Oklahoma Enabling Act
In the wake of the Land Rush, greater numbers of settlers were living in the Indian-Oklahoma Territories than ever before. Calls from these settlers soon followed for the territory to be admitted into the Unites States, relying on the inclusion of Kansas in 1861 and Arkansas earlier in 1836 as precedence. At the same time Oklahoma Territory vied for inclusion, so too did Indian Territory, which was composed of the Seminole, Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations. The motion to make Indian Territory the next U.S. State of Sequoya, led by the “Five Civilized Tribes” ultimately failed, but interest in incorporating the territories for the benefit of the federal government and non-Indian settlers persisted. Finally, on June 16th, 1906 the Enabling Act was passed by Congress and required the laws of the United States be reflected in Oklahoma Territory. It established public schools and laid out judicial districts for a State Supreme Court, laying the groundwork for future incorporation. While the Enabling Act established a framework for Oklahoma statehood, it undermined the sovereignty of tribes like the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and others in what, by 1907, would be the State of Oklahoma.
Books & Articles:
- Ellinger, Charles. Political and Economic Influences On the Statehood Movement in Oklahoma. 1960. Masters Thesis, University of Oklahoma.
- Prucha, Francis Paul. The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians. University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
- Wardell, Morris L., and Edward Everett Dale. History of Oklahoma, by Edward Everett Dale … and Morris L. Wardell .. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1948.