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Early Eras of Indian Law (1785–1928)

Learn about the different laws and policies used during the Treaty Era, Removal Era, Reservation Era, and Allotment Era.


I. Introduction

The United States has used a variety of policies to interact with and control Indian tribes since the country gained independence. These policies can generally be grouped into different eras that reflect an evolving political, religious, and cultural view on the treatment of Indians.

II. Treaty Era (1785–1817)

From the late 1700s to the early 1800s, the United States was in the treaty era of Indian relations when, as the name suggests, the federal government primarily interacted...