1885 - Congress passes Major Crimes Act

        When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal and territorial courts did not have jurisdiction to try an Indian for the murder of another Indian on a reservation, Congress responded by passing the Major Crimes Act of 1885.  The act defined nine major crimes, and later expanded the original nine to fifteen, denying to Indians the very 'inalienable rights' that had sparked the War of Independence from King George III in 1776. 


for a detailed look at this act, click here