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Native American Indians believed freedom meant the ability to continue their traditions by keeping their ancestral lands and practicing their religious beliefs as they saw fit. These freedoms did not mix well with this new white American society and culture that forced its way into their lives. The U.S. Government believed that Native Americans should trade their religion, property and way of life for Christian adoration, private property ownership, and agricultural work on reservations with men working in the fields and women doing house work.
One of the major reasons whites constantly clashed with their Native American neighbors was their desire, or lack thereof, to become a part of American society. Native Americans did not want to be forced to speak the English language or dress like white people. Often, the effort to not conform backfired, as the American Government moved to create Indian Schools in which the natives were made to forget their language and cultural traditions. Many white Americans felt that they were superior to Native Americans, thus, not allowing them to obtain citizenship unless they bought it by obtaining land.

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