Evolution of National Citizenry

  • Oct 12, 1492

    Systematic European Colonization

    Columbus inadvertently landed in the new world. Although, Europeans deemed it as nobody's land, it was the homeland of existing indigenous residents.
  • Native Population decreases

    After the first European contact, the native population plummeted by an estimation of 80% from 50 million in 1492 to 8 million in 1650. This was due to old world diseases and the conditions that colonization imposed on indigenous populations.
    Some scholars call this the first large-scale act of genocide in the modern era.
  • War

    The French and Indian War begins, pitting the two groups against English settlements in the North.
  • Treaty of Hopewell

    The treaty is signed in Georgia protecting Cherokee Native Americans in the US and sectioning off their land.
  • Declaration of War

    President James signs the declaration of war against Britian. This started the war between US forces and the British, French, and Native Americans over independence and territory expansion.
  • Indian Removal Act

    President Andrew Jackson signs the act which gives plots of land west of Mississippi river to Native American tribes in exchange for land that is taken from them.
  • Trail of Tears

    President Martin Van Burren enlisted General Winfield Scott along with 7000 troops to march Cherokee Indians over 1,200 miles at gunpoint. More than 5,000 Indians died as a result of the journey.
  • Indian reservation system

    Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Act which created the Indian reservation system. This meant Native Americans weren't allowed to leave the reservations without permission.
  • Carlisle Indian Industrial School

    The first students attend the school in Penn. The country's first off-reservation boarding school. The school was created to assimilate Native American students.
  • African Americans win citizenship in US

  • Native Americans won citizenship in US

    President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizen Act also known as the Snyder Act. Some viewed this as a movement to force Native Americans to assimilate to American society.
  • Law Repeal

    Utah repealed a law that denied Native Americans living on reservations the right to vote.
  • Prevented from voting

    Native Americans were prevented from voting with poll taxes, literacy test, and intimidation. These same tactics were used on African Americans.
  • Supreme Court acts

    The supreme court of New Mexico struck down a challenge that claimed Navajos living on a reservation in the state should not have been allowed to vote.
  • The Voting Rights Act

    The Voting Rights Act helped to strengthen the voting rights that the native people had won in every state.
  • Indian Civil Rights Act

    The act is signed by President Lyndon Johnson granting Native American tribes many of the benefits included in the Bill of Rights.
  • Shelby County vs Holder

    The Supreme Court eliminated the justice departments authority to block changes to voting laws in states with histories of discrimination.
  • Federal Commission

    It was found that at least 23 states in the US had enacted newly restrictive statewide voter laws.