Was the Dawes Act of 1887 considered suscessful?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This depends very much on what you think its purpose was.

If the purpose of the Dawes Act was to get Native Americans to assimilate into white ways of life by becoming small farmers, it did not work.  Many or most of the Indians were not equipped or trained to farm.  Because of this, the Dawes Act did not lead to a situation in which Indian families generally farmed their own private land.

However, if the purpose of the Dawes Act was to destroy the old Indian ways of life and to diminish the power of the tribes, you can certainly argue that it was successful.  Through the Dawes Act, huge amounts of land (about 2/3 of the original total) was sold to non-Indians.

So, the Dawes Act didn't do anything to help Indians, but it did help those white people who were able to buy the land and it did help to weaken Indian nations.

monroe1's profile pic

monroe1 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I was a little fuzzy about the idea that the land was divided by just the Indians or who exactly it was divided to. Do you think the former slaves and immigrants profitted with the Act? I think the Mexicans just took it upon themselves to take what they wanted!!! Thanks for the info it has been helpful!!! I am horrible at unerstanding some of the terms!!

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