The Removal of the Indian Nation
No, the Indian removal was not right or humane. Andrew Jackson’s intent was good, But none the less inhumane.
In 1827 the Cherokee adopted a written constitution declaring themselves to be a sovereign nation. The Cherokee hoped to use this to there advantage. However the state of Georgia, did not recognize there sovereign status. This action taken by the state of Georgia, paved the way for the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which was quickly passed by congress and President Andrew Jackson. (Indian removal Packet)
Later in 1830 Andrew Jackson put into effect the Indian Removal Act. This gave the President power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. Under these treaties the Indians were to give up their lands in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi. The lands that were taken usually were sold for around $1.25 an acre and some were sold for as low as $.12 an acre this was to make way for rich land owners, land companies, squatters, and frontiers men. (Was Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy Motivated by Humanitarian Impulses?) These tribes included; Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw nations. (Indian Removal Packet)
The treatment of the tribes was poor at best. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans had been removed which wasn’t even half of the population. (Indian Removal Packet) None were treated worse than the Cherokee. Who were tricked with the treaty of New Echota in 1833. (Indian Removal Packet) Evan after a letter of protest by Chief John Ross in 1836, who said in his letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives. “We are overwhelmed! Our hearts are sickened, Our utterance is paralyzed, when we are placed, by the audacious practices of unprincipled men, who have managed their stratagems with so much dexterity as to impose on the government of the United States, in the face of our earnest, solemn, and reiterated protestations.’ (Cherokee Letter Protesting the Treaty of New Echota) With the little effect this letter had. By 1838, only 2,000 Cherokee had migrated leaving 16,000 to be forcibly removed from there land, where in 4,000 Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease. Known as the trail of tears. (Indian Removal Packet)
Evan though Andrew Jackson was trying to protect the Native American people from the atrocities of white civilization. He also looked upon the Native Americans as “Children in need of guidance.”(Andrew Jackson) It was once said, “No individual is more closely identified with the policy of removal of the Indians east of the Mississippi, to lands west of the river than President Andrew Jackson.” (Wilcomb Washburn) (Was Andrew Jackson’s Removal Policy Motivated by Humanitarian Impulses Packet?) Needless to say the ends never justify the means.