Indian Removal Act
Some people even believe that the Indian Removal Act was not necessary at all. The Indian Removal Act of 1 830 was designed to remove all Indians east of the Mississippi River out west into what is now known as Oklahoma. There are several reasons why Indian removal occurred. Most importantly, expanding white settlements were inevitable as the population grew.
Native Americans were harassed by these settlers because they wanted their land. For instance, gold was found in Georgia, thus making the Cherokee land more desirable.The Cherokee were forced out although the court case Cherokee Nation v. Georgia ruled that the Cherokee had a right to their land and that the Indian Removal Act was unconstitutional (“Native Americans”). Aside from white men acquiring native land because of its resources, Indians were pushed out because they were seen as salvages. Some Americans believed the Indians were not capable of being civilized since they were nomadic people. Other Americans admired Indians and their contribution to the history of the United Stated.
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The individuals who liked the Indians, such as Speaker of the HouseHenry Clay, and senator Daniel Webster, strongly opposed the Indian Removal Act. Racism was prevalent toward Natives since the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaws, and Seminole seemed the most capable of adopting English ways of living. The Cherokee even raised livestock, owned slaves, had a government, and a written language (Backhanding). The Indian Removal Act seemed quite rational at the time. President Jackson insisted that in order to protect the Indians from being destroyed by white intrusion, they needed to be relocated away from the boundaries of expansion.Additionally, these soon-to-be acquired territories would boost to the economy with their resources. In exchange for the Indian’s home land, the Natives would receive territory out west and monetary compensation.
This way, Natives could govern themselves without interference. On the surface, this proposition seems fair and rational; however, Indian removal was not always voluntary. Intense pressure was put on them to get out, and if they refused to leave, they were forced out. The Seminole are familiar with this forceful tactic which resulted in three wars.The removal process was forceful, brutal, and unfair. About 1 00,000 people were relocated west Of the Mississippi River (“Native Americans”). The Cherokee migration to Oklahoma became known as the Trail of Tears because so many people perished from disease, starvation, and strain.
Native Americans had no idea how inhabitable the American Desert was out west. If they did, they most likely would not have signed treaties agreeing to relocate in this area. Immediately after the Indians were relocated, the whites took over their areas. The old Choctaw area was used or farming corn, yams, peas, and pumpkins.Coal and oil was also a valuable resource discovered there (“The Effects of Removal”). The Indian Removal had many long term effects. The Native population has dwindled significantly since they were moved out of their home lands.
Indian culture has even been lost due to the death of its members from the removal trails and having to reside in areas that are not where they originally Inhabited. In the end, the Indians more than likely would have been pushed out west somehow. The Indian Removal Act was not necessary to protect natives.If they felt threatened, they would have moved or defended themselves. The fact that the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaws, and Seminole Indians were called the Five Civilized Tribes showed they had potential to live the lives as whites did. The Cherokee sure assimilated themselves into the English culture quite nicely. Some tribes would have easily complied and fit in, and the ones who did not should have been entitled to their lands anyway.
In the united States today, the government has made reparations to the descendants of the Natives affected by the Indian Removal Act.