The Taking of America

1 January 2018

America was no exception. “European states began devising legal rules to justify and rationalize the process of acquiring title to the lands” (Robertson, 2011 The “Doctrine of Discovery’ that was first issued by Pope Nicholas V of the Catholic Church to King Alfonse V of Portugal in the bull Roman’s Pontiffs. This allowed the capture, conquer, and domination of enemies, nonbelievers of Christ, and their territories.

The same privilege was granted to Spain by Pope Alexander VI as a papal document that declared war against all non- Christians around the world.Newcomer, 1 992) These international laws of Western Christendom laid the groundwork for this religious doctrine that the united States government used to deny the rights of the Native American Indians. (Newcomer, 1992) This is the basic connection between the Christendom principles of “discovery” and the laws of the United States. This lead to the formulation of contemporary United States policies and laws that took away the Native American Indians’ rights to their lands, resources, and authentic way of life.The indigenous peoples of North America lost to the covering European sovereignty and were considered dependents or tenants on their own lands. (Robertson, 2011) “In 1 790, the United States Congress passed the first in a series of Trade and Intercourse Acts carrying forward the proscription of individual unlicensed purchases, indeed expanding the proscription to make purchases of Indian lands by states illegal” and “remains a part of the United States Code” (Robertson, 201 1, p. 29).

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“There are three cases and opinions involved in the development of the Marshall Trilogy-so call after their author, Chief Justice John Marshall- theSupreme Court laid much of the groundwork for the subsequent development of Indian law and policy in these areas” (Robertson, 2011, p. 29). “Johnson v Millionth’s (1 823), set forth the basic rules Of land acquisition and property rights; the second and third, Cherokee Nation v Georgia (1 831 ) and Worcester v Georgia (1 832), offered rules relating to the nature and scope of tribal sovereignty” (Robertson, 2011 , p. 29). These court cases determined the federal government’s status regarding Native Americans. This doctrine of discovery was first articulated in the Supreme Court “test” case,Johnson v Millionth’s (1823). (Robertson, 2011) This was the first case concerning Native Americans to be heard in the American court system and the issue of the extent and limits of tribal sovereignty came before the Supreme Court.

The case was about a land dispute between two white men that both were represented by counsel paid for by Wabash Land Companies. (Robertson, 2011) The dispute challenged the validity of the land title bought by Thomas Johnson Jar. ‘s ancestors in 1 773 (prior to Independence) from the Epiphanies Indians and the 1775 Wabash land deed purchased by WilliamMillionth’s from the United States federal government pertaining to the same plot of land. (Robertson, 2011) Johnson sued for an statement on the grounds that his title was bought first which considered it superior. (Robertson, 201 1) The Court rejected it under the “doctrine of discovery’ that denies the right of Indians (due to settler colonialism) to sell their lands to anyone other than the British Crown. (Robertson, 2011) Post-Independence, the United States obtained all rights held by the Crown.

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