The Decline of Indian Tribal Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century

by Paul Ottinger

Institution: Oberlin College Masters Theses
Department: History
Degree: MA
Year: 1939
Keywords: Native American Studies; Native Americans; History; American History; 19th century; Cherokee; Georgia; United States; Indian; tribal; sovereignty
Record ID: 1554773
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=obgrad1371025237


The artificial air of the Nineteenth Century was filled with such pious asininities as "the white man's burden" and "saving the heathen form hell". To our cynical generation this jargon of concealed desires seems the ultimate in hypocrisy but it should be remembered that such an attitude was not an isolated phenomenon; it was merely one of the high points in an imperialism which is as old as modern civilization. Conquest is almost synonymous with man who, motivated by the conflict between inertia and the necessity of existence, will whenever possible force some weaker people to do his work and take their possessions. However, since the conqueror may be threatened by a later comer he usually cloaks his economic motives with sanctimonious expressions of morality and justice. The capacity of the human mind to fool itself is infinite.