American Indian History – 6838
This seminar addresses American Indian history through the early 20th century from the legal perspective. Heavy emphasis is placed on the social and economic factors which influenced developments in American Indian legal history. The course will begin with a study of British and Indian relations including early treaties and policies. The course will continue with a discussion of the treaties and laws initiated after the Revolutionary War with special consideration of the contrasts and comparisons between British and American attitudes toward Indian policy. Considerable time will be spent on the cases which came down from the Marshall Court after 1800 with a special emphasis on those affecting the Southeastern tribes. The course will also cover subjects including Indian removal, the allotment system, and the establishment of reservations. Class sessions will be devoted to the effect of the Civil War on various tribes, especially those who sided with the Confederacy. The treaties and statutes of the period after 1870 which resulted from the federal government’s increasing resistance to dealing with issues on a tribe by tribe basis will be considered. The class will conclude with a discussion of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.The readings for the course will be primary sources including statutes and treaties and secondary sources including law reviews and excerpts from historical journals. A paper of 20 to 30 pages will be required. American Indian Law recommended.