Cherokee Removal

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The Cherokee people were forced out of their land because of the settler’s greed for everything and anything the land had to offer. Many Cherokee even embraced the “civilization program,” abandoning their own beliefs so that they may be accepted by white settlers. Unfortunately for the Cherokee though, the settlers would never accept them as an equal citizen. A quote from historian Richard White says it very well, “The Cherokee are probably the most tragic instance of what could have succeeded in American Indian policy and didn’t. All these things that Americans would proudly see as the hallmarks of civilization are going to the West by Indian people. They do everything they were asked except one thing. What the Cherokees ultimately are, they may be Christian, they may be literate, they may have a government like ours, but ultimately they are Indian. And in the end, being Indian is what killed them.”

The Treaty of Hopewell was set up in 1785 and was made with all the good intentions, but nobody to enforce the rules. It was set up to start setting up friendly relations with the Cherokee, but also to define the Cherokee borders. It gave the Cherokees the right to expel of any unwanted person that was on their land. Even with this treaty though people of both Georgia and North Carolina moved onto the Cherokees land, taking as they pleased.

This caused there to be battles between settlers and Cherokee. There was a big racial issue when it came to battles though. Whenever the settlers would win a battle it was called an Indian war, but when the Indians would win, it was called a massacre.

Henry Knox soon stepped into the picture and he came believing that it was inevitable that both “civilized” and “uncivilized” peoples should fight so much. In order to ratify this he implemented a “civilization program.” As a part of this program, in order to be considered “civilized” one had to dress, think, act, speak, work, and worship the same way. Knox felt...
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