The once great tribes of Native Americans are now all gone from the land in which their forefathers were born in. This act of ethnic-cleansing was called the Indian Removal Act. This law authorized the removal of Native Americans to move to the west of the Mississippi River in exchange for land. Although this act lead to the growth of America, the Native Americans shouldn’t have had to relocate. The Native Americans shouldn’t have relocated because they were becoming more civilized, because they were on the land first, and they were not safely transported as the government promised.
The policy was seen as a way to rid the United States of “a population of useless and bothersome” (p.15) people. I pose the question, what evidence is there to support the idea that the Indians were in fact “useless and bothersome”? The United States disregarded the treaties that had already been signed to ensure safety for the Indians. The Americans were simply greedy people who wanted more land even though they had not yet fully occupied the land they possessed. If the Indians were not dominant or superior why would the Americans go through the trouble of confirming treaties for Indian land?
The United States were pushing the Cherokee tribe to become civilized. Many Cherokee Indians were against the civilization because they did not fully trust the United States, or its government. The Cherokee leader, Young Wolf, did not listen to those against civilization and chose to embrace civilization with the United States. The goal of embracing the civilization was to keep the land the Cherokee had, east of the Mississippi River. This plan seemed as if it could only help the Cherokee, but in fact it hurt them because of the greed of the United States to have all the land to themselves.
The Indians during this time were forced to accept the Europeans establishing new territories, even if they did not belong to them. As the Indian populations continued to decrease, some Indians intermarried with the Europeans and even the Africans to try and boost the population once again. This of course produced mixed children who were confused and could not decide which culture they would accept. This mix of people changed the ways of living for the Native Americans as well as the Europeans throughout early America. It is obvious to me that land was the largest reason for war among the Indians and the Europeans.
With the expansion of the country, the white Americans decided that they needed the Natives out. There were several motives for the removal of the Indians from their lands, to include racism and land lust. Since they first arrived, the white Americans hadn’t been too fond of the Native Americans. They were thought to be highly uncivilized and they had to go. In his letter to Congress addressing the removal of the Indian tribes, President Jackson states the following: “It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.” (Jackson).
Jacksonian Democracy Between the years of 1775 and 1825, the United States government was hypocritical with respect to their Native American policy. The government, at most times, claimed to be acting in the best interest of the Native Americans. They claimed that their actions were for the benefit of not only their own citizens, but for the Native Americans, too. These beneficial actions included relocation from their homeland, murder in great numbers, rape, and a complete disregard for the various cultures represented by the Native Americans. While the nation was still very young, it issued the Northwest Ordinance.
Narváez travelled to the New World with the expectations of easily exploiting the land and the people. However, his dream was ultimately a failure. The conquistadors were surprised that the natives had developed political and economic systems, contradicting the European belief that the ‘savages’ were “incapable of conquering nature.” Similarly, the Cherokees in Jacksonland created their own independent state in Georgia, adopting American political values. The Indigenous groups in both works mirrored European and American society yet they were subject to racism. Euro-Americans argued that the ‘Indian’s’ savagery impeded American prosperity.
Red Cloud and Flyi... ... middle of paper ... ...se of these documents was to tell their recollections of the events that took place about Native Americans in their time period. Red Cloud and Flying Hawk’s speech was aimed at a world audience or anyone who would listen to their sufferings whereas Helen Jackson’s book was toward the government of the United States. In conclusion, the natives were horribly treated; the government took from them everything and forced them to join the American culture. The natives had no rights or liberty, and had their dignity taken away. The government broke promises and only did things if it made a profit.
Reflecting on the colonization of North America is an uneasy topic for most Americans. The thought of war between the Indians and the early settlers creates an image of clashing cultures between the well-armed Europeans and the hand-crafted weaponry of the native Indians. We tend to have the perception that the early colonists came and quickly took away the land from the Indians but, in reality, the Europeans did not have this power. Though French explorers and English settlers had a different perception of land ownership than that of the Native Americans, the fate of the Europeans rested in the hands of the Indians. Either from self-preservation, civility or curiosity, various American Indian tribes assisted the early European colonies through the sharing of resources, by befriending them as allies and, ultimately, by accepting them as permanent neighbors.
He and other Indians tribes wanted to sue the military to repel whites who were gradually coming into Ohio and Indiana, which would defend Indian land and culture. Even though the Indians reaped many benefits from their interactions with American citizens, Americans never respected Indians. They traded with them because they wanted money and made Indians weaker and more dependent on them. They also viewed them as enemies and they wanted to take land away from them, and these goals ultimately came to fruition as the 19th century wore on. Therefore, although the Indians may have benefitted from some aspects of their relationship with white Americans, they still ended up losing more than they gained in the arrangement.