The Trail of Tears

The Trail of Tears - The Trail of Tears a. Western...

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The Trail of Tears a. Western Expansion i. 125,000 Native Americans lived in the forests and prairies east of the Mississippi in the 1820s ii. The government recognized tribes as separate nations and negotiated treaties with them iii. The government routinely violated their own treaties as the population went west b. Assimilating the Indians i. Many white Americans respected the Indians and thought they could be assimilated ii. They tried to “civilize” them by sending missionaries iii. In 1793, Congress appropriated $20,000 for the promotion of: 1. Literacy 2. Agriculture 3. Vocational instruction among the Indians c. Accommodating the Indians i. The Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles made a real effort to learn the way of the whites – “Five Civilized Tribes”; Cherokee Tribal Council 1. They gradually abandoned their seminomadic life and adopted a system of settled agriculture and private property 2. Missionaries opened schools 3. Created an alphabet 4. Wrote a legal code 5. Adopted a constitution that provided for an executive, legislative, and judicial branch 6. Some became prosperous slave owners on cotton plantations d. Not Good Enough! i. In 1828, the GA legislature declared: 1. The Cherokee tribal council illegal 2. Asserted its authority over Indian affairs and land ii. The Supreme Court upheld the Indians’ rights three times iii. Jackson refused to recognize their decisions because he wanted the lands open to white settlement – “John Marshall had made his decision; now let him enforce it” e. Uprooting of the Indians i. Jackson thought he would “rescue” the Indians by moving them west (to preserve their culture) ii. Emigration was to be voluntary (didn’t want to be cruel)
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f. Indian Removal Act of 1830 i. Forced the uprooting of more than 100,000 Indians living east of the MI River (mostly Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles) ii. Many died on forced marches over the decade to
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2012 for the course HISTORY 104 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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The Trail of Tears - The Trail of Tears a. Western...

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