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This immoral government action sanctioned called for the forced migration to Oklahoma.
The Indian Removal Act was passed in the year 1830 by the then…
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The Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears relocated countless Native Americans throughout southeast United s. This immoral government actionsanctioned called for the forced migration to Oklahoma.
A. Why did the United States government demand these Native American nations move?
The Indian Removal Act was passed in the year 1830 by the then President, Andrew Jackson. The major cause for the passing of this act has been attributed to the greed for land by white settlers who wanted to expand their territory to the southern regions of the United States. These southern regions were occupied by five civilized tribes namely: Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole. Treaties were signed with these tribes by which these native Indian Americans had to relocate to the west in the state of Oklahoma where they were allotted lands in exchange for their lands in the southern region. However, a majority of the tribes resisted the act as they were unwilling to give up their lands which they had possessed for several generations. This resistance ultimately resulted in wars and those tribes that signed the treaties gave up their lands and moved westward and in the process many succumbed to infections and diseases during their journey ((Indian removal n.d; James 2004; The Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears n.d).
During the early 19th century, white settlers were eager for more land and pressed the federal government to acquire lands occupied by native Indians as they were considered as a major threat to their progress. During the period between 1814 to 1824 eleven treaties were signed with the five native Indian tribes by which they were to give up their lands in exchange for those in the western region. Most of the tribes agreed to sign the treaties fearing harassment from the white settlers and as a result the government took control of three-quarters of their lands in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and North Carolina. However, not many native Indians vacated their lands which resulted in the Supreme Court ruling that Indians residing in these regions could occupy them but not claim these lands as their own. This ruling was heavily protested by the Indian nations who tried to protect their lands by stopping the sale of lands to the US. In addition, they adopted a non-violent approach to peacefully co-exist with the white settlers in vain. Beginning in 1830, the then president Andrew Jackson brought into effect the Indian Removal Act by which the natives were forcefully deprived of their lands and in turn were asked to move to the west (Indian removal n.d; The Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears n.d). While Jackson believed that this relocation of the native Indians would enable them to lead a peaceful life, the Indian nations fought against the move as they did not want to part with their property. The Choctaws and Chickasaws signed this removal treaty and most of them relocated to the west. However, the Seminole nation declared the treaty as illegal and continued their protest against the removal act. This resulted in the Seminole wars at the end of which the Seminole nation was forced out of their lands to the west. The Secretary of War resulted in the forceful removal of the Creek nation. The Cherokee nation were the worst affected as they signed a treaty which gave them two years to voluntarily move to the west. However, when only a small fraction of the population had moved west by the end of the two years, the US employed military force to remove them (Indian removal n.d). Thousands of Cherokees were forced to leave their lands and belongings. They marched all the way to the west, which has also been referred to as the Trail of tears, as nearly 4000 people lost their lives due to cold, famine and disease on their journey. A large majority of the native Indian population relocated to the west by the year 1837, while those who remained were employed as slaves by the white settlers and their lands used for various plantations. Thus in order to provide for the white settlers, the US government ordered the removal of native Indians from their homeland to new lands in the western province. The pain of losing their loved ones during the journey still remains etched in the minds of these Indian people who later established their own governments in the state of Oklahoma and lead a more peaceful existence (Indian removal n.d; The Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears n.d).
Reference
1. Indian removal. n.d. Africans in America. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2959.html (accessed June 27, 2012)
2. James, Angela. 2004. The Trail of tears. United States of America Chronology. http://www.thenagain.info/Webchron/USA/TrailofTears.htm (accessed June 27, 2012)
3. The Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears. n.d. http://www.angelfire.com/tx6/mmalkerson/page2.html (accessed June 27, 2012) Read More
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