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The Cherokee Tribe of the Southern United States

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The Cherokee tribe resided in the Southeastern United States as Native Americans that ultimately assimilated into a surprisingly civilized, agricultural-based society. Some white Americans met Cherokee assimilation with reluctance. They believed in the futility of Cherokee assimilation and supported the relocation of the Cherokee to lands ceded by the Louisiana Purchase. The Cherokee resisted these demands. Tensions rose over who had jurisdiction to define which lands belonged to whom. People were split between those who favored Cherokee removal and those who did not. The Cherokee should not be removed from their lands because they own their land by right, they have integrated themselves into white society more efficiently than they have been given credit for, removal is a morally wrong act, and the removal is based on an invalid treaty.
The Cherokee should not have to relocate because they have made great strides and have great potential with regard to assimilation in western society. Theodore Frelinghuysen claims the Cherokee have “resolved to become men, rational, educated, Christian men; [succeeding] beyond our most sanguine hopes.” With the development of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah caused the literacy rate within the tribe to rise steeply. This quickened civilizing efforts. Dual English and Cherokee newspapers popped up, lessening the gap between both cultures.1 Women adapted to weaving their own cloth. Men cooperatively worked on farms, realizing growing their own food yielded more output than hunting game.2 Natives flocked to Christian churches and embraced a pious life.1 Education played a considerable role in the lives of young people, kids challenged to balance both school, church, and farm.2 Finally, the Cherok...

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... the next generation to be productive members of society. It is wrong to take their land away from them—on the mere whim of a few select people—when they are so attached and have put so much of their life in it. John Ross said it best when he wrote Jackson “women and children… suffering with cold & hunger, for no crime, but, because they did not love their Country less.” Since the Trail of Tears the declining population of the Cherokee reestablished their presence in the lands west of the Mississippi River. The Cherokee method of fighting back never relied on violence. These teachings of nonviolent resistance and petition formed the backbone of social movements like the African Americans fight for civil rights in the 1960s. Bus boycotts that protested the segregation of public transportation were dangerous but the solidarity found in racial unity kept people going.
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