Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)

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Hicks, Brian. “The Holdouts.” Smithsonian (2001): 51-60. (10)

Brian Hicks’ retelling of the events leading up to the Removal Act, especially in regards to the Cherokee, takes a well known incident in American history and sheds a light on it which, in the past, was rarely ever attempted. As a nation the United States has began to take baby-steps into education their citizens of the bodies which drag behind the passing of the Removal Act, but Hicks does one better and step by step explains the moments leading up to Jackson’s scrawling signature. Upon passing the bill, Jackson took no more than four months before he began “negotiating with the Chicksaws, the Choctaws and the remaining Creeks to move west”.41 Other than the more obvious relationship to American history, this Act dictated the future for entire cultures, entire peoples, and perhaps the even more astonishing thing is that Congressional acts such as these are rarely taught below the twelfth grade. This act remains so crucial to American history because its actions were so different that incidence before, in that Cherokees usually signed treaties which” generally required them to give up large tracts of land but granted their rights to whatever remained” – the Removal Acts asked for no such bargain.42 Granting the President of the United States close to complete power over the fates of the Native Americans, the Removal Act made it “lawful for the President of the United States to cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States”.43 Directing away from the obvious relationship to present day reality, the dictation of entire lands by one individual was an action quite extreme and, definitely, not theoretically constitutional, as monarchy remains as textbook separate from democracy as any individual could think. To add insult to injury the sixth paragraph of the act states that it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tribe or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons”.44

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