Trail of Tears
Native Americans lost their land due to the Indian Removal Act, many of them died on the trail which in American History is known as the Trail of Tears. There were 5 tribes involved in this removal, it included The Choctaw, The Chickasaws, The Muscogee Creeks, the Seminoles and The Cherokee. This was a tragic time in history. Was it the right thing to do to these people, or was it worth it all? It was an injustice act on the behalf of the white men, it could’ve been handled in a much humane way.
The first treaty to be signed by the Native Americans was the Treaty of Hopewell. On November 28, 1785 the Cherokee signed this treaty, it served as a peace treaty between the European settlers and the Cherokees. The Treaty of Hopewell was signed to ensure the land of the Cherokees, but Georgia refused to acknowledge the treaty (“Trail of Tears.”). The Cherokee did not agree with this so they took it to the Supreme Court. In 1831 the Cherokee fought removal in Cherokee v. Georgia. The court had to choose whether to give their rights to the Cherokee or to those of the state of Georgia (Trail of Tears.”). A law was later passed requiring that the white men had to have a license from the state before entering Indian country (Trail of Tears.”) .
Indian removal started with formal president Thomas Jefferson, he had two parts to this. The first part was to encourage the tribes to run up big debts at U.S. trading houses, so that they would have to give up their land to pay the debts. The second part was to populate the Mississippi River region with white settlers so that Indians would be encircled by the whites (Birchfield) . President Jefferson first tried to get to move the Choctaws in 1805. Choctaw Chief Pushmataha said, “We wish to remain here,
where we have grown up as the herbs of the woods, and do not wish to be transplanted into another soil” (Birchfield).
In 1828 Andrew Jackson became president of the United States. Jackson had longed for Indian removal for a long time (Birchfield). After being president for 2 years the Indian Removal Act was signed on May 28, 1830. This Act would remove Indians from their land and forced them to move to present day Oklahoma. Oklahoma was not a state yet, this land was not recognized as Indian Territory until 1834. President Jackson was so happy he called it “ just and humane” (Birchfield) . President Jackson mentioned the desire for land in a positive light, but behind those kind words the desire for more was noticed (Bowes). He could not hide it, everyone could see it in his eyes. Jackson thought that it was his God given right to remove these Indians from their lands so that the whites could have more. In 1835 The Treaty Party met with U.S. negotiators on December 29 signed the fraudulent Treaty of New Echota, allowing for removal of the Cherokee nation...