US History II
01 March 2015 Readings and Answers
1. What I can infer about the values that guided the political system in 1850’s California is that it was very narrow minded and rhetorical. It seemed as though these politicians “wanted” rights for these native Americans (since they abolished slavery and declared “all men are by nature free and independent”) but there were so many restrictions on what Native Americans could do and there were also many punishments (and even punishments that had to do with labor and abuse) that were given to the Indians that broke the law. These values were so bent and contradicting because they wanted to show the public that they were being fair to all men and women, but it was very evident that they were being the exact opposite of fair.
2. The provisions directed towards the Native Americans show me that the lens of fairness was a little obscured. What the legislators of California were trying to do was show the public how “fairly” they were treating the Native Americans but in all reality they were being unconstitutional. These contradicting actions taken by the California legislators tell me that the application of rights “guaranteed” by the U.S. Constitution had its loopholes, just like the Black Codes and share cropping for slaves. The legislators stated that any Indian convicted of a crime can be “bailed out” by a white man and sentenced to work for him because he bailed the Indian out;