When reading chapter 12 of the American Yawp by Stanford University Press Edition, something that was interesting was how differently the beliefs were regarding the Manifest Destiny. I felt this way because some individuals thought that it was okay for them to expand to new lands while others believed that they shouldn’t expand through conquest. However while reading this, I also wondered why the majority of people believed in it being okay to expand into territories and if there were any other major consequences for doing so.
When reading about how individuals in the United States wanted to remove Indians living on the land to the west, it made me feel bad for the Indians as a result. This is because they were forced to abandon their communities and move to lands that were set aside for them. Another thing that was interesting to read about during this chapter was the conflict between Florida and Spain. However, it was also saddening for me to see how this conflict connected to the fact that once again Indian lands are being taken over.
Something that made me curious regarding the idea of removing Indians off of their land is why Andrew Jackson thought that this was the best idea. I felt this way because it made me wonder why Andrew Jackson decided this for the Indians when in the future they were forced to comply. After reading this topic, I thought that it is unfair for the Indians to have little say in the matter because when I read The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents by Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green, the many actions that the Cherokee took against the passing of the relocation of Indians had no impact on the matter.
One thing that saddened and angered me was how the state of Georgia acted and treated the Cherokee when they wanted to remove them from their lands. It was horrifying to read about how individuals ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court and further trespassed on the Cherokee land. This is because although steps were taken by the Cherokee, they were not useful as nothing changed in their favor. Another thing that was saddening to read was how Georgia set up the lottery system when they decided that the Cherokee weren’t being relocated off of their land quickly enough. I felt this way because in my opinion, Georgia forced the relocation to happen by speeding up the process when the land owned by Cherokee was offered to individuals who participated in the lottery.
One thing that surprised me was the interpretation regarding the Native Americans. It felt weird to me reading about how cruel the beliefs painted the Native Americans when in reality they were nothing like what was portrayed such as in two of the primary sources in the book. After reading both primary sources however, it was nice to see how the individuals fit into the society such as buying food from them or joining them for different events. It was also very surprising to me when reading about the Cherokee constitution. I felt this way when reading about the laws regarding their constitution since it is very similar to the constitution today. Although something that intrigued me when reading about the constitution was how laws concerning race were included. I didn’t expect for this to be included and it was a little upsetting for me how the Cherokee adopted and kept the policies that they learned from individuals in the United States when they were trying to civilize the Native Americans.