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President Chester A. Arthur Aims to Turn Indians into U.S. Citizens, 1881
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||1 225|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||4|
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Most likely it is a complete document, although any kind of summary or conclusion is missing. It seemed to me, at first, as if this paper was some kind of recommendation for the American Congress - with an aim of passing a bill implementing author’s proposals (“there is imperative need for legislative action” - line 29). But in paragraph 11, Arthur mentions that his suggestions had already received to some extent a consideration by Congress (line 31), which to some extent rejects my previous thought. More probable might be, that this article was written in a form of a newspaper or a diplomatic letter, or it could be even a text of president’s public speech. The structure of the rather short text is quite simple – after the brief introduction of the topic comes the critique of old methods of dealing with the Indian problem. The main body of the paper consists of author’s proposals for the new federal actions and their reasoning. The conclusion is somehow missing. Rhetorical mode of the text is trying to be more appealing one than descriptive. We cannot find any irony, pathos or many metaphors in the text. One of the few combinations of words that I found in the paper interesting is the author’s use of the word “our” in the case of Indian problem (lines 2 and 12). On the one hand, it can state the attitude of the American president, representing the whole nation, on the other, though, it seemed to me as if he spoke only from the superior “white” side. My further impressions were evoked by the remarkable but truthful expressions used in the fifteenth paragraph. Arthur writes about Indians that “their hunting days are over”, which can be understood in the metaphorical sense, as well as in its literal meaning (consider the almost extinction of bison, for example). Later in the paragraph, author uses expression “new order of things” that describes really cardinal changes of the country after the industrial and market revolutions and the Civil War. Today’s writers would work with this idiom slightly more carefully. All in all, president Arthur supported here the new approach to dealing with the Indian problem that influenced Native Americans forever. Its consequences are rather controversial, nevertheless some facts are apparent: this tactic, hand in hand with many other factors, led to the almost total disappearance of the Native Americans’ lifestyle and culture. Therefore, by forced assimilation, brought them to the edge of extinction. On the other hand, though, it is quite natural, that the “dominant culture” one way or another wins over the other ones. In this light, Arthur’s recommendations seem at that time the only hope. As one commissioner put it in 1889: “This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best the Indian can get.
Zdroje: President Chester A. Arthur Aims to Turn Indians into U.S. Citizens, 1881