Trail of Tears: The Forced Relocation of Thousands of Native Americans

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From 1838 to 1839, President Jackson enforced a strict  Indian Removal policy in response to the ongoing Manifest Destiny craze taking over the country. The white man wanted to expand the boundaries of the United States and were willing to do anything to accomplish their “destiny”. The Trail of Tears is what the Cherokee Native Americans called their forced relocation to Oklahoma from their lands east of the Mississippi River. Out of the 15,000 people forced onto ships or to march huge distances , 4,000 died due to do hunger, disease and exhaustion. There were many other reasons beside Manifest Destiny that turned white people against the Cherokee. When gold was discovered in Georgia white communities were afraid their Cherokee neighbors were going to take “their” gold. This was the peak of White-Native tension that caused the establishment of Indian Removal Policies.

Jackson and his troops were saved by Native Americans allies in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 and many were against the idea of the policies. Despite these reasons to praise and appreciate the Cherokee Indians, Jackson made one of the worst decisions of his presidency.  He killed innocent people for the satisfaction of fulfilling a destiny that the rest of the country wanted to fulfill and only applied to one race.

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The colored lines leading to Oklahoma(the yellow section) show the path multiple Native American tribes had to travel after being kicked out of their own homes.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html

http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/History/TrailofTears/ABriefHistoryoftheTrailofTears.aspx