Trail Of Tears Analysis

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The history regarding the treatment and abuse of the Cherokee people during the 19th century is a well researched topic of discussion. The Trail of Tears is known as the forced movement of the Cherokee people out of their homeland into what is present day Oklahoma. It was named The Trail of Tears due to the disastrous effect it had on the Cherokee people and many died of starvation along the journey. After the Civil War the Cherokee people faced the repercussions of the Dawes Act of 1887, which forced allotment of Indian territory and forced assimilation. Considering the Cherokee Women in Crisis, Carolyn Johnston focuses on the changing gender roles of Cherokee women and how their suffering differed from the men. Johnston limits the areas of…show more content…
Beginning with the Trail of Tears, Johnston rationalizes that, “the forced cession of lands were direct attacks on Cherokee women 's power,” since women were viewed as the ‘bears of life’ and as ‘cultivators of the land’ with their farming (Kindle Locations 1125-1126). Johnston’s claim is women suffered a loss of cultural identity by being separated from their land. Even though Johnston’s focus is on women’s gender roles, she also noted that men suffered a loss of masculinity by not being able to protect their families during the roundup. Both genders suffered along the Trail of Tears since neither could provide for their children, but rather depended on the rations given by soldiers. When the Cherokee arrived in Indian Territory, women returned to their provider roles. The Civil War brought more problems to the people but it also gave the women a chance to regain their roles. Johnston states, “the Civil War reinforced older Cherokee gender roles for the traditional and non-slaveholding women by emphasizing the role of men as warriors,” (Kindle Locations 1578-1579). Then Johnston reasons that perhaps the greatest challenge for women’s roles came with the mandated allotment of Cherokee land. The Cherokee live by communal land and no private ownership; forcing them to accept private and separate land from others just took another piece of their culture away from

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