Cherokee Trail of Tears U. The removal of the Cherokees was a product of the demand for arable land during the rampant growth of cotton agriculture in the Southeast, the discovery of gold on Cherokee land, and the racial prejudice that many white southerners harbored toward American Indians.
The removal, or forced emigration, of Cherokee Indians occurred inwhen the U. Now known as the infamous Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokee Nation fulfilled federal and state policies that developed in response to the rapid expansion of white settlers and cotton farming and that were fueled by racism.
The Cherokees lost approximately one-fourth of their people to disease, malnourishment, and hardship during the exodus to Indian Territory. Those who survived made a new life in the west, and a few hundred Cherokees who had previously agreed to become North Carolina citizens remained in the western North Carolina mountains.
Benjamin Hawkins and the Creek Indians The initiative to remove Indians began as an alternative to diplomacy in the earliest days of the American republic.
Initially, under President George Washington, the federal government encouraged Indians to embrace mainstream white American customs, such as Christianity and individual property ownership, and to learn English so they could assimilate into American society. Under this plan of civilizationas it was popularly known at the time, the Department of War paid federal agents to teach Indian men to farm rather than hunt and Indian women to spin and weave rather than farm.
The agents also encouraged the Indians to parcel out lands and resources that were traditionally held in common and, instead, to acquire private property and individual wealth.
Government-supported missionaries taught English and preached Christianity in Indian communities. Many among the Cherokees, CreeksChoctawsand other southeastern tribes accepted aspects of the civilization plan such as English literacy, Christianity, slaveholding, and male-dominated households. Missionaries and federal agents considered the Cherokees especially successful in adopting mainstream white culture.
Creeks and Cherokees occupied much of the area claimed by Georgia. InJefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase, which provided western land for Indian resettlement. Identifying the area as Indian Territory, all federal administrations thereafter encouraged Indians to emigrate west.
Because Indian nations were considered sovereign, that is, not under the authority of any state or nation, their lands could be acquired only by treaty with the federal government.
In the early s, the federal government repeatedly pressured and bribed southeastern Indian nations, including the Cherokees, into signing land cession treaties. Under these treaties the Indians typically sold some of their land and were guaranteed sovereignty and the right to keep all their remaining territory.
They believed that their sovereignty and the federal treaties protected their remaining land from further incursions. Pressure to cede intensified for those Indian nations with rich agricultural lands in present-day Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
White farmers in those states clamored for more acreage to grow cotton. When Alabama became a state inits white residents eagerly anticipated the eventual expulsion of Indians. As white populations increased across the South in the s, they began to argue that Indians were racially inferior and incapable of land management because they viewed land holding very differently from European Americans.
State leaders began to insist that Indian nations were not really sovereign and that they occupied land rightfully owned by the states.
Georgia officials increasingly demanded that the federal government fulfill its agreement by removing the Creek and Cherokee nations. To encourage Indian emigration, the federal government began offering western territory in exchange for Indian homelands. Inthe Cherokee Nation made its first land exchange, accepting a western tract in present-day Arkansas for one in present-day Georgia.
Most Cherokees refused to emigrate, however, and by the s the Cherokee Nation had vowed it would not give up one more foot of land.
At that time, the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation still extended into parts of Tennessee, Georgia, and the new state of Alabama.
Between andCherokees took determined steps to avoid removal. They established a national capitol at New Echota, Georgia, and a governing system with legislative, judicial, and executive branches.
They codified their laws, drafted a constitution modeled after that of the United States, and elected John Ross as principal chief. Inhowever, Andrew Jackson was elected president and declared Indian removal a national priority.
Two years later, Congress and Jackson approved the Indian Removal Act, which gave the president authority and funds to negotiate voluntary removal treaties. Alabama authorized state-built roads, bridges, and ferries in Cherokee territory and criminalized Cherokee laws and customs.
Georgia required all whites working among the Cherokees to sign a loyalty oath to the state. Inthe court affirmed Cherokee sovereignty and ruled that Georgia and therefore Alabama and Tennessee had no right to extend state laws over the Cherokee Nation.
Jackson would not enforce the court decision, however, and several Cherokee leaders who reluctantly decided that removal was inevitable negotiated with the government for the best possible treaty. Under the guidance of Major Ridge, his son John, and his nephew Elias Boudinot, a small group of Cherokees signed the Treaty of New Echota, which ceded all Cherokee Nation land east of the Mississippi and stated that the Cherokees would remove in two years.
Not one signer, however, represented the Cherokee government. Senate approved the treaty in the spring of Two years later, the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation began. Major Ridge In AprilGen. Winfield Scott took command of Cherokee removal and divided the Cherokee Nation into three districts, assigning a military commander to each.The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, , authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders.
A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. In the s, President Andrew Jackson pursued a policy of Indian Removal, forcing American Indians living in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi to trek hundreds of miles to territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consumation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of. However, using pooled time series data of post-removal Cherokee farm households in North Carolina, Cherokee technical efficiency ranged from 0% to 4% less than the efficiency of their neighboring white farmers.
Andrew Jackson’s “Indians” RI Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific ruling and negotiated a treaty for Cherokee removal with a chief representing a small faction of the nation.
Despite efforts to. the debate over indian removal in the ’s The US Congress, in , voted on the issue of what rights Indians had to land and independence in North America, continuing a discussion older than the American.