Essay about Art History

Submitted By JASBAR92
Words: 1196
Pages: 5

Jasmine Barnes
Art 262
Dr. Ute
April 16, 2014

The 19th century was a devastating situation for Native American because during this time period they would be forced to leave their native lands. America was expanding towards the west, and they wanted more land and resources. The Indians were seen as uncivilized, and they were looked down upon because of the way they lived. Americans often misunderstood them because of the rituals they practice, and because of this there were many attempts to convert them over to Christianity. Soon the federal government would also join in trying to civilize them as well. To attempt to keep the conflict between the government and the Indians down, the government would set numerous treaties into place. However, the government would never uphold their end of the agreement. In return the Indians felt angry, and would react with violence. President Andrew Jackson was committed to the expansion of the United States, and to developing the western frontier. This often put the government in conflict with the Indians, who still lived on that land. However, Native Americans had begun to lose their culture and adapt to the Americans way of life. President Andrew Jackson decided to move the Indians out west. Congress eventually passed the Indian Removal Act, which meant the movement of all Indians to present day Oklahoma. In 1830, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act bill in place, that authorized the moving the Indians across the Mississippi river. Henry Sayre notes “Congress passed an act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi” (Sayre 1050). Some Native Americans were not happy with relocating and forced was used against them to move. There were cases that were brought to the Supreme Court by the Native Americans but they were often unsuccessful. The Sac chief signed a treaty giving away Indian land, and he moved the tribes to the western frontier. Poor decisions by the federal government contributed to conflict with the Seminoles. The Seminoles located in Florida, were also ordered to relocate. The Seminoles refused to leave Florida and they moved deep into the swamps. This conflict lasted several years; which claimed the lives of soldiers and Indians. The Seminoles were eventually forced to relocate to Oklahoma in a forced march. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was created in 1836 to handle relations with the Indians. The government ordered the removal of the Cherokees from Georgia to the new territory that was given to them. 18,000 Native Americans started out on this treacherous journey, which would become known as the trail of tears. By the time they reached their destination 4,000 died of numerous ailments due to weather and illness. The land that was supposed to be a permanent location for the Indians and that only lasted for a short period of time. Towards the end of the 19th century the Wounded Knee Massacre would take place on December 29, 1890, on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The government went into the reservation to disarm the Native Americans, which resulted in someone opening fire killing soldiers, men, women, and children. There were many individuals who wanted to take the time to learn about Indians and their practices. Many artists disagreed with the treatment of Indians and the stigma behind them, which George Catlin chose to use art as a form of expression and show his experiences. According to www.GeorgeCatlin.org “George Catlin was an American painter, author and traveler who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West.” He often visited different Native American tribes and record information about them, as well as paint a lot of art work of them. George Catlin chose to do a piece on Native Americans entitled The Last Race, Part of Okipa Ceremony (Mandan), which is a ceremony that last about four days. He would make numerous…