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Critical Analysis of American Indian Policy: Problem of Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears

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During the 19th century, American Indian Policy was implemented to enable people in the U.S. to exchange crops and other products with native Tribes. Therefore, people who were in the federal government had the power to make deals with the native Tribes with the authority of the Constitution. With that being said, the United States government wanted to be in control of every situation if anything were to go wrong. They did not want non whites to take over their land and then so they adopted a strategy of containment which then lead to native leaders to give up their land, most of their people, schooling for their children, and lastly encouraging them to move west of the Mississippi. Therefore, with the natives causing problems for the Americans it led President Jackson to go against the natives. Thus, this cause Congress to notice and then they then passed on the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Americans did not like others that are nonwhite because of the problems they were causing. Furthermore with this act being established it caused the Five Civilized Tribes of the natives to move from Southeastern to the West. Some tribes moved without causing any commotion and others fought back for their land especially the Cherokee.

The Cherokee people wanted to take it to the Supreme Court. The types of programs that the U.S. government put into place to control and relieve the native problem is the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.

The United States was unable to keep the natives contained because they fought back and that’s when they saw them as a threat. Therefore, that led Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act. The Indian Removal Act was an Act passed by Congress and signed by President Andrew Jackson. The Americans states that the Removal was in the best interest of the Native Americans and that it is better for them to settle somewhere else. For example, Andrew Jackson stated that by choosing to stay, Native Americans would have to adapt to the agriculture and mechanic arts for support. He predicted that this would be difficult and provide many hardships for them and eventually their people would completely die out. Jackson also states that he has no motives to deceive their people, but simply just trying to help them. The act gave the president permission to give unsettled land that was west of the Mississippi to the natives for their land within existing state borders. Therefore, a few tribes went peacefully and did not cause any problems for the U.S. government, but many resisted the relocation policy. The one tribe that had the biggest problem with this was the Cherokees. They wanted to fight back because they saw it as unfair and take it to the Supreme Court prove their point. But in the end the Supreme Court stated that the Cherokees were not able to be a foreign nation because they did not meet all the requirements for it.

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With that being said the Cherokees created their own constitution and then outlined their rights that they wanted to entitled as humans. Therefore, they use their constitution not only as an entitlement that they wanted to be entitled as humans but also under the religion of God as well. Furthermore, they use the drafting of a constitution to talk about their religion and their morality. Thus, with this constitution it will help protect the Cherokees rights for their liberties and also for their happiness. Also for them to have the rights to have an education. The Cherokee then wrote a message to the U.S. Congress stating that the agreements that the U.S. made with the Cherokee nation that cannot be broken. For example, if the natives were to leave their land and the United States government wants the land that they have left behind. They would have to pay the natives a fair amount for it. Thus, with the lands that the natives already own or that land that was given to the Natives cannot be bought or sold unless both sides of the parties have agreed on it. People in the US cannot claim lands the Natives are reserved to, if they do, they are subjected to punishments under Cherokee law. The Cherokees was not in favor of the Indian Removal Act because they saw the treaty as not right and that it was the opposite of their laws, that was made between the U.S. and their people. Therefore, with the Americans new act it went against what the Cherokees Constitution was made for thus causing them to hate the Americans. Therefore, they played the Cherokee people, took more land than expected, and gave them less land. Furthermore, they considered it unjust and therefore led the Cherokees to see who the whites really are and they saw them as intruders of their land.

Therefore, with the Removal of the natives and with the Cherokees not being able to do anything about it. Thus, with the impact of the removal of the Cherokees led to the outbreaks of cholera, inadequate supplies, and death from starvation and exhaustion. While moving to the new land some of the Cherokess froze to death and died of pneumonia due to the weather. In addition to this the cherokee people lost their land, their agricultural farms, livestock, and historically significant places. Thus, this just made it worse and there was no peace between both sides. Therefore, the Cherokee tried to resist many times from being removed by the United States government but it did not work at all. Therefore, later this event was later known as the Trail of Tears. The land to the West of Mississippi was reserved to the Natives when the act was established but it was hard to barron and it was difficult for them to live on with no proper supplies to survive off of. They did not have much when they moved over there because they had to pack their things and go. They left most of their supplies back Southeastern so they were living off of what they had.

The Cherokee Tribe tried to make a Treaty of New Echota with the Americans to sell all of their land east of the Mississippi for a large sum of money and also that the Americans will help them relocate and compensation for their lost property. They had problems with the treaty and the Cherokee people where not happy with what had happened. But the Congress approved the treaty anyways. Only some Cherokees move to the natives Territory and a large some stayed back. With the Cherokees that had stayed back the President Martin Van Buren sent his large army to make sure that all the Cherokees have left the land and went to the nativesTerritory. The Americans kicked them out, looted their homes, and their belongings. Therefore, with that happening they later marched all the natives thousands of miles to their Territory. This was called the Trail of Tears because it was a devastating journey for the natives. Thus, thousands of them died due to illnesses that they caught on the way to their new home. When all the remaining natives got to their new land, the United States government promised them they will not be bothered and left in peace to do what they want. But that was not true at all because as time past the white settlement pushed westward. Which was Natives Territory and with that happening the natives population got smaller and smaller over time. Then later on Natives Territory was gone and there was no more of them.

In conclusion, the Indian Removal Act was forcing natives to move to a new home in the west. They wanted the natives gone because they did not like people who were non white settlers. That caused many problems with the Cherokees because they did not want to be pushed out of their land and get nothing out of it. Lots of natives were killed in the process due to illness of their new home environment. But in the end the Americans were able to get rid of all the natives and move them west of the Mississippi. Therefore, in the end the Americans got what they wanted and the natives got nothing out of it.

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Critical Analysis of American Indian Policy: Problem of Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/critical-analysis-of-american-indian-policy-problem-of-indian-removal-act-and-the-trail-of-tears/
“Critical Analysis of American Indian Policy: Problem of Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/critical-analysis-of-american-indian-policy-problem-of-indian-removal-act-and-the-trail-of-tears/
Critical Analysis of American Indian Policy: Problem of Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/critical-analysis-of-american-indian-policy-problem-of-indian-removal-act-and-the-trail-of-tears/> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
Critical Analysis of American Indian Policy: Problem of Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/critical-analysis-of-american-indian-policy-problem-of-indian-removal-act-and-the-trail-of-tears/
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