Table of Contents
Settlement of the Native American communities has been a core problem since the 18th century. This was because of the desire of some communities to acquire extra land through the expansion. This became a serious problem in the early 18th century, when the Indian communities were forcefully removed from their settlements. This was termed as removal of the Native American communities. The problem was that some of these Indian communities were not recognized as natives. The communities, however, used different strategies to resist this removal. It is significant to point out that some of these strategies were unusually strong and useful, but others were extraordinarily weak, since they were ineffective.
Removal of Different Native Communities
Removal of communities in the United States took place at different times. In the early 18th century, communities living in the southern part, including Seminole, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee and Choctaw, were under pressure. All these Indian nations were under straining, because the settlers who were expanding to the south wanted to obtain their land for growing cotton. Since the settlers were extremely eager, they pressured the federal government to acquire the whole territory occupied by the Indian nations. In 1814, the U.S. military were commanded to acquire the Indian Territory, where they eventually obtained a fraction of land occupied by the Creeks. This was estimated to be around 22 million acres of land in central Alabama and southern Georgia. Additional land was later grabbed in 1918.
Removal of the Indian communities continued even after the treaties were signed and passed. This was evident in 1823, when the Supreme Court issued a ruling that Indians had the right to occupy lands within the country, but not to hold titles. This was a strategy of the government to have these Indian communities removed, but they had to take different measures to stop this oppression.
Removal of the Native American communities was also evident in 1845, when the phrase ‘Manifest Destiny’ was coined. This phrase supported territorial expansion of the U.S. at the cost of the Native Americans’ land. This was a doctrine that was in support of the process of civilization.
Strategies to Resist Removal
As the Native American communities in the U.S. were being removed, they used different strategies to resist. Some of the strategies they used were effective, while others were futile. One of the key strategies that the affected communities used was signing of treaties. Between 1814 and 1824 there were 11 treaties that were signed. Nine of these treaties supported the Native American communities from total loss of their land. These treaties helped the southern tribes to get western lands after losing their eastern lands. These treaties were exceedingly strategic as the communities accepted them, so that they could appease the government in order to retain their land. In addition, the Indian communities wanted to protect themselves from harassment by the whites; thus, they willingly accepted the abovementioned treaties. Consequently, it helped most of the Indian communities to remain in their lands, however, a small number of the communities, including Creeks, Choctaws and Cherokee, moved to the new lands they had been given. This was a strong strategy, since it helped many of the Indian communities to remain in their lands despite a few, who were moved from eastern to new western lands.
At times, it became challenging for the communities that were being removed to resist, especially in cases where the government was against their idea. In 1823, when the Supreme Court ruled that Indians should occupy lands within the United States without the titles, the Creeks, Cherokee and Choctaws sought for an answer to this situation. Since these are the same Indian communities that had been affected by the former treaties, they had a reason to react. This time, the strategy that the three communities used to protect the small portions of land that they had was the institution of policies to restrict land sales to the government. This strategy was extremely weak, since they enacted it real late. The government, therefore, played a key role in devising the strategy for the communities that were being removed to resist this move. The strategy empowered the settlers to further their efforts and expand to the west, where the three displaced Indian communities had obtained new lands.
The Indian communities that had remained in their lands after enacting the treaties were also in danger of removal. In this case, the communities, estimated to be five in number, adopted the Anglo-American practices such as slave-use, western education and large-scale farming. This strategy was aimed at warding off hostility with the settlers and enhanced peaceful coexistence. This had to be achieved through common practices that could make the communities have no differences that would trigger any disagreements. Nevertheless, this strategy was not perfect enough, since it made the whites resentful and jealous. The Indian communities had thought that the whites would buy their strategy, but this was not the case as they reacted in a different manner.
At some point, the communities experienced too much pressure, when they found that the strategies they used were ineffective. This made them engage in war in order to protect their territory. The Seminole used war as a strategy of protecting their land lasting from 1817 to 1818. The slaves supported and helped these communities to fight for their land. War was crucial in a way as it made many people appreciate the seriousness of the issue. This was, however, not as successful as it aggravated aggression among the whites. Consequently, they reacted in a way that was not favorable to what the Indian communities wanted.
Another strategy that the communities, particularly the Cherokee, used was legal means. This implied using the government to fight for their rights. It began in 1827, but it was not taken with the seriousness deserved initially until in 1831, when Andrew Jackson (the president during that period) pushed for legislation that was termed as the “Indian Removal Act.” The Act was extremely useful as it helped many of the communities that had lost their lands regain ownership. However, many American communities were against the Act as it did not favor them, especially those who had already displaced and occupied lands of other communities. The communities that refused to adhere to the terms of the Act were forced by the government comply. The issue was also debated in Congress to the extent that it divided the House. Eventually, the act was passed and worked to advantage of the communities that were in danger or had even been removed from their lands.
In conclusion, the Indian Americans were the most affected communities in land removal. The removal was aimed at benefiting the whites at the expense of other communities. This was a form of inequality that the victims could not buy. They, therefore, used different strategies to resist this removal. Some of the strategies were effective, while others were not. However, it is clear that all the strategies that were employed had some impact, which eventually helped the Indian communities that were under pressure to remain in their lands.