Indian Removal (Zinn Chapter 7)
Once the white men decided that they wanted lands belonging to the Native Americans (Indians), the United States Government did everything in its power to help the white men acquire Indian land. The US Government did everything from turning a blind eye to passing legislature requiring the Indians to give up their land (see Indian Removal Bill of 1828). Aided by his bias against the Indians, General Jackson set the Indian removal into effect in the war of 1812 when he battled the great Tecumseh and conquered him.
Then General, later to become President, Jackson began the later Indian Removal movement when he conquered Tecumseh’s allied Indian nation and began distributing their lands (of which he invested heavily in). Jackson became the leader of the distribution of Indian lands and distributed them in unequal ways. In 1828 when Jackson was running for President his platform was based upon Indian Removal, a popular issue which was working its way through Congress in the form of a Bill. Jackson won a sweeping victory and began to formulate his strategies which he would use in an "Indian Removal campaign". In 1829, upon seeing that his beloved Bill was not being enforced Jackson began dealing with the Indian tribes and offering them "untouchable" tracts of lands west of the Mississippi River if they would only cede their lands to the US and move themselves there. Jackson was a large fan of states rights-ism, hence he vetoed the charter for the Bank of the United States, and when faced with two issues concerning states rights (one with South Carolina regarding succession, one with Georgia regarding the Indians) he went with the suppression of South Carolina and gave Georgia all out support. When faced with the decision of Union or Indians he went with the Union and oppressed the Indians.
The Executive branch wasn’t the only part of government which suppressed the Indians, the Legislative branch also suppressed them. In 1828 Congress passed the Indian Removal Bill which forced the Indians in the south to relocate or "be subjected to state laws."
This Bill was strongly opposed by the north while it was supported by the south. The Bill, which barely passed it both House and Senate, was a support for the popular distribution of fertile Indian lands. The United States government was lured into the...