The Dawes Act was enacted by the Federal Government in 1887 in order to evict Indians from their tribal ancestral lands. The Federal Government did this because American citizens wanted to settle in the west, which was already occupied by the Indians. The Federal Government has a greater obligation over American Citizens rather than Indians. Therefore, they decided that the best case scenario was to evict the Indians. The Indians refused to be removed from their ancestral lands and fought back. Eventually, after a degree of fighting and deaths, the American Government put all of the Indians, except those who were willing to become American citizens, onto reservations. This information enhances the meaning of the document because it provides background information as to why the law was placed into effect. The document itself explains what the law did; it does not explain why it was enacted or the effects on the Indians after they were relocated. If you just read a law with no background information as to why it was passed or the result, the document doesn’t mean as much. You would see that the Indians were removed, but you would wonder why as well as the outcome.
The Dawes Act – http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=50&page=transcript