preview

The Indian Removal Act

Good Essays
Every country has events they wished didn’t happen.The United States of America combined all of those situations in The Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Age of Jackson and the Indian Removal Act permanently crippled the Native American culture and population. Before the Age of Jackson, Thomas Jefferson had similar goals, but different practices and sought to more peacefully assimilate Native Americans into American culture. Then, under Jackson’s presidency, America forced the indigenous peoples to move elsewhere so Americans could access the land they had been living on. This removal led to many deaths and the erosion of Native American practices in the United States. Jackson was not the only one interested in the land the Native Americans…show more content…
He did not follow Jefferson’s plan of Assimilation, rather he sought to remove Indians wholesale from their property and move them somewhere, “deemed unsuitable for white settlement. Jackson claimed his plans for separation were beneficial for Native Americans, without explaining why they couldn’t remain separate on their own land. Viciously uprooting Native Americans meant that the practices they had been carrying on for centuries were, for the most part, halted. Even after Native Americans had ceded land, Jefferson consistently broke those treaties, with the most blatant being the ratification of the Treaty of New Echota. In this treaty, he took the word of several unelected people of the Cherokee Nation as an agreement on behalf of all of them, because it fit his desires. This treaty broke all former promises to Native Americans that they would be able to stay on what little land they had left. Consequently, they were marched 800 miles across harsh terrain in horrible conditions, dying by the thousands, despite promises that the trek would be made safe. This journey would come to be known as The Trail of Tears. As a result, Native Americans no longer had access to their hunting grounds, their sacred spaces, or the land they were familiar with. Not only were Native Americans killed, but their very spirit was crushed to the point of no return. Never again would Native Americans live in the numbers…show more content…
Nevertheless, several conjectures can be made about the possible change in history. If the Indians had been listened to, there was a possibility that different peoples could have lived side by side in peace and mutual respect. However, that could have delayed American growth, or provided a path to more peaceful negotiations with other nations in the future. Another possibility is that, white settlers could have still been hostile, but the indigenous peoples wouldn’t have suffered government removal. Instead of living on tiny reservations, perhaps today Native Americans would still live on large swathes of land, still unshakable in their customs. Even if the government had listened to the Cherokees after the ratification of the Treaty of New Echota when they gave their, “earnest, solemn, and reiterated protestations”, of the treaty history could have changed. A number of different, and better, outcomes exist that would not have caused so much grief and loss of life in this beautiful country. That being said, history remains the same and Jackson’s actions incapacitated Native Americans’ growth and
Get Access