Andrew Jackson Hero or Misfit America, the nation started on the idea of a nation free from oppression has a dark often shameful history. The Trail of Tears following the Indian removal act is a perfect representation with direct legislature to prove it. Now I have to say that former president Andrew Jackson was a person I greatly admired and often visited the hallowed statue in New Orleans that stands ever vigilant as a visual tribute the man who stood with few to fight the many and came out victorious.
Some historians view Jackson as a very controversial President, However historians will often agree that the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was not popular until, later on in retrospect but at the time seemed to be a viable option. ” This area was home to the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaws and Seminole nations. These Indian nations, in the view of the settlers and many other white Americans, were standing in the way of progress. Eager for land to raise cotton, the settlers pressured the federal government to acquire Indian territory’. PBS) The Indians being moved, had already been pushed out of the coastal regions now claimed by the new Americas and were now being moved again, “west of the river Mississippi, not included in any state or organized rewriter, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished, as he may Judge necessary, to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the reception of such tribes or nations of Indians as may choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, and remove there; and to cause each of said districts to be so described by natural or artificial marks, as to be easily distinguished from every other”. Primary actual doc)(Library of Congress) My interpretation of Chap. CALVIN- it was an act to provide for a reaping of lands with the Indians living in or occupying any state or rewriter, and for their removal to west of the Mississippi River. It was the understanding that the government can make it constitutional to remove any Native American from any established state such as Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina as well as any other American territory. The effect of this would be that the natural resistance from the Native Americans towards the new settlers moving into their already established lands.
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From the Native American stand point this was an outright violation of the constitution and even took it to the Supreme Court. Losing the first Attlee was only a setback winning the second Supreme Court battle would be the start of the end. The first Supreme Court battle would be the Cherokee Nation v. Georgia. First Cherokee Indian Case “Cherokee Nation v. Georgia Facts In 1791, a federal treaty granted the Cherokee Indians land within the boundaries of Georgia. In the sass the state began to enforce strict laws which were meant to assert control over the Indians and their land.
The Cherokee Nation filed suit requesting the Supreme Court of the United States to order the state to stop enforcing these laws. The Georgia officials refused to participate in the suit. Meanwhile, Georgians governor and legislature executed a Cherokee Indian, Corn Tassel, under the laws being contested by the Cherokee Nation. This was in direct defiance of the Supreme Court’s notice to the state of Georgia that it was looking into the conviction of Corn Tassel, thus furthering the problem. Issue Whether the state of Georgia could enforce its state laws upon the Cherokee nation and deny the constitutional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Opinion The Supreme Court denied the Cherokees request reasoning it had no Jurisdiction to decide such a case. Chief Justice Marshall wrote, “This is not the tribunal that can dress the past or prevent the future. “(www. Kiths. Org) The Second court case would be Worcester v. Georgia. Second Cherokee Indian Case Worcester v. Georgia A Georgia law required all whites living in Cherokee Indian Territory to obtain a state license. Two missionaries refused to obey the state law, were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to four years of hard labor for violating the state licensing law.
They appealed their case to the Supreme Court of the United States arguing that the laws they had been convicted under were unconstitutional because states have no power or authority to pass laws concerning sovereign Indian Nations. Issue Whether States had the reserve power to pass laws concerning the Indian Nations. Opinion The Court ruled that the State had no power to pass any laws affecting the Cherokees because Federal Jurisdiction over the Cherokees was exclusive. The missionaries’ convictions were therefore reversed.
This case led to much disagreement within the three branches of government. The President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was rumored to have said that the Chief Justice has made his decision with this case, now let him enforce it. In what has been described as a political outcome to this ease, the state of Georgia would, in time, pardon the two missionaries”. That brings us to the actual immigration of the Cherokee, Choctaw. While being evacuating the Native Americans were usually only allowed to take the clothes they were wearing and not much else.
That meant women, children, and men had to leave behind their established houses, that Jackson had ordered them to build to assimilate themselves in the American way of life. The Native Americans did not understand that even after changing their ways to be more like the colonial Americans they were still being ordered out of their own land. Regardless it was time o leave. Being herded out like cattle they would be moved west. This was a sad time for the natives as if having to leave was not bad enough going to a place and not knowing what is in store.
The territories would be new and they would have little knowledge of how to live or make a living there. Reading the Journals and letters from the Cherokee nation during this time is heart breaking. Many of them died and as many if not more were sick or starving, this is an actual account from a direct descendant of one the Cherokee nation passed down from her family. August 20, 1837 Margaret McGuire Field Worker An Interview with Lillian Anderson Fault, Oklahoma Life story of her grandfather, Washington Lee, Cherokee Indian In 1838, my grandfather, Washington Lee, came to the Territory and stopped at Westfield.
He was driven from his home in Georgia over the Trail of Tears with all the other Cherokee Indians and while on the trail somewhere he lost his father and mother and sister, and never saw them anymore. He did not know whether they died or got lost. The Cherokees had to walk; all the old people who were too weak to walk could ride in the Government wagons that hauled the food and the blankets which they allowed to eave. The food was most always cornbread or roasted green corn. Sometimes the men who had charge of the Indians would kill a buffalo and would let the Indians cut some of it and roast it.
The food on the Trail of Tears was very bad and very scarce and the Indians would go for two of three days without water, which they would get just when they came to a creek or river as there were no wells to get water from. There were no roads to travel over, as the country was Just a wilderness. The men and women would go ahead of the wagons and cut the timber out of the way with axes. This trail started in Georgia and went across Kentucky, Tennessee and through Missouri into the Territory and ended at Westfield, where old Fort Payne was. Old Fort Wayne was built to shelter the Indians until some houses could be built.