bands of American Indians were unable to survive relocation, cultural destruction, and military defeat; by 1890, the Native American population had dwindled to less than 250,000 people.
Thanks to generations of discriminatory and corrupt policies implemented by U.S. authorities between 1850 and 1900, American Indian lives changed forever. Colleges near Charlestown include Bellarmine University, Hanover College, and Southeastern Indiana University. .
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