Indian Betrayal

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Indian Betrayal

Looking back at the history of the United States, there are many instances and issues concerning race and ethnicity that shape the social classes that make up the United States today. There are many stories concerning the American Indian that are filled with betrayal, but there is probably none more cruel and shameful as the removal of the Cherokee Indians in 1838. Blood thirsty for money and property, the white settlers would soon use dirty methods to drive the Cherokee out of their home- lands. The United States government played a critical role in the removal of the Cherokee. “Soon the state governments insisted on the removal of the native peoples, who were already out numbered by the white settlers and considered to be uncivilized “heathens,” not worthy of the land they held” (Sherman 126). This was the attitude of the white settlers. Because of the color of their skin, they spoke a different language, and they were not accustomed to the white mans’ way of life, the Cherokee people suffered many great afflictions even unto death.

The white settlers coveted the land of the Cherokee Indians for a couple of different reasons. First, the Cherokee Indians occupied the mountains and valleys of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. This land was very fertile and the Cherokee Indians had become proficient farmers. “Cotton quickly was becoming king in the south, and the Indians occupied land suitable for cotton growing” (Perdue 54). The white man discovered that an abundance of gold could be found in Georgia, the heart of the Cherokee territory. With this knowledge they would soon use cruel and brutal tactics in attempt to drive the Cherokee out of their land.

Many ...

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...inia: Time-Life Books, 1994

Ehle, John. Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. New York: Anchor Press, 1988.

Kelly, Laurence C. Federal Indian Policy. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990.

Mancini, Richard E. Indians of the Southeast. New York: Benford Books, 1992.

Matthessen, Peter. Indian Country. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.

Oswalt, Wendell H. This Land Was Theirs. California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1998

Perdue, Theda. The Cherokee. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989.

Sherman, Josepha. The First Americans: Spirit of the Land and the People. New York: Smithmark, 1996.

Steele, Ian K. Warpaths: Invasions of North America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Wilkins, Thurman. Cherokee Tragedy. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.
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