Free «Indian Removal Act» Essay Sample

1)      Describe the policy that Andrew Jackson employed in his quest for Indian removal. What problems did his policy encounter? What effects did the removal have on Native Americans?

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In 1980 President Andrew Jackson worked with Congress to pass the Indian Removal Actwhich ordered the forced removal of five Native American Nations from the Southeast: the Creeks, the Choctaws, the Chickasaws, the Seminoles, and the Cherokees to the new Indian Territory west of the Mississippi river. His argument was that this policy would provide land to these Native Americans, provide more national security and encourage Native American civilization. However most Native Americans resisted the new law and appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Marshall, ruled that the Native Americans had a right to their land and could not be forcibly removed. Jackson, however, completely disregarded the authority of the Supreme Court and sent troops to remove the Native American nations.  Jackson’s policies were especially harsh on the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokees were forced on a march of 800 miles to reservations in Oklahoma, which later came to known as the Trail of Tears (1838–1839).During the journey, over one quarter of the Cherokee people died from disease, starvation, and exposure to the bitter cold. Indian removal was a deeply divisive national issue. President Jackson‘s policy was supported by the Southerners and the Westerners but North deeply opposed it .Protestant Missionaries and reform groups strongly opposed it and among the groups protesting it, there were members of female benevolent societies who had raised money to support missionary activities aimed at assimilating and not removing Native Americans These women joined together and organized the first national female petition drive. Women’s petition against removal with hundreds of signatures totally divulged the congress. However the protest failed and the Indian Removal Act was passed.

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