The rise of industrialization followed by the American Civil War and the increase in population led to development of the West. However, the expansion to the West caused many conflicts with Native Americans who had already inhabited the land long before the whites. Chief Joseph, the Nez Perce leader, and Richard Henry Pratt, the founder of the Carlisle Indian School, had very different views on problem of cultural integration. Through their work, Speech to a White Audience, 1879, and “Kill the Indian…and save the man,” 1892, they inform their perspectives on US expansion, cultural assimilation and racism.
Many Native Americans regarded nature to be held and used communally. Chief Joseph and his father believed firmly in this concept, claiming that “that no man owned any part of the earth, and a man could not sell what he did not own.” No white man could comprehend the concept of communal property and they expanded to the West by removing the Native Americans from their land and by putting them in reservations. They used methods such persuasion, purchase, trickery or force to do so. Chief Joseph’s band was one of many other tribes who were unjustly removed by force. The treaty agreement with the United States entitled Native Americans Indians to annual payments, and protections on reservations
Although the reservations were set up to separate Native Americans and whites, the US government required Native Americans to abandon their traditions and adapt to white ways. Richard Pratt argues that to best assimilate the Indian culture, they must be brought into American society instead of being left in the reservations which prevents them from “all association with the best of US civilization.” He gives a case with African Americans to support this idea. Pratt claims that it was not the school that civilized African Americans for they were denied of education; it was “through the influence of associations.”3 Under the care of...