General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) dissolves Reservations

Tribal reservations are forcibly divided into small individual allotments, which are offered to any American Indian man, woman, or child willing to denounce their tribal life. The Dawes Act devastates the Reservation system, breaking up tribes and allowing White settlers to buy land left over after allotments have been made. Under the Act's terms, American Indians could become citizens twenty years after accepting their land allotments, at which point farming life would have made them "civilized."