The Impact of the Indian Removal Act on Eastern Native American Tribes

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The United States expanded rapidly in the years immediately prior to and during the Jackson Presidency as settlers of European descent began to move west of their traditional territories. White settlers were highly interested in gaining Native American land and urged the federal government to allow them to obtain it. President Andrew Jackson encouraged Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which gave the federal government the authority to move consenting eastern Native American tribes west of the Mississippi River. It has been debated whether the Indian Removal Act benefitted or harmed the welfare of Native Americans, and it can be argued that the Indian Removal Act of 1830 had an extremely negative impact on the eastern Native American tribes that relocated west of the Mississippi River. President Jackson abused the rights provided to Native Americans under the act, which meant they were not given legal protection when they were being oppressed by white settlers or the government. The passage of the Indian Removal Act also led to the Trail of Tears, which led to the decimation of several eastern Native American tribes.

President Jackson took action which extended beyond the power given to him by the Indian Removal Act and infringed upon the rights given to Native Americans under the legislation. Jackson forced Native American tribes to relocate even though doing so was listed as voluntary under the act, and behaved corruptly in order to pressure tribes into giving up their land. “Numerous contemporary witnesses provide damning testimony regarding fraud, coercion, corruption, and malfeasance both in the negotiation of removal treaties and in their execution. In their zeal to secure removal treaties, agents of the Ja...

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