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The Trail Of Tears: The Indian Removal Act

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Imagine being forced to leave your home, just for the reason of white settlers needing land to plant cotton. In 1814, Andrew Jackson from Tennessee commanded, the U.S. military forces that defeated a faction of the Cherokee nation. In their defeat, they lost 22 million acres of land.The Cherokees were given two years to migrate voluntarily, at the end of the two years the Cherokees would be removed by force. In 1838 only 2,000 had migrated and 16,000 remained on the land. The U.S. government sent in 7,000 troops and forced the Cherokees into stockades at bayonet point. They were not allowed time to gather their belongings, and as they left, whites looted their homes. This signified the beginning of the march that became known as The Trail…show more content…
One of these treaties was “The Indian Removal Act,” taking place in 1830. The Choctaws were the first to sign the treaty in September of 1830. Jackson believed that the removal policy was beneficial to Indian’s, but the Natives seemed to think otherwise. For the next 28 years, the U.S. government struggled to force southeastern nations to relocate. The Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, Creeks, and Cherokee were the first to attempt to become the first “Five Civilized Tribes,” which George Washington believed to be the best way to solve the “Indian problem.” The goal was to make the Native Americans as much like white settlers as they could by encouraging them to convert to Christianity, learn to speak and read English, and adopt European-style economic practices such as the individual ownership of land and other property such as slaves. The Natives adopted this policy of assimilation in an attempt to coexist with the settlers and ward of hostility. The Creeks and the Seminoles did end up waging war to protect their territory and the first Seminole war began, lasting from 1817 to 1818. A majority of the tribe also declared that the Removal Treaty was illegitimate and they refused to leave. This resulted in the second Seminole War, which lasted from 1835 to 1842. Fugitive slaves aided the Seminoles in their fight to keep their land, although thousands of lives were lost. This cost…show more content…
In 1835, the Creeks began stealing livestock as well as crops from the white settlers. This lead to the secretary of war ordering the removal of the Creeks as a military necessity in 1835. By 1837, approximately 15,000 Creeks had migrated West. Jackson removed 46,000 Native Americans from their land east of the Mississippi River and secured treaties led to the removal of a slightly larger number. Most members of the five southeastern nations relocated west, opening 25 million acres to the white settlements and to
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