The hardships on the “trail of tears” were so great that over 4,000 Cherokees died on their heartbreaking westward journey. In conclusion, the above statement is valid and true. The decision the Jackson administration made to remove the Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River was a reformulation of the national policy. Jackson, along with past Presidents George Washington, James Monroe, and Thomas Jefferson, tried to rid the south of Indians This process of removing the native people was continuous as the years went on.
The Indian Territory was declared in the Act of Congress in 1830 with the Indian Removal Policy. Elias Boudinot, Major Ridge, and John Ridge and there corps accepted the responsibility for the removal of one of the largest tribes in the Southeast that were the earliest to adapt to European ways. There was a war involving the Cherokee and the Chickasaw before the Indian Removal Policy was passed. The Cherokee were defeated by them which caused Chief Dragging Canoe to sign a treaty in 1777 to split up their tribe and have the portion of the tribe in Chattanooga, Tennessee called the Chickamauga. Chief Doublehead of the Chickamauga, a branch of the Cherokee, signed a treaty to give away their lands.
And that is, to remove to the West and join your countrymen” (Jackson, 1835). This document worsens the more it reaches to the end. The Cherokees felt betrayed and hurt. The most hurt were the Cherokees who fought under and alongside Jackson’s army in past wars, such as the War of 1812. Once Jackson changed, the plan for the removal
As a result, the settlers wanted the government to force Native Americans to leave. Blackburn points out. “The Cherokee, which white Americans called one of the Five Civilized Tribes, considered themselves American and wanted to join the growing country as participating members” (Blackburn 53). The Cherokees made the biggest effort to live in peace, but the Europeans refused to let them stay. Secondly, Native American tribes had to walk over 900 miles just to find new homes.
It is documented that the Cherokee Indians migrated south from the Great Lakes region around the 15th century or later. The Cherokee tribe was one of the largest Native American tribes eventually settling and occupying the southeast portion of what was to become the United States. The tribe was highly religious and spiritual. They considered warfare to be a polluting act and warriors were required to go thru a purification ritual by a priest before they could reenter the Cherokee village. In 1830, the Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from their homeland by the very government the Cherokee Indians had supported during the Revolutionary War.
Maintaining large amounts of land has always been a goal for American government. During the 1830’s, vast amounts of Native Americans were being forcibly removed from their land so that the Americans could claim it as their own. With little defense compared to the Americans’ superior fire power, the Native Americans basically had no choice on whether or not they wanted to move west from their lands. One specific group of Native Americans that was unjustly removed from their lands was the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee clashed with American government and did not willfully move out of their homelands in the southeastern parts of the United States.
Georgia was the first state to develop a strong dislike for the Cherokee Indians. In 1802, Georgia began its campaign for Indian removal. The state was forced to give up some of its land including parts of Alabama and Mississippi and was given money to compensate for the land. The United States government promised to remove all Indians off the new boundaries as soon as it could be done peacefully and reasonably (Green and Perdue 71). The state of Georgia became frustrated as several years passed and the Indians still occupied land that belonged to the state.
Trail of Tears Within United States History, there has been some horrible discrimination upon certain races of people. At the trail of tears native Americans were persecuted against heavily. Until 1828 the federal government had Cherokee rights to their land and in that same year Andrew Jackson was elected president and this all ended. On September 15, 1830, at Little Dancing Rabbit Creek, the Chiefs of tribes and representatives of the United States met to discuss a bill recently passed by the Congress. This day started with all the same good intentions of those today but ended with only a few Native Americans signing the treaty which allowing for the removal of all Indian peoples to the west of the Mississippi River.
Whites thought Indians were savages or odd people and they had all the lands. Georgia wanted the federal government to give land to the Cherokee in the Appalachian Mountain and the government approved Georgia’s request. In 1817 6,000 Cherokee were convinced by Jackson to move voluntarily to the Arkansas Territory, but most of them refused. When Jackson was elected as a President, he was committed to move the Cherokee by force. After that, congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and the other Indians tribes went, but the Cherokee planned to stay and fight back politically and legally.
The Cherokee Victory The Cherokee Indians, the most cooperative and accommodating to the political institutions of the united states, suffered the worst fate of all Native Americans when voluntarily or forcibly moved west. In 1827 the Cherokees attempted to claim themselves as an independent nation within the state of Georgia. When the legislature of the state extended jurisdiction over this ‘nation,’ the Cherokees sought legal actions, not subject to Georgia laws and petitioned the United States Supreme Court. The case became known as Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia in 1831. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall denied their claim as a republic within Georgia, he then deemed the Cherokee as a ‘domestic dependent nation’.