Historiography of the Native American Removal Term Paper

Pages: 11 (3097 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 11  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

¶ … removal of the Native Americans from the United States of America. In the year 1830, Five Civilized Tribes which included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw and Creek were still residing in the eastern side of Mississippi. At that time, the other tribes had been forcefully moved to the western side. There were indeed several reasons that made the Indians to be removed. The various reasons are provided in this paper. Again, the effects of their removal are also looked at in a detailed way. This paper further provides the reasons why their removal was not justified.

In the year 1830, Five Civilized Tribes which included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw and Creek were still residing in the eastern side of Mississippi. At that time, the other tribes had been forcefully moved to the Western side. These tribes were expressed as "civilized" since a number of the tribesmen had taken up several European-American characteristics and cultures. The Cherokees wrote a language of their own. The language was developed by a person whose name was Sequoyah. It was thereafter published in a newspaper, both in English and Cherokee (Foreman 1932)Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Historiography of the Native American Removal Assignment

The 1830 Indian removal act that was passed and commissioned by the Twenty-First Congress of the U.S. was not justified. This is because the main motivation behind it was their greed for land. Their desire for the land that was belonging to the Five Civilized Tribes was fueled by their hatred for the Indians. The removal of the great Five Civilized Tribes was not justified. This was evident several years after the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed and implemented. There were cases of forcible removals that began with the Cherokee Indians from Georgia. They were the first lot to suffer the injustices of the highly flawed Indian Removal Act. The year1802 saw the signing of a compact by the Georgia legislature that awarded the federal government all of the Georgian claims to lands in return for the federal government to get rid of all the title deeds belonging to Indians in Georgia. However in the middle of 1820s the people of Georgia became skeptic of the government promised commitment to its fair bargain of the pact. A substantial amount of land in Georgian belonged to Cherokee Indians. (Foreman 1932). They had a great fear of losing their dear land so they ensured that there was a written constitution in order to guide the process. The constitution had a proclamation that the Cherokee Indians and their nations had the total jurisdiction over their own land and territories. At this point in time, the process of removing the Indians had become complicated with issues of human rights with the Cherokee Indians making their own claims in the courts of law. The Cherokee Indians made efforts to be understood by the U.S. administration by presenting their case to the then newly elected U.S. president Andrew Jackson who unfortunately told them off by claiming that he had no powers to interfere with the legal conditions that were well stated in the Georgian legal system. President Jackson came up with solution to the Cherokee Indian problem by promptly coming up with a mechanism of removing the Cherokee Indian tribes to western lands. This move according to him would minimize the contacts between the Cherokee Indians and the white colonialists. The same trend was noted to have occurred between the civilized mean and the colonialist. In the state of Florida, the Seminoles experienced similar land disputes. Another Indian tribe called the Creek was also embroiled in protracted battles with the federal army in order to preserve their lands located in Georgia and Alabama. Similarly, the Choctaw and the Chickisaw were also engaged in disputes in Mississippi. In order to have peace the government came up with a move that was aimed at removing the Five Civilized Tribes away from their native lands to a new land in Oklahoma. President Jackson claimed that this was aimed at protecting the Five Civilized Tribes and giving them tome to fully adjust to the white man's culture. What makes the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes unjustifiable is the fact that they were removed from their vast and relatively rich land to be resettled in the a smaller and less valued land located in Oklahoma. The process of moving them also resulted in several deaths (Foreman 1932).

The Trails of Tears

The Trails of tears is probably one of the biggest injustices that were done to the Five Civilized Tribes. This is because the ten years of relocating the over 70,000 Indians were forced to leave their homes and then be relocated to the less comfortable lands in Oklahoma. They were given a large part of Oklahoma other than the Panhandle. The government made a commitment to let them stay in the "Promised Land" indefinitely. This was however not the case since the land they were given was later rescinded by the government and the Five Civilized Tribe and pushed to other reservations. Several members of the Five Civilized Tribes died as a result of disease and famine. The Five Civilized Tribes were exposed to inhuman conditions which denied them their basis human rights. The members of the Five Civilized Tribes had to walk for long distances with very little rest. The aim of the removal was to provide the settlers more productive land (Foreman 1932).

The Five Civilized Tribes' land in Cherokee, Georgia was very resourceful due to the discovery of Gold in the area. The fact that the Indians were denied the chance of having a formal administrative office was also a breach of their rights to association and forming their cultural meetings. The holding of any form of tribal legislature were also banned in Georgia for the Cherokee. The fact that the legal rights of the Five Civilized Tribes were trampled upon is evident when they were denied the right of making lawsuits against any white individual and families. President Jackson also guaranteed the Indians of an autonomous control of the west in order to act as a very strong incentive to the process of emigration. The fact that the Federal agents employed unethical techniques of negotiation in order to convince the Five Civilized Tribes to relocate beyond Mississippi is also unacceptable. They employed intimidation, bribery and trickery in order to realize their goals of expelling the Indians out of their native land (Dunning 1898).

Despite this acculturation, numerous white settlers loved the piece of land. A number of them were claiming that their residence in the place jeopardize both security and peace. A number of the states in the U.S. such as Georgia in the year 1830 passed a ruling which outlawed the residence of whites on any territory of the Native American. The effective date was March 31, 1831. The whites wiling to live in the place had to possess a valid permit from the authorities.

As they were residing in the homelands which were inside the southeastern side of American, a number of the members who were coming from these tribes started to practice commercial agriculture. Besides, they decided to live as the Americans were living. A number of them started plantations while others owned slaves (Lindberg and Matthews 2002)

Reasons for their removal

The Native Americans were standing in the white settlers' way.

During the 19th century, United States was speedily growing. As a result, it stretched into the south. The white settlers as a result were facing what they were considering as an obstacle. This is the region where the Seminole, Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations were living. To the white settlers and also numerous other white Americans, the Indian residents, stood in the white settlers' way of growth. The settlers were in a dire need for pieces of land to enable them to plant cotton. As a result, the white settlers made much pressure on the state to take the Indian Territory. Indeed the American settlers greatly hungered for the land that was owned by the Indians. They as a result started violent conflict to enable them to acquire the pieces of land that belonged to the Indians. The treaties that followed compelled the tribes to give up huge pieces of land to the government of the United States (Foreman 1932).

The Seminoles were harboring fugitive slaves

A great advocate for the removal of the Indians was Andrew Jackson. He was ailing from Tennessee. In the year 1814 he made a command to the military forces of the United States. The forces defeated a group of the Creek population. The white settlers acquired about 22 million acres piece of land when they defeated the Creeks. The pieces of land were in the central Alabama and southern Georgia. The United States got more land in the year 1818 when, they punished the Seminoles because they were harboring the slaves who escaped. The troops of Jackson therefore attacked Spanish Florida, acquiring the land (Foreman 1932).

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