During the 1820’s, as the eastern population grew, southern states urged the federal government to remove Indians from their lands. The government tried to appease the southern states by proposing treaties with the tribes. The Indians felt that the land was rightfully theirs, so they did not agree to these treaties. Since the Indians were not agreeing with the government, President Andrew Jackson approved and signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act allowed the president exchange Indian lands for land west of the Mississippi River.
This resulted in the Georgia Gold Rush. Nardo emphasizes that “By the 1840s, more than sixty thousand Native Americans had been removed from the Eastern United States” (Nardo 17). The Europeans did not just want the Native American land, but they did not want to live close by them. The article “An American Betrayal Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears” mentions, “Numerous little-known Europeans also emerged as brave defenders.” (17). As a result, the settlers wanted the government to force Native Americans to leave.
Throughout the history of the United States we have seen a huge clash of cultures between the European settlers and the Indians. It is obvious that the Indian people were stripped of everything they had, and forced to leave the land they cherished and lived on. One of the most important times to recall regarding this clash is the day of May 28, 1830, the day the Indian Removal Act was passed. This one law that was passed effectively allowed congress, and the president of the United States (Andrew Jackson) to begin negotiations for Indian land in the southern part of the county, in an effort to start moving the Indian people westward. The desire for land was the primary reason for Indian removal, and in the early 1600’s English settlers established colonies at Jamestown, Plymouth, and other locations.
Georgia was the first state to develop a strong dislike for the Cherokee Indians. In 1802, Georgia began its campaign for Indian removal. The state was forced to give up some of its land including parts of Alabama and Mississippi and was given money to compensate for the land. The United States government promised to remove all Indians off the new boundaries as soon as it could be done peacefully and reasonably (Green and Perdue 71). The state of Georgia became frustrated as several years passed and the Indians still occupied land that belonged to the state.
Most whites felt that the Indian’s attempts weren’t good enough. In 1828, Georgia Legislature declared the Cherokee tribal council illegal. It asserted its own rule over Indian affairs and lands. The Cherokees appealed this move to the Supreme Court, which said Georgia’s move was unconstitutional. President Jackson wanted to open Indian lands to white settlement, and refused to recognize the Court’s decision.
The reaction among Indian tribes clearly shows that the Indians felt the forced relocation was a violation of their rights; the response by the Americans reveals their unethical tactics used to take away the Native Americans’ rights. The Cherokee and the Seminole, two groups of the Five Civilized Tribes who were both affected greatly, chose to react in different ways, contrasting deeply from the other affected groups. The Cherokee resisted the removal of their tribe by using the governmental laws. Georgia planned for their removal in order to collect the gold found on their land. In 1830, Georgia wanted to regain control of the Cherokee.
Once the United States purchased Louisiana from the French in 1803, Americans began to encroach into the Indian lands of the south and west which led to more battles between the two groups, until Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forcibly removed Indians out of their lands in the southeast and into the western territories. These policies continued until the Civil War. Due to the Civil War, westward expansion slowed down which gave the Indians more autonomy and less interaction with the American settlers. The high cost of the war, high casualties, and fear of a split nation forced President Lincoln and Congress to ignore the Indian problem for some time. The signing of the Homestead Act of 1862 and the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 by President Lincoln had severe impacts on the Indians and their new western territories (Black).
...Shortly after this, the true intentions of the United States became to show and it became apparent that embracing civilization would only hurt the Cherokee. The state of Georgia began removing the Cherokee, but the United States still kept their word and attempted to help the Cherokee to keep their homes. Andrew Jackson was elected as President and the Cherokee had no hope. President Jackson put forth the Indian Removal Act and by the summer of 1838 the Cherokee were completely moved west of the Mississippi River. The Cherokee leaders only hurt their people by embracing civilization.
Geologists discovered deposits of gold during this time and word of this brought an invasion of miners and entrepreneurs to the Black Hills in direct violation of the Treaty of 1868. The U.S. negotiated with the Lakota on a purchase price for the Black Hill’s but was rejected. The winter of 1875 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs issued an ultimatum requiring all Sioux to report to a reservation by January 31, 1876. This ultimatum was ignored by the tribes, at this moment it was turned over to be handled by the military. It was the militaries assumption that the Indians would flee to the reservations and the few Indians who were encountered would be dealt with swiftly by a superior force.
In a letter to George Washington, Knox says we should first is to destroy the Indians with an army, and the second is to make peace with them. The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act of 1793 began to put Knox’s plan into effect. The federal government’s promise of supplying the Indians with animals, agricultural tool... ... middle of paper ... ... the unwilling tribes west of the Mississippi. In Jackson’s letter to General John Coffee on April 7, 1832, he explained that the Cherokees were still in Georgia, and that they ought to leave for their own benefit because destruction will come upon them if they stay. By 1835, most eastern tribes had unwillingly complied and moved west.