Five Civilized Tribes

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Five Civilized Tribes Many Indian nations have served a part in America 's history, specifically the five civilized tribes play the one of most important roles. These tribes overcame many challenges whether it be political, physical, or within the tribe itself. Over time the tribes have lost themselves and rebuilt completely, which helped them create a culture and a lifestyle. The five civilized tribes were moved from their homelands and faced many hardships along the way, but this only made them more determined, leading them to their success today. The Indian tribes that are referred to as the five civilized tribes are the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. The term was applied by the white settlers during the colonial…show more content…
The Cherokee lived at the border of the Carolinas and Tennessee on both sides of the Appalachian mountains. Creek Indians had been divided into two tribes, the upper and lower, their members lived either in southern Georgia or Northern Alabama. The Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes lived on either side of the Mississippi (Foreman 548). The Indian Removal Act was put into place in 1830 by president Andrew Jackson, in order to move the tribes into the unowned territory. Initially, the removal was intended for the purchase of the land of the willing tribes, but it turned into forcibly removing these people from their homes. The Cherokee tribe even took action against the government, taking the removal to the court systems. Cherokee tribe vs. Georgia, went all the way to the supreme court who ruled in favor of the Indians; however, the state of georgia ignored the court ruling and went forward with the removal. Another tribe, the seminoles, tried resisting through guerrilla warfare, but unfortunately failed. The removal lead to one of the most remembered events in American history, The Trail of Tears. The trail went through nine states, and claimed an estimated 15,000 lives out of some 100,000 tribal members that were forced west (“Five Civilized Tribes”). Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the hardships for the…show more content…
The tribes were given their land upon arrival to the Indian territory. Some tribes built individual homesteads where they were able to farm, while other members went to the cotton plantations being drawn in by the southern economy (Foreman 551). Once Oklahoma territory gained statehood, the government opened tribal land to the new settlers, leaving many tribes with nothing (“Five Civilized Tribes”). Another way that tribal land was lost was through the Dawes Act. This act striped tribes not only of their land, but of their heritage. This is when the Dawes rolls were enacted, making members claim only one tribe as their heritage, meaning that if a person was one fourth Cherokee and one fourth Choctaw they had to choose only one to register as (“Dawes Commission”). Many people did not even sign the Dawes Rolls for fear of further Indian
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