Native Americans And The Cherokee Indians Essay

Native Americans And The Cherokee Indians Essay

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Sabrina Caldwell
Laura Baker
October 25, 2015
Cherokee Removal

As Americans sought to expand their settlements into Cherokee land, the Cherokee faced three choices: assimilate, leave their native land, or defend their sovereignty. The Cherokee Indians had lived on these lands of thousands of years before the colonist claimed it for the United States. Five million acres of land in Georgia was trying to be peaceably obtained from the Indians. The Cherokee Indians having already given portions of their lands in numerous Georgia treaties wanted to hold onto what little land they had left. When the Americans continued to occupy land that they believed they deserved the Cherokee Indians were left with no alternative but to try to defend their sovereignty. The Supreme Court had affirmed that the native nations were sovereign nations. This ruling was really the only hope that the Cherokee’s had for fighting the white settlement movement.
George Washington first believed in making the Native Americans civilized. The Native Americans were encouraged to become Christians, learn to read and speak English, send their children to school, and change their government and society. Senator Frelinghuisen of New Jersey claimed in a speech that the Indians had successfully been taught to understand the blessings of a civilization and its government. He voiced to the general government that if Indian tribes chose to remain they should be protected against encroachment so that they could be peaceful neighbors (194). Furthermore, the Petition of the Cherokee Woman clearly describes their willingness to take up the American culture and begged the council to not take any more of their land. They pleaded for their chance to enlarge their farms and raise...

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... and force Native Americans to leave the land for their own quest for fortunes. So sadly the only true option they had was to hope that the U.S government would have a conscious and fallow through with the promises and treaties that they had made.
The Cherokee faced three choices: assimilate, leave their native land, or defend their sovereignty. Unfortunately none of these choices would guarantee success for the Cherokee nation. In the end the Americans claimed that the Cherokee removal was the most humane alternative. Even Thomas Jefferson would change his position and “the principle author of The Declaration of Independence came to believe that the Native American people could not live alongside white people without abandoning their own culture” (211). So a nation built on the belief of human rights was built by denying Cherokee Indians their born sovereignty.

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