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Trail Of Tears Essay

1285 words - 6 pages

With the discovery of the New World came a whole lot of new problems. Native American Indians lived in peace and harmony until European explorers interrupted that bliss with the quest for money and power. The European explorers brought with them more people. These people and their descendants starting pushing the natives out of their homes, out of their land, far before the 1800s. However, in the 1800s, the driving force behind the removal of the natives intensified. Thousands of indians during this time were moved along the trail known as Nunna dual Tsung, meaning “The Trail Where They Cried” (“Cherokee Trail of Tears”). The Trail of Tears was not only unjust and unconstitutional, but it also left many indians sick, heartbroken, and dead.
White resentment was heavily toward one group of indians known as the Cherokee. The Cherokee possessed land that white farmers wanted for growing cotton (History). Another thing that prompted Indian removal was the discovery of gold in northern Georgia mountains (“A Brief History”). They would do whatever it took to take that land away. The white farmers even stole their animals, destroyed their towns, burned their homes, all in the attempt to run the indians out (History). President Andrew Jackson, who was saved by the natives in the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, surprisingly supported this effort and signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 (A Brief History). States such as Georgia also passed laws that limited the rights of the Cherokee and other tribes. The battle was brought to the Supreme Court in 1831 with Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and in 1832 with Worchester v. Georgia. In both cases the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the indian nations had freedom and sovereignty “in which the laws of Georgia [and other states] could have no force” President Jackson, who was behind relocation, left the Supreme Court’s rulings to be enforced by the Court, which they were not (History).
If the federal government were to possess native land, they had to do so fairly through treaties. In no way were the president or other powers given the right to pressure natives off their own land. In 1835, the Treaty of Echota was negotiated by President Jackson and Major Ridge along with self-appointed representatives of the Cherokee Nation (History). These representatives of the Cherokee Nation were known as the Treaty Party and totaled about 100 people. The council of the Cherokee Nation had previously passed a law that stated that anyone who gave up their ancestral land would be put to death. So by signing this treaty, most of the Treaty Party would be put to death upon arrival to their new land (“A Brief History”).
For the treaty to pass, it had to be ratified by the United States Senate. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster spoke against the treaty, but despite their best efforts, it passed. Chief John Ross led the Ross Party that was made up of those against the removal and Treaty of Echota. More than 16,000...

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