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Critical Analysis of “An American Betrayal” by Daniel Blake Smith: Theme of the Trail of Tears

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In chapter four of “An American Betrayal,” written by Daniel Blake Smith, there were many unexpected turning points that amazed and surprised me. I believe that throughout this chapter, the Smith is leaning more towards the Cherokees’ side. I made this inference based on the context and words he uses before several quotes and statements present in this chapter. If this is the case, then I greatly support and agree with his opinion because I believe that Jackson just took advantage of the issue that arose between them and the Georgians.

Chapter four commences by mentioning how missionaries were welcomed and praised everywhere they went, but as conflicts aroused, opinions towards them changed. Most conflicts initiated because of Andrew Jackson’s actions initiating since last chapter. In chapter three, Jackson passed the Removal Act of 1830. After this act, colonists in favor of the removal commenced to consider missionaries as enemies of the removal, and because most of them were funded by the government, many followed those who funded them in Washington. Some, like Worcester, however, remained on the Cherokees side. After Georgia instigated to pass unfair laws to the Native Americans and missionaries, Boudinot, Ridge, and Worcester decided to oppose them, and they ended up going to the Supreme Court. Two weeks later and after much debate, the Supreme Court came to a conclusion in favor of the Cherokees. I have to admit that when I read this, I was happy too. However, right after this, the chapter took an unexpected turn. Andrew Jackson showed his true face and told the Cherokees he wouldn’t intervene with Georgia’s unfair actions. Because of this, Boudinot and Ridge agreed that moving was the safest choice to preserve their people and culture. Ross, however, strongly disagreed, and these events caused a division in the Cherokee country, all of which made them one step closer to the Trail of Tears.

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This chapter evoked emotions that I never expected to get from this book. After the first outcome of the Georgians and the Cherokees in court, I was overjoyed and happy. I couldn’t figure out how after this positive outcome the Trail of Tears would come to happen. However, after Jackson ignored and opposed the Cherokees, I got infuriated and understood why. But how could he do that to them? The Cherokees had been following assimilation since Washington’s presidency only to be ignored and banished by Jackson. As more events started changing, like Boudinot and Ridge disagreeing with Ross, I knew where all of this was heading. Throughout this chapter I honestly hoped that the Cherokees would be treated as equals and the Georgians would be punished an put in their place even though I knew some sort of disagreement had to occur to lead to the Trail of Tears.

Overall, I think this chapter played an important role towards the occurrence of the Trail of Tears. My feelings fluctuated and diversified as the many events happened throughout this chapter, and I now have a better level of comprehension regarding what the Cherokees went through.

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Critical Analysis of “An American Betrayal” by Daniel Blake Smith: Theme of the Trail of Tears. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
“Critical Analysis of “An American Betrayal” by Daniel Blake Smith: Theme of the Trail of Tears.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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Critical Analysis of “An American Betrayal” by Daniel Blake Smith: Theme of the Trail of Tears [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from:
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