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Chief Joseph When he became chief of the Nez Perce Indian tribe in the American Northwest in 1871 Joseph led his people in an unsuccessful resistance to white settlers who were confiscating land The tribe was ordered to move Joseph agreed but when three of his tribe killed a group of settlers he attempted to escape to Canada with his followers Safety Valve Thesis This assertion stated that as immigrants came to the eastern United States during the late nineteenth century and polluted American culture citizens of the US would have the West as a safety valve to which they could go in order to revitalize their pure Americanism Homestead Act 1862 This act cut up Western public lands into many small holdings for the free farmers It was originally started by Andrew Johnson as the first homestead bill but met strong opposition by Southern Representatives and therefore could not be passed until the secession of the Southern States during the Civil War Dawes Severality Act 1887 It was proposed by Henry L Dawes and was passed in 1887 It was designed to reform what well-meaning but ignorant whites perceived to be the weaknesses of Indian life-- the lack of private property the absence of a Christian based religion the nomadic traditions of the Indians and the general instability in their way of life -- by turning Indians into farmers The main point of the law was to emphasize treating Indians as individuals as opposed to members in a tribe or severalty Helen Hunt Jackson A Century of Dishonor This book by Jackson was a discourse concerning the plight of American Indians published in 1881 She gathered information regarding American Indians and their lives while serving on a federal commission investigating the treatment of Indians Jackson also wrote Ramona concerning the same topic TheGrange During the decade of the 1870s US farmers were beset with problems of high costs debts and small profits the farmers
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