Q:

Why did the Dawes Act fail?

A:

Despite intending to expand property ownership for Native Americans, the Dawes Act of 1887 failed to establish positive changes, and met resistance from Native Americans. Drafted by Senator Henry Dawes, the Dawes Act went into effect on February 8, 1887. The Dawes Act followed a long series of federal Indian policies, and proposed to alleviate poverty among Native Americans by breaking up reservations and allocating properties among families.

 

The Dawes Act appeared less hostile than previous policies, which advocated forceful removal of Native Americans from their homelands, and went so far as to suggest war. It proposed allocating lands to Native Americans in tribal families according to age. Oldest members received the largest parcels, while children received much less. The Dawes Act set aside large parcels of lands for Native Americans, particularly in the western states. The Dawes intended to secure land for Native Americans and prevent whites rushing westward from taking all available land, ultimately leaving natives with nothing. It also envisioned Native Americans adopting agriculture as a key economic activity. The Dawes Act reserved land for Native Americans, but that land proved ultimately worthless. Lands preserved included dry and desert parcels, unable to support farming. Inheritance given to absent children and assignments to multiple heirs caused confusion and rendered the Dawes Act a failure.

  Learn More
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did the Roanoke settlement fail?

    A:

    The Roanoke settlement is thought to have failed because it was poorly supplied and the colonists failed to ally with or befriend the Native peoples. Roanoke is referred to as the Lost Colony because of the mysterious disappearance of the settlers and the destruction of its buildings, giving birth to myths and conspiracy stories. However, historians contend that hardships and improved relations drove the colonists to assimilate with the Natives.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the purpose of the Dawes Act?

    A:

    The Dawes Act gave the president the power to divide American Indian tribal land into allotments for individual Native Americans. The Dawes Act was passed in 1887 and is also referred to as the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 and the General Allotment Act.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did Vietnamization fail?

    A:

    Nixon's plan of Vietnamization is considered to have failed because the withdrawal of American troops and aid left the Army of the Republic of Vietnam without proper equipment and training. Tin Nguyen contends that, specifically, Vietnamization failed because it did not allow for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam to increase their number of troops and materials at the same rate as the North Vietnamese Army.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did the Compromise of 1850 fail?

    A:

    The Compromise of 1850 failed, due to opposition from both anti-slavery northern Whigs and pro-slavery southern Democrats. Each time Henry Clay presented the Compromise before the senate, it did not receive a majority vote. President Zachary Taylor and William H. Seward, senator of New York, opposed the compromise.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore