Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal (1980 Dbq)

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Tyler Pape
P. 3 APUSH
Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal (1980 DBQ)
Andrew Jackson’s presidency from 1829 to 1837 the decision to remove the Cherokee Indians to land west of the Mississippi River was made. This was more a change of the national policy rather than a reformulation of it. Since the Spanish came to the New World in the 1500’s, the Natives, were there. Starting with Washington’s administration in the 1790’s, the United States’ policy was to civilize the Natives and assimilate them into society. Under the administration of Andrew Jackson, who was in favor of Western speculation, the Natives were forced to move from their homeland. From the beginning of the United States, Native Americans were given rights to act as independent nations, and those rights were to be respected by following the Constitution. For example, Henry Knox, the Secretary of War in 1789, wrote to President George Washington, “The Indians, being the prior occupants, possess the right of the soil. It cannot be taken from them unless by their free consent, or by the right of conquest in case of a just war,” (Document B). Because of this, the US allowed the Natives on American land their independent nations as they were the “prior occupants,” and their land should’ve never be taken unless they agreed to it or they were to lose it in a war. Although the United States’ policy sounded fair, for many years, the Natives were intentionally tricked into treaties that ceded huge amount of territory to the whites. To pay for the stealing of the Native Americans’ land, US government brought up ideas like that it is their “duty to make new efforts for the preservation, improvement, and civilization of the native inhabitants” as in the First Annual Message to Congress of President James Monroe (Document I). As time passed, the Native American nations near the States showed progress. In the letter of John C. Calhoun written to Henry Clay in 1820, he said that the Native tribes “appear to be...
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