Reservation Era Begins 1850-1878


Gadsden Purchase

With the 1854 Gadsden Purchase, the U.S. acquires lands in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California as well as territories ceded by the Omaha tribe (43 million acres) in Nebraska and Kansas. American settler expansionism and invasion into territories means that tribes of these regions must begin negotiating with the U.S. government. The Gadsden Purchase sets the precedent for the U.S. President to redistribute communally held lands to individual Indians, destroying the tradition of communal stewardship and setting the stage for Allotment policies in the late 1800s. It also allows the U.S. to create roads and railroads into Native territories without tribal consent and gives the U.S. President direct control over annual tribal annuities and the power to withhold annuities to tribes at will (Nies, 1996)

Settler Colonial Policy