The sided on president Andrew Jackson’s side. “The

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         The Indian Removal Act – The Trail of TearsImagine one day everything is fine,  you’re  content, but the next day you’re  forced to leave your home because someone decided they wanted your land, and they thought somehow they deserved it more.  Well, this happened to the Native  Americans. Andrew Jackson forced the relocation of the  Native Americans during the  1830’s from the East of the Mississippi River to the West of the  Mississippi  River. He  wanted  the  Native  Americans  to  be  relocated  because Jackson  wanted  to  expand  the  United  States  among  other  reasons  like  their  land  had  gold  and  that  he  wanted  to  grow  cotton  on  their  land, and  his  want  for expansion  led to  the   Indian  Removal  act  also  known as  the  “Trail of Tears.”  In order to grow the United States, the land near the Mississippi River would need to expand and this land belonged to the Native  Americans. This caused conflict between Andrew  Jackson  (and his men)  and  The  Native Americans because the Native tribes didn’t  want to move but  Jackson constantly fought to get them removed. The end result was the trail of tears which greatly impacted the rest of Native American lives and the way Native Americans and white settlers viewed perceived each other. Andrew Jackson had made many decisions through his presidency but one of the most heartbreaking decisions he made was the decision to force an entire nation out of their own land. Jackson went through many “struggles” to enforce the Indian Removal Act policy. Of course, the Native Americans fought back and eventually, this was taken to court. “In 1830 Congress urged on by President Andrew Jackson, passed the Indian Removal Act which gave the federal government the power to relocate any Native Americans in the east to territory that was west of the Mississippi River.”(Angela Darrenkamp). Jackson knew that if his requested motion was taken into place, the Native Americans could do nothing but obey or they would end up getting killed. Sadly but not surprisingly, the court sided on president Andrew Jackson’s side. “The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.”(The Library of Congress, 1830) 1830 was the year that Andrew Jackson officially got the Indian Removal Act to sign into law. Meaning at any given time, Jackson could decide that, that day, the Native Americans would need to move west of the Mississippi River. Which should’ve brought cation to all the native tribes, but many decided to stay in their homeland, and even some willing to go to war for their homeland. The threat of being escorted from your own homes lived within the Native Americans for 2 years. This was because Jackson had given them 2 years to voluntarily move to the new land, and after the 2 years, they would be forced out of their homes. “When the two-year grace period expired and Jackson had left office, his hand-picked successor, President Martin Van Buren, ordered the removal to begin.”(History Net) Around 2,000 Native Americans decided to move while the rest stayed and decided to fight for their land, their rights, and their integrity. However, after the two-year notice was over and Andrew Jackson was out of the office, Martin Van Buren decided to continue on with the removal and since the 2-year notice was over, he started the removal of the Native Americans. The removal of the Native tribes was brutal and disturbing. “1838 called in federal troops into “escort” approximately 15,000 Cherokee people to their new home in Indian Territory.”(Angela Darrenkamp). This quote helps show that when Native Americans didn’t move voluntarily Martin Van Buren got them removed by using force. When these people were taken away from their homes without notice. They didn’t have the chance to gather their belongings or their valuable possessions. They were pushed and beaten if they resisted and as they left their houses including their entire lives would go up in flames. It was estimated that around 15,000 Cherokee people were removed from their land, and that’s not counting the rest of the tribes that were also removed from their homes at different times.  Now you might ask how President Jackson and the next president got away with the Indian Removal Act and this was because Andrew Jackson had justification for why he wanted the NA to leave this land. However, his “justification” was very prejudice. In an article, it was stated that “He believed the Indians were incapable of pursuing or achieving the same progressive agenda as the white settlers.”(Thetall) To continue on with his “reasonings”, “Andrew Jackson justified this by claiming that it was aimed at creating new land so that citizens of the united state would be able to settle on the new land.”