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Term Paper example - The Trail of Tears

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The forced removal of the Cherokee materialized after the passing of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. However, there are several things that motivated the US Congress to pass the Act. The sequence of these events can be traced from 1814 to the 1830s, although some of them overlap…

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Between 1814 and 1824, Andrew Jackson became useful in negotiating 9 out of 11 treaties whose intentions were to divest Five Civilized Tribes, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Creeks, of their eastern lands in exchange for free lands in the west. As a result of these treaties, the US was able to control three quarters of Florida and Alabama as well as parts of North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee. This was a period characterised by voluntary Indian migration. However, only a small percentage of Cherokee, Choctaws and Creeks moved to the new lands .
Around the same time, that is, during the 1820s, there was the creation of the Indian Territory which is the current-day Oklahoma. This marked the genesis of the reservation system for aboriginal Americans. In 1827, the Cherokee adopted their own written constitution declaring themselves to be an independent, sovereign nation and the Congress felt threatened by this. In 1828, there were three major things that contributed toward the creation of the Indian Removal Act. First, Andrew Jackson was elected to become the president of the US. In his campaigns, Jackson had made promises one of which was to “free land” later to be given to white settlers. The land specifically was to be in the southern frontier states. His appeal was primarily directed to settlers of Georgia. At that time, the Cherokee Indians occupied a total of 35,000 acres in Georgia.
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