Trail Of Tears Summary

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History 1301 Victoria Bergt

John Ehle’s book Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation [New York: Anchor Books, 1988] attempts to answer the entail question “Why did the Cherokees move?” He sketches the events and people who led to the legendary Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokee Nation to “Indian Territory” where they would “never” be bothered by the whites in their live again Trial of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation has 22 chapters, beginning with some backgrounds of the Cherokees and the birthplace of the Cherokee Nation, also the birth of the Cherokee leader, Ridge. Ehle teaches us the traditional rituals the Cherokees do in the first couple of chapters and ending with
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George Washington believed that the only way and the best way to solve this “Indian problem” is to just simply “civilize” the Native Americans. The goal for this civilization campaign was to make all of the Native Americans just like the white Americans as possible. They would teach them and encourage them to read and write in English, convert to Christianity, and adapt to the European life style. But the Americans didn’t care how “civilized” their native neighbors were, they still wanted their land and they will do whatever it took for them to get the land. Then State governments started joining in this effort to try to drive the Native Americans out. Several states had passed laws limiting the Native Americans sovereignty and rights and encroaching on their own territory. Andrew Jackson, president during this time, has been a supporter of what he called “Indian removal.” In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which gave the federal government the power to exchange Native-held land. As the Indian- removal process continued, the federal government drove the Creeks out from their land for the last time: out of 15,000 Creeks 3,500 of them did not survive in 1836. By 1838, about 2,000 Cherokee Indians had left their Georgia homeland for the Indian Territory. General Winfield Scott and 7,000 of his troops marched the Cherokees more than 1,200 miles to Indian Territory. 5,000 Cherokees died from whooping cough, cholera, typhus, starvation, and
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