President Grant’s “Peace Policy” aimed at minimizing military conflict with the American Indians and was directed towards the Indians’ civilization. According to Grant’s “Peace Policy,” the Indians were to live on reservations, where the government would supply them with training and subsidies, under the supervision of various religious denominations (Sim, 2008). However, the primary goal of President Grant’s “Peace Policy” was the assimilation or integration of the Indians into the American larger society through the issuance of citizenship (Debo & Tatum, 1974).
One way President Grant’s “Peace Policy” was different from the previous policies is that it considered the wars of extermination that characterized the previous policy as demoralizing and wicked. In fact, statistical data reveals the Indian wars reduced significantly during President Grant’s two terms compared to previous years (Debo & Tatum, 1974). Additionally, unlike previous policy, President Grant’s “Peace Policy” lobbied to preserve the Native American lands from the intrusion by Western expansionism (Debo & Tatum, 1974).
President Grant’s “Peace Policy” changed the thinking about the place of Indians in the American society by creating the impression of the likelihood of Indians being granted American citizenship and making them permanent members of the broader American society (Sim, 2008). Besides, it led to the creation of the Board of Indian Commissioners, which suggested the Indian’s integration into American society (Sim, 2008).
President Grant’s “Peace Policy” influenced the subsequent policies towards Native Americans by focusing on recognizing the civil rights of the Native Americans, including the 1924’s decision to offer them full citizenship (Sim, 2008). It also made it easy for the subsequent policies to consider various interests of Native Americans, such as their full participation in voting (Sim, 2008).
Debo, A., & Tatum, L. (1974). Our red brothers and the peace policy of President Ulysses S. Grant. American Indian Quarterly, 1(2), 126. https://doi.org/10.2307/1183901
Sim, D. (2008). The peace policy of Ulysses S. Grant. American Nineteenth Century History, 9(3), 241-268. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664650802408476