2nd period 3/20/10
The Indian Removal Act
Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. This act called for the government to make treaties that required Native Americans to relocate west. Jackson thought that this policy was “just and liberal.” He thought the Native Americans would be able to keep their way of life. He was wrong. The Indian Removal Act brought a lot of hardship to the Native Americans. It also forever changed the relationship between whites and Native Americans. Before Jackson passed this act, he gave the Native Americans two choices. The two choices were that they could take on white culture and become citizens of the United States, or they could move to the Western territories and keep their culture.
A lot of Southerners approved of the act because they wanted to gain access to the lands that belonged to the Native Americans. They also wanted the gold that was found on the Native Americans’ land. The Native American chiefs signed the act involuntarily. They were greatly pressured by the American government. This was unfair to the Indians.
Congress should have never passed the Indian Removal Act because the Native Americans had the right to live where they lived. The Indian Removal Act led to the Trail of Tears. This was the harsh journey of the Cherokee from their homeland to the west. The Trail of Tears was a harsh journey because about 4,000 Indians died. The land that they lived on belonged to them. Jackson believed that the government had to regulate where the Native Americans could live. When they relocated west, they couldn’t keep their way of life the same. They had to change part of their culture. The further west they went, the more the land changed, and the hardship got worse and worse.