Summary Of Andrew Jackson's Treatment Of Native Americans

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Ever since Europeans came to the shores of North America, they have treated the native populations as inferior. This mistreatment continued formally under the US and its government, as it displaced tribes from its homelands. Propelled by Manifest Destiny, the US expanded west, pushing Natives to smaller and worse lands. The US government and people contradicted their founding values with their treatment of Native Americans from 1815-60 by restricting their autonomy and opportunities. The US’s treatment of native tribes emphasized their inferiority to white America, denying the founding value of equality. The Declaration of Independence states, “all men are created equal.” Unfortunately, the US did not uphold this value with its relations with …show more content…

In 1819, the US created funds for the Civilizing Act in order to assimilate the Natives who lived close to frontier settlements through English, agriculture, and the Christian gospel (Norton 252). However, these schools did not solve America’s unabiding hatred of Natives. Andrew Jackson makes this apparent in his Second Annual Address, where he bluntly calls Native Americans “savages” living under “rude institutions” (Andrew Jackson's Second Annual Message). This patronizing view from Americans culminated in the Indian Removal Act of 1830, forcing all tribes to move west of the Mississippi (Norton 253). Americans viewed their actions under paternalism, justifying their subjugation of tribes by their believed obligation to help these inferior people (Norton 262). Jackson exemplifies this mindset, for he viewed the Removal Act as “benevolent” and “free[ing]” to the native people (Andrew …show more content…

After the Trail of Tears in the early-to-mid nineteenth century, many tribes lived in completely different climates and ecosystems with poor prospects for agriculture (Norton 255). Because of their new surroundings, tribes often became dependent on the government, perpetuating the paternalistic mindset. But, some tribes attempted to return to their old lands and ways of life. In 1832, the Sauks, as member Elijah Kilbourne explained, moved back east in hope “to raise a crop of corn and beans” (Black Hawk Documents). However, the incident led instead to Black Hawk’s War, the last belligerent uprising in the region and a confirmation that tribes would not have the opportunity to return home (Norton 319). America continued forcing Natives to cede their land rights and opportunities. In 1851, the Office of Indian Affairs helped negotiate the Fort Laramie Treaty (Norton 335). This agreement with northern Plains tribes allowed white travelers to cross and the government to construct infrastructure on their land in order to aid westward expansion (Norton 355). The parameters of the agreement were a clear denotation of white superiority, as it viewed Americans’ opportunities in the west as more important than the lives of Natives. The US limited the opportunities for Native Americans in order to increase those for white

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