Andrew Jackson and the Cherokee
Its ironic, even as arid as Jackson pushed and deceived the Cherokee, the Cherokee people in turn pushed back, but past the point of being rational. Some of these individual efforts worsened the outcome for the whole tribe. Jackson’s manipulative ways of handling this situation in office and out of office forced the Cherokee to make hard decisions, and I feel like these decision makers for the Cherokee failed miserably. The reason behind the lack of attack on Jackson is quite obvious, politicians have been acting like politicians well since the very beginning.As selfish and egocentric as his view was, he knew what he was going to do, and being president of this powerful nation not much any one nation could do to stop him let alone the nation of a tribe.
To any logically thinking person the senate wasn’t a roadblock to Jackson it was a mere bump in the road. Even the Cherokee tribe knew what power he possessed. That is why the smart two thousand Cherokee, “resigned themselves to the inevitable, asked their belongings, and headed west” (AS vs.. The CNN). The rest ignorantly stuck behind because they had faith in the false hope taxation Ross would be their savior.This being the basis for the meander of my discussion of the Cherokee tribe, the faulty leadership.
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The leaders’ inability to act for the overall well being of their tribe cost the Cherokee supplies, land, and most importantly lives. In a huge sense, it was John Ross being jokingly overambitious during his negotiations with the President that caused a lot of their pain and suffering. He also was the main voice behind trying to resist the government even after the two years was over, not to mention the whole two years they had to leave. What makes me almost as upset is how he laughed at Jackson’s proposal of five million dollars.Shortly after his tribe ended up taking that deal anyway with more sly stipulations and mandates that weren’t attached with the offering Ross got. For example they were going to get rations of supplies, food, and rifles if Ross had signed. He didn’t, therefore the Cherokee didn’t get these things they needed for survival.
This same man had the never to ask the President for an amount of money almost equivalent to the national debt. He knew he would never get it. That is what he wanted though. He wanted to make sure the government didn’t make him an offer he morally should have taken.That is why his demands weren’t normal or reasonable; they were over the top for a reason. This stubbornness on the part of the Cherokees leader almost showed the Cherokees ambitions to compete or interact with the white world by trying to beat them at the own system they created in the courts. Most of the Cherokees didn’t need money or want the same land, all they wanted was peace and quiet on some sort of land they could call their own.
Even as arrogant as it sounds Jackson told them if they were to stay to the east of the Mississippi they would die off like the rest of the previous tribes Jackson had prior dealings with.He said this because most of the Cherokee people were only half civilized compared to the white man. They would have trouble legally. Keeping up with new technologies, and since there would be no marked territory, none of the Cherokee would be able to instantly have money to buy property from the whites. Even though the ideology and reasons behind Jackson’s actions were corrupted by monetary influence and greed, his sending of the Cherokee west to live with other tribes of the same or near the same intellect was the best alternative presented to the Cherokee. What were the other alternatives?Well essentially see only one clear alternative. If the tribe stayed they would have had to fight off the American military.
No matter the size of the heart of the Cherokee, it would have been no match for the exponentially larger and technologically superior army. If John Ross had dropped his pride aside and accepted the treaty from the start history could have and would have been a lot different. After signing the treaty he then would have had the full two years to slowly and steadily get his people where they needed to go. This would have been instead of him sighting the government until it was too late and his two years were up.His people had been left behind to face the harsh reality of fast pace moving and losing their home all in a short period of time. They had no time to prepare so they had the sick privilege of watching savages come and raid through there camps as they were on their way out. Its bad enough they had to leave but to see the immediate destruction Of your home had to Of been heartbreaking.
The story of John Ross and the Cherokee tribe is a sad one. What’s sadder is the severity of the consequences of one man putting his white mans values in iron of the well being of his people.He wanted monetary compensation of a greedy amount, when money wasn’t even important to the majority of his people. Even after being defeated he still pushed thousands to have hope in him, a false hope. All because he couldn’t admit to his people that it was over, they lost, and for never helping them to prepare for what was about to come. Feel worst about the Indians that where left following his word. All they were doing was trying to understand the situation present De to them by there leader.
They had no other sources, at that point in time the credibility of there deader was all they had, they had no options.They took what he said to heart and acted accordingly. It just sucks that meant them taking no action at all. But for which you cannot blame them. It is impossible to make good judgment calls when there is a slew of misinformation presented to them by a trusted head. For this leader promised them land they couldn’t have, but made them pay costly for it. Ultimately they lost their land and lots of people.
They lost their land to the white man. Because they played by the white mans rules, and didn’t know the rules, they put themselves in the ultimate lose-lose situation.