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Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal 1980 DBQ

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Born March 15, 1767 on the Carolina frontier, Andrew Jackson would eventually rise from poverty to politics after the War of 1812 where he earned national fame as a military hero. Jackson won the popular vote in the 1829 election and became the seventh United States President. As President, Jackson sought out to be a representative of the common man. Jackson remarks in his veto message of July 10, 1832 that, “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” Andrew Jackson put in place the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act forced Natives off their homelands and onto the lands west of the Mississippi River. They encountered a journey, called the Trail of Tears, where they traveled by foot to what would be their new homes, which transformed the lives of thousands of Native Americans. The President’s intentions were to move all Natives west of the Mississippi River to open up the land to American settlers.
“The decision of the Jackson administration to remove the Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River in the 1830’s was [less] a reformulation of the national policy that had been in effect since the 1790’s [and more] a change in that policy.”

The validity of this generalization can be evidenced by the moral, political, constitutional and practical concerns that shaped national Indian policy between 1789 and the mid-1830’s.
Andrew Jackson believed that the only way to save the Natives from extinction was to remove them from their current homes and push them across the Mississippi River. “And when removal was accomplished he felt he had done the American people a great service. He felt he had followed the ‘dictates of humanity’ and saved the Indi...

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...tes which could not have happened if they stayed under state laws.
Under the Jackson Administration, the changes made shaped national Indian policy. Morally, Andrew Jackson dismissed prior ideas that natives would gradually assimilate into white culture, and believed that removing Indians from their homes was the best answer for both the natives and Americans. Politically, before Jackson treaties were in place that protected natives until he changed those policies, and broke those treaties, violating the United States Constitution. Under Jackson’s changes, the United States effectively gained an enormous amount of land. The removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi River in the 1830’s changed the national policy in place when Jackson became President as evidenced by the moral, political, constitutional, and practical concerns of the National Indian Policy.
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