Last year House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended a series of racist tweets for President Trump. “We are the Lincoln Party,” he said. “This party believes in the content of the individual.”
This familiar refrain is very misleading. Republicans in the 1950s and 1960s created a coalition dedicated to preventing the expansion of slavery and using federal power to advance public welfare. Historians know that Abraham Lincoln will not recognize his party or its values today.
But today’s Republicans are Lincoln’s heirs in a significant way: they, like him, are determined to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples to land.
The Republican platform in 1860 She affirmed, “The natural state of all of the United States is the state of freedom.” It also called for industrial development, the railroad from Omaha to Sacramento, and white settler housing. Native Republicans across the West are believed to truly belong to white American farmers.
As president, the Lincoln administration implemented this platform, and enacted original conquest policies during the Civil War.
In the spring and summer of 1862, after Washington came to say that the Confederate invasion of New Mexico had failed, Republicans issued a series of actions to ensure its white stability.
Homestead Law Providing 160 acres of public lands to every loyal citizen of the Federation. Pacific Railroad Law Federal Certified Intercontinental Railroad Support. Two other works, one Set aside public lands As for the agricultural colleges and the other that established the Ministry of Agriculture, Republicans’ beliefs about the centrality of free agriculture have deepened in the future of the West and the nation.
Before the West could be settled with white farmers, the federal government had to remove a major hurdle: indigenous peoples. But the indigenous groups did not intend to hand over their home countries to be sold or distributed to white Americans.
So to impose the original presentation, the Lincoln administration developed a two-pronged approach.
Pacific Railroad Law Stipulated That, when the government has already negotiated treaties granting land to indigenous groups, this will extinguish these titles.
In the absence of a treaty in place, the war administration in the Union will declare war on the indigenous communities and impose their surrender. The reservations are then removed, as they can be monitored by the Union Forces, Know “Arts of Civilization” and converted to Christianity.
In the territory of New Mexico, James Henry Carleton, the Dean of the Union, put this policy into practice in the autumn of 1862. He sent troops to fight Shereshua Apache in the south and ordered his favorite officer, Colonel “Kate” Carson, to carry out the first difficult war on Mescalero Apaches, then Navajos in the north.
Carlton intensified these campaigns next year because in the summer of 1863, gold was discovered in the mountains of central Arizona. Once the Union Army removes the Apache and Navajos from their home countries – where the plan was drawn up, the miners will demand the drilling of Arizona. The farmers used to follow it, cultivating the fields feeding them. The Lincoln War Department and the General Land Office supported these campaigns.
“The enormous mineral resources of some of these territories must be developed as quickly as possible,” the president wrote in his annual congressional speech in 1862.
In January 1864, Lincoln signed a reservation creation procedure for Navajos and Mescalero Apaches at Bosque Redondo in central New Mexico. Suffering from carleton’s mismanagement and a series of environmental disasters, reservation was a disaster from the start.
More than 8,000 people from the Navajos and Mescalero Apache tribe held there have endured bad water, exposure to elements, spoiled rations and outbreaks of disease. They called the reservation “Hwéeldi” – the land of suffering.
Reports of these circumstances sparked multiple investigations by Congress, and by 1864 Lincoln was calling for new policies that would “provide the welfare of the Indian.” But at the same time, he was calling for making the western regions “safe for settler progress.”
This conviction, that “US” lands are owned by those who extract most of their wealth, remains a collection of Republican politics today.
In spite of Sign multiple bills That backs domestic rights in December 2019, President Trump’s consistent position has been to open as much public land as possible to extractive industries. Much of this land contains important sites for indigenous communities.
Just four days after his inauguration in January 2017, Mr Trump Occurred An executive order to allow the Dakota pipeline project to move forward, despite the tumultuous years of protest from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe tribe.
The very next day, President Another request occurred Allow construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Administration Waiver Dozens of cultural and environmental laws have sent crews to build the wall through sites of historical and cultural importance to the people of Tohono O’odham, whose homeland crosses the border in Arizona. Despite Audham’s protests, the federal militarization of its territory continues unabated.
Republicans have supported these projects, and executive orders, legislation, and subsequent provisions stripped of lands that protect from national monuments (such as a large group of ears of beers in Utah), have allowed oil and gas exploration near native lands (such as the National Hovenweep Memorial in Colorado And Utah), abolishing land held in trust by the tribes (such as Mashpee Wampanoag in Massachusetts). They have repeatedly denied that indigenous peoples have land rights to which the federal government is bound.
Today, the Republicans have made themselves into an ideology of a mercy ideology that sees nothing but the wealth and power that the land can produce and ignore the legitimate owners of the land. This way – and only this way – they are indeed the Lincoln Party.
Megan Kate Nelson (megankatenelson) Is the author of “Triple War: Union, Confederation, and Indigenous Peoples in the Struggle for the West”, from which this article was adapted.