The Cherokee Nation Essay

900 words - 4 pages

The Cherokee NationThe Cherokee nation was one of the bigger Indian tribes. The Cherokee called themselves the Ani-Yun' wiya which means leading or principal people. They originally lived in what is now Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. They have had contact with the white people ever since they met the Desoto expedition in 1540 and they have always been friendly towards them. The Cherokee helped the British in wars and in trade, they tried to become like the British, and the whole time the British and then the Americans tried to take advantage of the Cherokee.The Cherokee helped the British in wars and in trade. After the settlement of Virginia in 1609 the Indians began to trade with the settlers. They initially traded with the Carolina traders. This is when the leadership began to move from the priest to the warrior. Warriors also started to hunt for profit. The trading drew the Cherokee in as allies to the British in their wars against the French and the Spanish in the late 1600's to mid 1700's.The British armed the Indians with firearms and fortified their larger villages. However, when the Cherokee started having trouble with the Shawnee Indians and requested more firearms, they weren't allowed to have the firearms unless they made peace. Some of the Cherokee warriors ended up even joining parts of the British army. They fought alongside the British in the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, the Cherokee aided the British in attacking several forts and settlements on the frontier.The Cherokee always wanted to be at peace with the British. For this reason, over one hundred treaties were formed between the British and the Cherokee. While the Cherokee kept all of these treaties, the British kept very few. That is why they had to make so many. Yet, while they were at peace with the British, small pox kept spreading throughout the Indian villages, killing almost half of the Cherokee.In addition to helping the British, the Cherokee also tried to become like them. The Cherokee were some of the most civilized Indians. They adopted a pattern of government very similar to that of the United States. They began to wear European-style clothing and living in log cabins. They went to school and observed sacred religious practices. They followed the white man's methods of farming and home building. Sequoyah created an alphabet called Cherokee syllabary in 1821. This produced rapid literacy among the Indians and allowed their written constitution, the spreading of Christianity, and the first Native American newspaper. A seat of...

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