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Cruel And Inhuman Treatment Of Native Americans By The Colonists

1745 words - 7 pages

The process of assimilation, as it regards to the Native Americans, into European American society took a dreaded and long nearly 300 years. Initially, when the European’s came to the hopeful and promising land of the “New World”, they had no desire or reason anything but minimal contact with the Indians. However, starting in the 1700s the European colonists population skyrocketed. The need for more resources became evident and the colonists knew they could attain these necessities by creating a relationship of mutual benefit with the Native tribes. The Indians, at first skeptical, however became growingly open to the colonists and the relationship they were looking to attain. Indian furs were traded for colonial goods and military alliances were formed.
Unfortunately, this great relationship that was built between the natives and the colonists of mutual respect and gain was coming to a screeching halt. In the start of the 1830s, the United States government began to realize it’s newfound strength and stability. It was decided that the nation had new and growing needs and aspirations, one of these being the idea of “Manifest Destiny”. Its continuous growth in population began to require much more resources and ultimately, land. The government started off as simply bargaining and persuading the Indian tribes to push west from their homeland. The Indians began to disagree and peacefully object and fight back. The United States government then felt they had no other option but to use force. In Indian Removal Act was signed by Andrew Jackson on May 18, 1830. This ultimately resulted in the relocation of the Eastern tribes out west, even as far as to the edge of the Great Plains. A copy of this act is laid out for you in the book, The Cherokee Removal by Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green (p. 124-125). This act was not only unfair but it was cruel. “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That is shall and may be lawful for the president of the United States to cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States, west of the river Mississippi, not included in any state or organized territory, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished”(Perdue and Green 123). This act authorized the President of the United States the power to relocate all tribes to the west side of the Mississippi River. This became known as the Trail of Tears, a brutal and devastating 1200-mile journey west.
The Trail of Tears was filled with death and tragedy for the Indians tribes. Heavy rains caused them to have to drag wagons through thick mud, the food was of low quality and in low supply and disease and illness spread quickly. Death was a daily occurrence on this journey. I simply cannot imagine being kicked out of my home, but also having to leave behind a deceased loved one or family member on the side of the road. All of this was done because the European Americans needed more land....

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