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The Genocide Of The Trail Of Tears

1160 words - 5 pages

The Trail of Tears is the collected routes in which Native Americans were forcibly removed from their traditional homes east of the Mississippi River to the newly established "Indian Territories" in the west (Strickland 344). Hundreds and thousands of Natives, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, Quapaw, Kickapoo, Winnebago, (Strickland 345) Sac, Fox (West 85) and many more tribes were removed from their homes and marched along the thousand mile trail to what is now present-day Oklahoma ("Trail"). Much suffering occurred on route of the daily trail and sadly, during this time, the U.S. regarded the removal of the Natives as "humanitarian and civilized" policy to protect the Native people from the Whites' westward expansion (Strickland 344). The Trail of Tears Experience was a significant milestone in the road to tolerance because it solicited the very existence of tolerance through much pain and suffering. Natives were forced from their homes, and marched under extreme conditions to the extent that many died from disease, exposure, and voluntary death by bullet.
The Trail of Tears experience started approximately in the May of 1830 and ended around March of 1840 (Strickland 344). The taking of Native Americans from several states east of the Mississippi, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, ("Trail") and Illinois (Simpson 56) into desolate reserves mainly located in present-day Oklahoma ("Trail") was ratified under the Indian Removal Act, passed by the U.S. President, Andrew Jackson on the 28th of May 1830 (Strickland 344).
The Indian Removal Act was defined as trading the western U.S. Territory for the Native American Eastern Territory (Strickland 344). Since of course the Natives felt that the U.S. had no right the sovereignty of the Indian lands without discussing the matter with them, they commenced cases to
nullify the Indian Removal Act. In 1831, the Cherokee tribe launched their case: Cherokee vs Georgia which ended unsuccessfully on the Cherokee's part (Strickland 344). Then, in 1832, natives appealed their case: Worcester vs Georgia to the Supreme Court (Ehle 242). Sadly, both cases against the removal deemed futile. Finding the cases of no relevance, the U.S. proceeded with their means of removing the Native Americans from their home territories. Natives were often dealt treaties when they agreed to peacefully remove themselves (Strickland 344). However, if they do not wish to leave, war broke out and if the U.S. won, the Natives were forcibly removed to reserves in Oklahoma (Strickland 344). In either case of removals, Native Americans were marched along several routes of the trail. A multitude of deportees died daily in 10s to 20s (Strickland 344).
Along the trail, troops gathered more and more tribes along the way. Of course, not all of the tribes consented to leaving their homes peacefully. Consequentially, wars broke out. One significant war was between Back...

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