The Trail of Tears 1.5

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  • Yay! More land for us!
  • The savages don't want to join our society, and everybody wants to go west; Lets send them there for free!
  • He's not MY president. I didn't vote for him.
  • That's exactly my point. Why should we stick around here if they are just going to treat us poorly.
  • We have converted to your  religion and junk, so why should we leave our homes? Don't you have enough land already?
  • Leave now!
  • Because I said so!
  • But why?
  • Boohoo! We are sad because we were amorally evicted by the government!
  •     In 1830, President Andrew Jackson passed the "Indian Removal Act".  On December 30, 1830, he announced in his State of the Union Address that two tribes had already agreed to leave.  He played on the hearts of the sympathetic by explaining that "...one by one, many tribes have disappeared from the Earth..."  Jackson convinced the masses that removal was in best interest of the Native Americans, and they happily supported him.
  • Suck it up cry babies!
  • They are real jerks!
  • What have you done to my home?
  •     While some natives, like Elias Boudinot, were pro-removal, others were not. Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation was one of the anti-removal leaders. Those who were pro-removal argued that this social mulligan would give the Natives a chance to return to their roots, living off the land away from European influences. In 1832, Cherokee representatives went to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that they were an independent nation.
  • Finally! Now that the Indians are gone, we have more land to farm!
  • I want to go home!
  • President Jackson, however, ignored the Supreme Court's ruling.  In 1838, the US military forcefully removed the Cherokee from their homes.  That winter, about 17,000 Cherokee began their 1,000 mile march to Oklahoma.
  • Me too.
  • We can't go home, because it was taken from us.
  • This was a long and deadly trek, which resulted in many deaths.  A quarter of the tribe was lost on the long, mournful hike that came to be known as the "Trail of Tears".  That dark winter would be one of America's most infamous moments.
  • Although many Cherokee fled to North Carolina and Georgia, their land in Tennessee was settled by Anglo-American settlers.  There was some conflict between the Natives and the settlers, but the Cherokee tended to keep to themselves.  The Southeast would never be the same again.
  • The course of history was changed with the Trail of Tears, as were Native/Anglo-American relations.  The Cherokee would have to adjust to their new home, and the Americans would have to live with their actions.  It would take a long time to patch their relations.
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