Broken Treaties - Indian Reservations

The U.S. does not have a good record with treaties signed with the Indians and America is bashed in history books for breaking treaties and moving Indians off their land onto reservations. But there are factors involved almost nobody recognizes. The biggest reason for broken treaties with the Indians was because the U.S. was such a wonderful country that MILLIONS of immigrants came to the United States and they needed somewhere to go. The Indians were pushed out of the way. 

When the U.S. made a treaty with Indian tribes, they sometimes gave in to ridiculous Indian demands. For instance, the Great Sioux Reservation was established in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 in order to end the war with the Sioux Nation. This treaty set aside a 25 million acre tract of land for the Lakota and Dakota Indians encompassing all the land in South Dakota west of the Missouri River.(14) The population of the Sioux Indians was less then 20,000.(15) As a comparison, the state of Connecticut is only 3.562 million acres, while Pennsylvania is 28.6 million acres. Later, when gold was discovered in the Black Hills section of the Reservation, the U.S. government took about 9 million acres and divided the remaining reservations into 5 smaller reservations. This provoked another war with the Sioux Indians, but they were a divided fighting force because they were in another war with the Crow and Shoshoni Indian Tribes.

Mexico likes to bash the U.S. for moving Indian tribes onto reservations, but Mexico has no room to gloat. Spain took whatever land they wanted from the Indians and then subjected them to the encomienda system. There were too many Indians in Central America for the Spanish to put onto reservations, so Spain forced the Indians to learn Spanish and assimilate into Spanish society. Because the Indian population in what became the U.S. was very small compared to Central America, the U.S. was able to put Indians onto reservations, where they were free to maintain their culture.

Mexico never had to deal with millions of immigrants because almost no one wanted to immigrate to Mexico. If millions of immigrants HAD gone to Mexico, they would have done what the earlier Spaniards did - taken whatever land they wanted from the Indians. If the U.S. would have had minimal immigration like Mexico, there would have been no need to violate treaties with the Indians. 

A little known fact is that Spain, in an attempt to pacify the Apache Indians decided to deport prisoners so far from their homeland that they could NEVER return. When Spain captured Apaches, they sent them to Mexico City and then to Vera Cruz and then by ship to Cuba. Spain deported about 2,000 Apaches to Cuba between 1770 and 1810.(16) How many died along the way is unknown. Is this where the U.S. got the idea for moving Indians onto reservations far from their native lands?

The Indians were NOT superior human beings.

Native American population in 1492

Death by Disease

Desperate people will not be stopped

Selective unforgiveness

Broken Treaties - Indian Reseervations

16. The Jar of Severed Hands; Spanish Deportation of Apache Prisoners of War, 1770-1810 by Mark Santiago. Pub 2011