(Administrator 2013) as well as, “the move would strengthen the southwestern frontier and that relocating the Indian population from states such as Mississippi, North Carolina would give an opportunity for those states to be able to develop rapidly with regard to wealth, population and power”(Administrator 2013) and last but not least,  “it will incalculably strengthen the southwestern frontier and render the adjacent States strong enough to repel future invasions without remote aid” (Andrew Jackson’s second annual message to Congress notes.).” It is clear to see that his defense to that horrendous act was all prejudice and his reasonings were only beneficial to white Americans. So yes, Jackson and his people thought they had a valid reason to relocate the Native Americans, but truly, they did not. In conclusion, Jacksons need to expand the US and his strange reasonings behind it was the cause of the Indian Removal Act also known as “The Trail of Tears.”The Americans thought the Indians were savages and were lesser than human and they wanted to push them out of the land they lived on – their home. However, the Native Americans did not want to leave their land which caused conflict them and Jackson (and all the white settlers). “Settlers and cattle ranchers pushed the Indians out of their homelands. The result was a series of wars between the tribes and the federal government.”(Frank Beardsley 2005). The settlers and cattle ranchers decided on their own that they had the right or someone else’s land. The Native Americans didn’t want to give up their land because they would hunt there and that was their source of living which was convenient because the plains were full of animals. This caused them to fight harder for their land causing further damage to the government and Native Americans.  Native Americans were in a basic lose-lose situation.  “Whenever white men wanted Indian land, the tribes were pushed farther west. If the Indians protested or tried to defend their land, they were destroyed with crushing force.”(Frank Beardsley 2013). They would either have to give up their homeland and move somewhere that couldn’t provide them with their needs or that would stay, defend their land and honor and end up getting killed. On a different note, there were some tribes that had created treaties with the US government. An example would be the Santee Sioux tribe. They had agreed that if they gave up 90% of their land, the government would prove them with an annual pay so they could buy food. Sooner or later, the government started slacking on the payments,”The government was late giving the Indians their yearly payment. As a result, the Indians lacked the money to buy food.”(Frank Beardsley 2013), meaning the tribe struggled with buying their foods from the traders. This was from the start, a bad idea because once the Native Tribe couldn’t afford to buy food, the traders would insult them based on their race, and this triggered the Tribe. The outcome was disastrous and even fatal for some of the people involved. The local Indian chief called his men together. He gave the orders for war. “Early the next morning, the tribe attacked the trading stores. Most of the traders were killed.”(Frank Beardsley 2013) This situation was just another example of how the Native Americans were being treated, and how the government always got away with taking more than that they were willing to give and the people who ended up getting hurt was always the Natives. After the constant battle between Jackson and the Native Americans, the Native Americans had no choice other than to leave… or die. The Native Americans compromised everything they had, just to live. When they were being relocated they faced many unforgettable, traumatizing, and life-changing events. “Georgia volunteers entered the territory and forcibly relocated the Cherokees. Americans hunted, imprisoned, raped, and murdered Native Americans.”(Library of Congress 1838). That’s what they experienced during the trail of tears journey.  Along with their entire lives, their pride was compromised as well. Many died from either hunger, sickness, or the harsh weather conditions they faced. The Trail of Tears was long and stretched,”5,045 miles across portions of nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee).”(Elizabeth Prine Pauls). We can only imagine the things the native tribes ended up going through and all the sacrifices they had to make along the road. An article states that “The Trail of Tears found its end in Oklahoma. Nearly a fourth of the Cherokee population died along the march. It ended around March of 1839. The rule of cotton declared a white only free-population. Upon reaching Oklahoma, two Cherokee nations, the eastern and western, were reunited.” (The History Engine 1836-1839). To sum it up, the land that was belonged to the Native Americans ended up being an all-white land and what the Native Americans got was land that barely had enough resources that were needed for their survival. The Indian Removal Act, aka as the “trail of tears” had a major negative effect on Native Americans. It caused many problems along the lines of living in poverty, living in a small house while having a big family, and not being able to find jobs. Nearly 22% of the country’s 5 million Native Americans live on tribal lands. (Native American Aid) Even worse, it’s stated that ” four to eight out of ten adults on reservations are unemployed. Among American Indians who are employed, many are earning below poverty wages.” Moving to a completely new land with not many resources had an impact on Native Americans that they are still facing to this day. If not being crowded in a small house, then they are homeless. Another thing the Indian Removal Act impacted was the health of the Indians. Due to their living conditions and history, “the link between heart disease, diabetes, poverty, and quality of nutrition and health care, 36% of Natives with heart disease will die before age 65. Compared to 15% of Caucasians.” (Native American Aid) However, even though the Indian Removal Act did impact the US itself, it wasn’t negative. The impact the trail of tears had in the US was that their removal created more land and expanded the united states which created more land for slavery and farming for the white settlers. In fact, “As a result of the treaties, the United States gained control over three-quarters of Alabama and Florida, as well as parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and North Carolina.”(PBS 1840-1848). After the Native Americans were relocated, the land was known for being used for “white settlement and for slavery.”(PBS 1814-1859).  The government made a promise that the new land would remain unmarked, but as white settlement grew westward, the “Indian country” diminished. ‘In 1907, Oklahoma became a state and Indian territory was soon gone.”(Native American History). For this reason, the ones who compromised the most were the people who were negatively affected the most. The Indian Removal Act (the trail of tears) was a heartbreaking experience for Native Americans. Totally undeserved, they had their land taken away from them by Andrew Jackson and his men. This was a tragedy that the Native Americans are still recovering from, painfully slow.  It is important to learn about the Indian Removal Act because it’s important to teach the children of America how some of US land was obtained. That the soil we walk on and the air we breathe was the result of many Native American deaths’. It’s crucial for people to realize what the Native Americans were forced to go through, the lives, homes, land that they lost, only for them to be ignored by the current school education systems. The number of lives lost simply because a white person said, “I want that.” It is important to teach, not only children but adults as well that the effect of the trail of tears still exists. That all the Native tribes are still suffering from the great trauma they faced. In order to become a better nation, you must first learn and understand the history of your nation. The US is not perfect, never was, and people need to start understanding the reasons why, and maybe the Indian Removal Act could be the first step for everyone who wants to know the reasons why.                        Work citedSecondary: Darrenkamp, Angela. “The Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears: Cause, Effect and Justification.” HISTORY MATTERS – The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, History Matters,”Indian Removal Act.” HistoryNet,  “How Did President Andrew Jackson Justify Indian Removal?”,, Feb. 2013, “How Did Jackson Defend the Indian Removal Act? …. America’s Population Growth….Protect American Land from Foreign Countries.”, 2 Mar. 2011,  Voa. “Native Americans Went to War to Protect Their Lands.” VOA, VOA, 6 Sept. 2005,  “Removing Native Americans From Their Land.” Native American – Removal from Their Land – Immigration.Teacher Resources – Library of Congress,   Pauls, Elizabeth Prine. “Trail of Tears.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 4 Sept. 2017,, Digital Scholarship. “The History Engine.” History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research | Episodes, American Living Conditions on Reservations – Native American Aid,  “Indian Removal.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 1814-1858,”Primary Documents in American History.” Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents in American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress), 1774,  “Transcript of President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830).” Our Documents – Transcript of President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830), Annotated BibliographySecondary Darrenkamp, Angela. “The Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears: Cause, Effect and Justification.” HISTORY MATTERS – The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, History Matters, This article was written by Angela Darrenkamp. The article helped me find evidence for all the causes and effects of the Indian Removal Act. “Indian Removal Act.” HistoryNet,  Importance: This page had information on what happened after the Trail of Tears and during the process of the Indian Removal act. “How Did Jackson Defend the Indian Removal Act? …. America’s Population Growth….Protect American Land from Foreign Countries.”, 2 Mar. 2011, Importance: This entire page helped me understand the reasoning behind what Andrew Jackson did what he did. Voa. “Native Americans Went to War to Protect Their Lands.” VOA, VOA, 6 Sept. 2005,  Importance: This article was written to explain how Native Americans ought back and the measures they took and everything they went through. “Removing Native Americans From Their Land.” Native American – Removal from Their Land – Immigration.Teacher Resources – Library of Congress, Importance: Published by a page called library of congress, this page was dedicated to the entire Indian Removal Act. Pauls, Elizabeth Prine. “Trail of Tears.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 4 Sept. 2017, Lab, Digital Scholarship. “The History Engine.” History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research | Episodes, This was a reliable source that gave me information about the different types of tribes. Native American Living Conditions on Reservations – Native American Aid,  Importance: This entire page is dedicated to the aftermath of the trail of tears. The statics of Native Americans and their living conditions. “Indian Removal.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 1814-1858, I got a couple of my evidence from this page, it informed me about

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