Sovereign Nation Era Ends 1800-1827


At the beginning of the 1800s, more than 80 percent of the current contiguous lower 48 states is in Indian hands (Nies, 1996). However, the U.S. becomes more powerful and engages in battles for new territory, and the English, French, and Spanish retreat and return to Europe, destabilizing Indigenous power and territories based on European-Indigenous alliances. Like the Europeans, the new U.S. government continues the practice of purchasing Native lands and brokering treaties with Native nations. The U.S. also engages a major “civilization” campaign to eradicate Native identities, presence, and connection to their lands in order to fully dispossess them of their territories. President Thomas Jefferson sets the precedent for land dispossession and removal of Indians from their lands. With restricted access to treaty making with other foreign powers and the rise of the U.S. government, combined with a history of fraudulent treaty-making practices, the sovereignty of tribes is not respected and power in holding equal status with the U.S. government erodes.