? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 6 years ago

Does the Dawes act violate the 14th amendment?

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  • Jay
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
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    S1 of the 14th Amendment reads in full:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    The Amendment was intended to give citizenship to the former slaves and not to Indians. Government agencies (the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of the Interior), and the courts (state, federal, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court) consistently held that the Amendment did not confer citizenship on Native Americans. Under the Constitution, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, Indian tribes are classified as “domestic dependent nations,” and therefore, Indians were tribal citizenships, not American citizens.

    In McKay v. Campbell, the federal district court in Oregon in 1871 ruled that the 14th Amendment had not made Indians citizens. In Elk versus Wilkins (1884) on an issue of whether the plaintiff could vote, the Supreme Court considered whether birth in the USA made that person a citizen. They concluded it did not - otherwise children of ambassadors etc would be US citizens and that citizenship was conferred by the US not by birth or by living as an American. The Dawes Act aimed to make the process of allowing Native Americans to become US citizens easier if they abandoned their former way of life, spoke and understood American etc - these latter requirements were not in the Act but were the interpretations put on the Act by the courts.

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  • Nelson
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    No. It expanded the 14th Amendment to include, en passant, Native Americans by giving them delineated land rights.

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