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Native Americans and the Federal Government

Andrew Boxer traces the origins of a historical issue still as controversial and relevant today as in past centuries.

A 1911 ad offering "allotted Indian land" for sale
A 1911 ad offering 'allotted Indian land' for sale

At the start of the twentieth century there were approximately 250,000 Native Americans in the USA – just 0.3 per cent of the population – most living on reservations where they exercised a limited degree of self-government. During the course of the nineteenth century they had been deprived of much of their land by forced removal westwards, by a succession of treaties (which were often not honoured by the white authorities) and by military defeat by the USA as it expanded its control over the American West.   

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