The Fort Laramie Treaty 1851 is considered to have engraved its name in the history of the United States of America. It is because of the fact that the European tribes were lured by the promised held by ongoing gold rush in California. In order to pursue their dreams they had to traverse through the territories occupied by the Indian tribes. It is, but obvious that this resulted in untold number of bloodbaths and immense human misery. In order to curb the animosity between the two groups the U.S government decided to strike upon a truce with the native Indians.
The Fort Laramie Treaty 1851 is, indeed considered to be a diplomatic move made by the U.S government to foster peace between the two racially different groups of people. In a bid to create a safe passage for the European American miners and settlers towards California the U.S government also promised the Indian tribes that their sovereignty and integrity would remain untouched. Also, they would be in position to retain their customs and traditions without any kind of external interference. The new relationship between the two different ethnic groups was carefully documented and became an integral part of the National Archives.
The Fort Laramie Treaty 1851 is a comprehensive instrument which encompasses eight articles, a preamble and a testimonium. The preamble was documented in 100 words which is comparatively a long one. It is, however, noted for clarity of intention and purpose. It is also indicative of the fact that the entire text is direct and has retained its focus. Among the eight Articles, the fifth one clearky defines the geographical ambits of Sioux, Crow, Blackfoot, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Mndan, Arikara, Gros Ventre and Assiniboine. The concluding remark also corroborates the rights and claims of the Indian tribes regarding fishing, transit and hunting.
Incidentally, all the articles addressed the following issues:
- There would be amity and peace among the existing tribes.
- The federal government would exercise its authority in the construction of roads, railways and forts inside the Indian territories.
- The federal government would take measures to protect the Indian tribes from further depredations.
- The Indian tribes would also take pledges so as to refrain themselves from indulging in further arson and depredations.
- The Indian tribes would retain their authorities within the parameters of their territories. Also, they would refrain from indulging in any kinds of encroachments into the territorial domains of the other Indian tribes.
- Each tribe would be represented by a chief. The natives would be expected to accept and respect the suzerainty of their chieftains. The appointed chiefs would partake in future negotiations with the U.S government.
- The amount and duration of the annuity amount payable was to be specified. Initially, the U.S government agreed to pay $ 50,000 per annum to the tribes for 50 years. Later, however, the Senate amended the clauses of the treaty and stated that the stipulated amount would be paid only upto 10 years.
- The treaty also specified the conditions under which the payment of annuity amount could be suspended.
Thus, it must be concluded that the Fort Laramie Treaty 1851 is copious with discrepancies.