Indian Removal Policies of 1830

Introduction

The whites forced the Federal government to substantiate a policy that allowed them to remove natives and take away their land in order to cultivate cotton and establish economic progress in an inhuman way.

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To ensure peace and seize fertile lands from the civilized Cherokee Nation who had living there for generations, the American Government forcefully removed five tribes of the civilized Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma.

History

The United States was rapidly developing in the nineteenth century. It expanded to the lower South which was occupied by the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole nations. The settlers and the Whites considered these Indian Nations as an obstruction for their progress. Therefore they wanted to acquire the Indian Territory and compelled the Federal government to usher in a policy. They wanted to acquire the land to raise cotton. President Andrew Jackson was a powerful supporter in the white’s ambition to remove the Indians from the territory. He controlled the US military force in 1814 and conquered 2 million acres of land in South Georgia and Central Alabama. In 1818 more land was acquired by the US with the motivation to punish the Seminoles for protecting renegade slaves. The troops then attacked Spanish Florida.1 Due to its overwhelming effects this journey was called the Trail of Tears by the Cherokees. Over 4000 Cherokees were killed out of 15000 of them and the migrants suffered pathetically due to hunger, disease or collapsed during the compulsory march. The forced march to Oklahoma was called by the Cherokees as “Nunna daul Tsuny.” which meant trail where they cried. 2.

The 1830 Removal Act enabled the Jackson government to move eastern tribes in the Trans Mississippi West with congressional permit and financial support. President Jackson created the guidelines and policies to achieve the goal of removing Indians. This method was followed by his immediate successors also. Jackson planned the removal in such a way that it would not estrange public support by appearing deliberately dissolute. Even though he wanted to get rid of the Indians rapidly, his stress on speed and economy often weakened the efforts to provide sufficient care for Indian Emigrants.3. President Jackson was adamant with the endorsement of the Indian Removal Policy which he termed as wise and human. The President ordered that the policy should be implemented only after negotiating the same with the tribes who were affected by the policy. The written documents consent was fulfilled and eight years later, the Cherokee Trail of Tears took place. The temporary years were also very disastrous. People were treated very brutally by the military and government. Promises and agreements were forgotten and deceitful land purchases increased in addition to the persistent denial to relocate the tribes. The consequence was relentlessly, conflict and war. The tribes were isolated or shattered and were compulsorily resettled in the western part of Mississippi. 4. The President was very restless to promote the removal of the Indians and this dispirited any long term plans by the War department. This led to an irresistible motivation for demand of the moment to determine the components of the removal process.5

President Jackson did not have the patience in negotiating with the Indians. The President’s policy towards the Native Americans simulated his deepest viewpoint. Jackson felt that the Indians desire to use their land for hunting and survival should yield to Anglos hunger to extend agriculture and commerce. The issues were extremely intricate. The Indians too made various assumptions to fight against the harsh behavior of the whites and cultural imperialism. Many whites married the Indians and were forced to abandon Indian traditions and follow the culture of the whites. But majority of the Indians resisted all kinds of influences. In 1829, gold was found in the Cherokee lands which made the Whites greedier for acquiring the lands.6. Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in May 1830. The President was authorized to create an Indian territory west of the Mississippi to set up the Indians legal title to the land in exchange for their existing land assets and to initiate the process of removal. 7

Jackson was active in negotiating nine out of eleven treaties from 1814 to 1824, which removed the southern tribes from the eastern lands to the lands in the west. The tribes had to agree to the treaties for tactical reasons. They wanted to conciliate the government so that they could keep hold of some of their land. They also wanted to defend themselves from the harassment of the whites. The United States became successful in conquering over three-quarters of Alabama and Florida and several parts of Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. Only few of the tribes moved to new lands as this was a period of voluntary Indian migration.8

The Jackson government was successful in removing 46000 Native Americans by 1837 from east of the Mississippi. They also protected treaties which led to the removal of more people. The members of the five southeastern nations were moved to the west for white settlement and slavery by acquiring 25 million acres of land from the tribes. 9

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John Deere found the singing plow strategy in 1935 to plough sultry pampas soil without obstruction. The lands west of the Mississippi of Eastern Indians were made valuable farmland by Deere’s invention. Settlers eventually flooded the territory with the Indians having no other place to live. 10

Bibliography

  1. David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Edwin S. Gaustad, John B. Boles, Sally Foreman Griffith,
  2. Randall M. Miller, Randall B. Woods. Unto a Good Land: A History of the American People Volume 1: To 1900 (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005) p. 383
  3. Indian. Web.
  4. Ronald N. Satz. American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era (Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002) p. 64
  5. Tracking Westward Expansion & the Trail of Tears 1995,
  6. Timothy S. Huebner. The Southern Judicial Tradition: State Judges and Sectional
  7. Distinctiveness, 1790-1890 (Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1999) p.56
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