Our Hearts Fell to the Ground Exam Essay

Good Essays

Americans have many ideas of freedom, which often were conflicting. The roots of these conflicting ideas were often based on race and stunted our growth as a country. Although much of the focus in U.S history has been placed the conflicting ideas of White American freedom and African-American freedom, another main conflict was between Whites and Native Americans. White Americans believed that freedom was the right to own property, economic autonomy, and the right to participate in democratic elections. The White Americans also believed that these freedoms were guaranteed only to natural-born, White Americans. The Native Americans had a much different view of freedom, which included the choice to remain nomadic, self-governance, and the …show more content…

The somewhat nomadic lifestyle of the plains natives often interfered with White America’s exploration of the great Wild West. To solve this inconvenience, White Americans moved the Natives onto reservations, which were smaller plots of land, sometimes not in the tribe’s home area, and were subject to White American authority. The creation of reservations was just one of many assaults on Native culture and destroyed the Native’s idea that freedom meant the ability to roam. While White Americans can only trace their arrival in America back to the early 16th century, scientists and historians have placed the Native Americans arrival in North America around 50,000 years ago (Sciencedaily, 2004). In the thousands of years before the arrival of the white man, Natives developed intricate cultures, which included equally developed governments. These governments did not mimic that of the White Americans; nevertheless they were fully functional and succeeded at keeping order throughout each individual tribe. Natives were used to consulting with the chief or religious leader of the tribe for advice and governance, they were eventually forced onto reservations where they had to turn to whites for permission to participate in even the simplest of tasks. White Americans viewed the Natives as uncivilized, which led to them placing Native Children in boarding schools run by whites (Attending the White Man’s Schools, p.168-169). By doing this, Whites hoped

Get Access