As the nation expanded west, many Native Americans still remained in the East. The Cherokee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw people lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
These groups had created successful farming communities that were much like many other American communities. As a result, Americans considered them "civilized" and referred to them as the "Five Civilized Tribes."
Though Americans recognized the success of the Five Civilized Tribes, they did not necessarily respect their rights. In fact, some white people wanted the Native Americans` lands for themselves.
To make this possible, they wanted the federal government to force eastern Native Americans to relocate to lands west of the Mississippi River.
Andrew Jackson supported the white settlers` demand for Native American land. He had once fought the Creek and Seminole in Georgia and Florida to give the settlers more land. When he became president in 1829, he started that he wanted to move all Native Americans to the Great Plains.
Many people believed this region to be a wasteland where American settlers would never want to live. Many people thought that if all Native Americans moved there, conflict with them would be ended.