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On How The American Indians Were Removed From Their Land

2314 words - 10 pages

"One by one Indian peoples were removed to the West. The Delaware, the Ottawa, Shawnee, Pawnee and Potawatomi, the Sauk and Fox, Miami and Kickapoo, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. In all some 90 thousand Indians were relocated. The Cherokee were among the last to go. Some reluctantly agreed to move. Others were driven from their homes at bayonet point. Almost two thousands of them died along the route they remembered as the Trail of Tears." For decades, the state of Georgia sought to enforce its authority over the Cherokee Nation, but its efforts had little effect until the election of President Andrew Jackson, a longtime supporter of Indian removal. In 1838 the U.S. ...view middle of the document...

The government did this because the land on which these Indians had lived for so long was valuable with gold. As Americans they thought of being superior to the Indians so the gold should be theirs. A large number of tribes were moved to the west. This is known as Andrew Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act. The Indians found it to be very difficult to be suddenly thrown away from the only place they had ever known.
Problems with the Indian society arose, such as economic depression, and they hindered their reservations. There was no good land for agriculture nor was there the knowledge of how to work with such a different irrigation system. As other factors of life approached the Indians; it became harder to act as a people, they were faced with issues like despair, disease, and alcohol. The Dawes Severalty Act was made to attempt bringing peace to their problems. This act said, “Each Native American family was offered 160 acres of tribal land to own outright. Although the land could not be sold for 25 years, these new land owners could farm it for profit like other farmers in the West.”
Americans thought that this would civilize the Indians. Missionaries tried converting the Indians to Christianity. Schools forced the children to act dress and speak like the Americans. The Indians hair was cut shorter and names were changed to fit in with the American way of life. The land that was given to the Indians by the Dawes Act was decreased as time went by and in 1934 the act was completely repealed. This caused severe distress for the Indians and alcoholism, illiteracy, poverty, and suicide rates for the Indians were higher than any of the other cultural groups in America afterward.
When it was known that the land of the Indians was very valuable the white southerners took much interest in it. The discovery of gold and the growth of cotton agriculture did not help the racial prejudice that the whites already had towards the Indians. Many people thought that the Indians were not as able and good as the Americans, President Jackson said, “Circumstances that cannot be controlled, and which are beyond the reach of human laws, render it impossible that you can flourish in the midst of a civilized community.”
When America bought the Louisiana Territory from France in 1830, President Thomas Jefferson received an opportunity he had thought about for several years. He was going to relocate the eastern tribes beyond the Mississippi River. Another President of the United States, James Monroe, wrote a letter to Andrew Jackson that stated, “I have long viewed treaties with the Indians an absurdity not to be reconciled to the principles of our government.”
The Choctaw relocation began in 1830, seven years later the Chickasaw were removed. In 1836 the Creek were removed by force that was followed by the negotiations that started in 1832. The Seminole removal triggered a 7 year war that ended in 1843. They had been given 2 years to pack and move, and...

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