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Native American Perspective On Indian Removal Act

958 words - 4 pages

In May 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act which forced Native American tribes to move west. Some Indians left swiftly, while others were forced to to leave by the United States Army. Some were even taken away in chains. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, strongly reinforced this act. In the Second State of the Union Address, Jackson advocated his Indian Policy. There was controversy as to whether the removal of the Native Americans was justified under the administration of President Andrew Jackson. In my personal opinion, as a Native American, the removal of the tribes was not in any way justified.

The removal of the Native Americans was an egocentric move on Jackson’s part. Jackson was only able to see how our removal would benefit the government but was not concerned at all about our values and culture. “It puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the general and state governments on account of the Indians” (91). This statement, included in the State of the Union Address, exhibits how Jackson was quick to place blame on the Indians. He was basically saying that if there were any disputes between the general and state governments, it would be because of the Indian’s choice to not leave the land. Jackson was attempting to hold the Indians accountable for a matter that they had no say in. It is evident that Jackson could have are less about the Indian’s home land, where we were birthed and raised our kids. It is clear that the sentimental value of the land did not concern Jackson at all. Jackson felt that he offered us an equitable exchange, but his family was not the one being forcefully removed from their birthland to go to an unfamiliar land. “What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms, embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than twelve million happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion” (93). Jackson felt the removal of the Cherokees from our land was justified because the government was paying for everything. Money can not compensate for the blood that was shed by our ancestors.

When some Indian tribes did not leave the land, federal troops came to Georgia to remove the tribes forcibly. Cherokees resisted leaving their land until the bitter finish. Cherokees were marched by gunpoint which was known as the infamous Trail of Tears. Many died due to the horrid conditions, including my great grandmother. Any sensible person would have considered the consequences of these actions. Jackson tried to make the trade seem peaceful and reasonable, but there is nothing sane about...

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