American Treatment of Native Americans Essay

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Before, during, and after the Civil War, American settlers irreversibly changed Indian ways of life. These settlers brought different ideologies and convictions, such as property rights, parliamentary style government, and Christianity, to the Indians. Clashes between the settlers and Indians were common over land rights and usage, religious and cultural differences, and broken treaties. Some Indian tribes liked the new ideas and began to incorporate them into their culture by establishing written laws, judicial courts and practicing Christianity, while other tribes rejected them (“Treatment”). Once the United States purchased Louisiana from the French in 1803, Americans began to encroach into the Indian lands of the south and west …show more content…
The Indian culture was negatively changed because the Indians’ religion was based upon believing many gods controlled their way of being, while Christianity was based on one supreme being who controls the universe. Common Indian gods included a god for the Sun, Moon, land or the Earth, the creator, and water (Nature). In the Cherokee tribe, the Creator is named Unetlanvhi (oo-nay-hla-nuh-hee or oo-net-la-nuh-hee) (“Legendary”). Some of the other “Creators” in other tribes include Maheu in the Cheyenne tribe, Gitchie Manitou in the Ojibway tribe, and Ahone in the Powhatan tribe (“Legendary”). With all the different types of gods in Indian cultures, the Indians used many spiritual rituals to worship these gods (Religion). Some of the rituals included feasts, music, dances, and other performances. The relationship of the Indian to nature (spirits, land, weather) was tantamount (Religion).
As many Americans settled in Indian territories and around Indian tribal areas, the settlers brought their religion of Christianity with them. Based on their Bible, Christians saw the Indian religious practices as paganism, so the settlers converted the Indians to Christianity either by influence or force. So many tribes were changed from their multi-god religion to Christianity. Indians began to lose their own culture.
Especially after the Civil War,
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