Impact of the Growth of the New Nation on Native Americans


The constant westward shove given to American Indians, as well as the unequal terms of many treaties, fundamentally changed the structure of Indian life. Men's traditional social roles, hunting and warfare, became less significant. Land restrictions meant that game quickly became scarce, and fur trading was less and less feasible. Andrew Jackson's 1814 treaty with the Creeks introduced the concept of individual ownership to the society, thus bringing the competitive self-oriented spirit of Western capitalism to the Indians. This was called "civilization." The loss of economic identity and power, combined with the loss of political influence, led to tremendous frustration and shame. Suicides, alcoholism, and other legacies of displacement and depression became more frequent among Native Americans of many tribes.