The Tragedy of the Trail of Tears

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To many the trail of tears has no meaning or relevance in their life, but for some the Trail of Tears has great meaning since many of the native ancestors endured the hardships of this time. In the 1830s, Native Americans occupied many acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida. The main reason for the Trail of Tears was because the Americans wanted the Indians’ land for themselves so they could raise their cattle, and because of the good soil so they could grow and harvest crops. Their ancestors had lived on and cultivated this land for generations, and by the end of that generation very few Native Americans remained anywhere in the Southeastern United States. Many think that The Trail of Tears was just the “Five Civilized Tribes”, but there were many other smaller tribes involved too. Some tribes agreed to sign, and others were forced into it, but either way it went they all had to leave. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation on their way to their destinations, making The Trail of Tears one of the greatest hardships in Native American history. In 1830, the President of the United States Andrew Jackson issued an order for the removal of the Native Americans, which passed through both houses of Congress. “When Andrew Jackson became president (1829–1837), he decided to build a systematic approach to Indian removal on the basis of these legal precedents.” (William. Pg 5). It gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. Under these treaties, the Indians were to give up their lands east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands to the west. “Thomas Jefferson was the original instigator of the idea of removing a... ... middle of paper ... .... White settlers began to resent the Cherokees. Pressure was put on the tribe to voluntarily move, but their homeland, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama they have lived here for generations and they did not want to move. In Conclusion, The Trail of Tears was a very low point in Native Americans history. Works Cited De Rosier, Arthur H. Jr. The Removal of the Choctaw Indians. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville; 1970 Gloria Jahoda. The Trail of Tears. New York: Wing Books. 1975 Herman A. Peterson. The Trail of Tears. Lanham: The Scare Crow Press, Inc. 2011 Hicks, Brain. The Holdouts. Smithsonian 41.11 (2011): 50-60. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 Nov. 2013 Trail of Tears. A&E Television Networks. Nov. 8, 2013. 2013 William T. Hagan. Taking Indian Lands. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 2003
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