The Indian Removal Act: The First American Civil War

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The Indian Removal Act In the beginning, The United States recognized Indian tribes as separate nations of people entitled to their own lands that could only be obtained from them through treaties. Due to inexorable pressures of expansion, settlement, and commerce, however, treaties made with good intentions were often perceived as unsustainable within just a few years. The Indians felt betrayed and frequently reacted with violence when land promised to them forever was taken away. For the most part, however, they directed their energies toward maintaining their tribal identity while living in the new order. The United States under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson dealt with settling the Indians the most humane possible way, for…show more content…
“The doom of the Cherokee was sealed. Washington, D.C., had decreed that they must be driven West and their lands given to the white man, and in May 1838, an army of 4000 regulars, and 3000 volunteer soldiers under command of General Winfield Scott, marched into the Indian country and wrote the blackest chapter on the pages of American history.” Said Private John G. Burnett, of Captain Abraham McClellan’s Company, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Mounted Infantry. This primary source is to give perspective on the soldiers behalf, not to defend the contrary, but to look from a more broad perspective. Being able to use the time period as a reason for justification that it was the most humane way to deal with the Indians for that time. The United States gave the Indians time to move west and those that had not done so by choice were forced. The removal of the Indians was a long going issue for The United States, that no one knew just how to deal with. “Some officials in the early years of the American republic, such as President George Washington, believed that the best way to solve this “Indian problem” was simply to “civilize” the Native…show more content…
He made decisions based on the interest of those settled Americans who feared the Indians, and also wanted to give the Indians the sovereignty they deserved being a functioning society that was entailed by The United States. He had negotiated the Treaty of New Echota that agreed the Cherokee would sell the remainder of their land west of the Mississippi to the white men for 5 million dollars. Although it was not signed by the Indians chief official, it was negotiated by a Cherokee leader, Major Ridge, who at the time claimed to represent the Cherokee

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