Militarization in order to Americanize Indians

As militarism flourished throughout European history and into the early American colonial period, it led to the militarization of America. In the nineteenth century, American militarism demonstrated the United States' military control over civilians, whereas, American militarization illustrated a social process of preparing for war and altering one's identity. Militarism and militarization were especially evident in the way the United States handled Indian affairs. American civil-military relations and federal Indian policy coincided in formulating a unique institution called the Indian boarding school. Analysis makes it clear that the Indian boarding school was a consummation of both American militarism and American militarization. This study focuses on the process of exalting military ideologies and practices as part of the process of transforming "Indians" into "Americans." The Indian boarding schools resembled U.S. military organizations but held one major distinction. Indian children did not voluntarily enlist, instead they were forcefully enrolled into the federal governments' militaristic, educational system. Based upon the records of Indian experiences, the circumstances of forced enrollment were detrimental.


Tom Holm





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 R41m
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences