Front Page Titles (by Subject) U.S. Pacification of the Hopi - Literature of Liberty, Summer 1981, vol. 4, No. 2
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U.S. Pacification of the Hopi - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Summer 1981, vol. 4, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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U.S. Pacification of the Hopi
“Evangelists, Educators, Ethnographers, and the Establishment of the Hopi Reservation.” The Journal of Arizona History 21 (Winter 1980): 363–390.
Historians have heretofore described the establishment of the Hopi Reservation in the Arizona Territory by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882 as a reaction to two outside pressures. The first was the migration of the nomadic Navajo who had begun to settle on traditional Hopi lands. The second was the beginning of Mormon settlements near the reservation. The Navajo threats to Hopi crops and livestock, compounded by the prevailing hostility to the spread of Mormonism, led Indian agents to “recommend that a reservation, of sufficient extent...to meet their wants, be at once set apart by the Government for them before any further encroachments be made upon the domain which they have so long occupied.”
There is little reason to doubt that these factors played a role in the decision to set up the Hopi (Moqui) Reservation. McCluskey's search through manuscript records shows, however, that the immediate cause that instigated the action was a dispute between partisans of missionary Charles A. Taylor and former government Indian agent John H. Sullivan over the execution of Indian policy at the Hopi Agency.
The Indian policy of the 1870s and 1880s had been formulated during President U.S. Grant's administration (1869–1877) as an attempt to pacify the Indians with civilian rather than military means. The nomadic lifestyle of most native tribes caused continuous conflict with the expanding farms and ranches of the Anglo-American settlers, and the inevitable collision threatened to lead to the physical extermination of the Indians. The framers of the “peace policy” envisioned forcing them on reservations where they would be educated in the ways of white farmers during the transition from paganism, tribalism, and communal economy to Christianity, civilization, and individual homestead title to land.
The chosen instruments of the peace policy were to be Indian agents appointed by the President and the Senate on the basis of nominations by missionary groups; each tribe was assigned to a specific religious domination. In the 1870s scarcely anyone seriously considered, let along advocated, the preservation of Indian cultures in their pristine state. Sympathy for Indian culture, criticism of Anglo-American ways, and pessimism regarding the possibility of an immediate transformation of the Indians was perceived by some as a direct challenge to the government's Indian policy.
A long drawn out struggle for control of the Hopi Agency ensued between the enthusiastic and ethnocentric missionary Charles A. Taylor and the more sympathetic Indian agent John H. Sullivan, who advocated tolerant and slowly-evolving policies of assimilation for the Indians. On a more abstract level this conflict reflected the differing views of the participants on the proper relations between church and state, on the methods and goals of civilizing the Indians, and even on the ethnocentric assumptions underlying the government's Indian policy. The Indian Bureau's response in establishing the Hopi Reservation can be seen as a prime example of a bureaucracy making a fundamental decision in an atmosphere of crisis. This atmosphere did not arise out of an urgent need to protect the Hopi from Navajo and white settlers, but out of a need to protect the bureaucracy itself from those outsiders (Indian sympathizers) who might interfere with the agent's execution of its policies.
With the eventual dissolution of the agency and the establishment of the reservation, the Hopi were afforded a brief respite from the activities of teachers and missionaries. During this time they could begin to come to grips with Anglo-American culture on their own terms. The goals of the peace policy were not to be achieved in a short time by Taylor's methods of shaming the Indian to abandon his ways. Rather, a slow process of giving positive example was required. The peace policy proposed evangelizing and educating the Indians to free them from the ties of family, clan, and ritual society and to convert them into competitive individuals. The government framers of the peace ignored the reality, however, that not only the Indians but also Anglos found their main source of social and economic support within extended families and their secondary bases of support within the community of a religious society. Among the Hopi such close ties, traditional religion, tribal organization and customs, and communal land holding still endure today. However, despite recurring Hopi resistance, the government Indian Bureau was on the reservation to stay, and the program of “civilizing” began in earnest.