Many Americans, appraised of this assimilation by publicists from the tribes themselves and by missionaries who had long lived among them, championed the cause of the Five Civilized Tribes. But the real power to dispose of the Indians lands remained with the state governments, and they were adamant for removal. These governments, in the early 19th century, passed laws that "legalized" the eradication of the Indian communities and opened their lands to settlers. Such legislation even denied the Indians any right of appeal by depriving them of standing in court.
It was this denial of the Indians most fundamental rights that led to a celebrated confrontation between two branches of the federal government in the persons of the venerable chief justice of the United States, John Marshall, and the president, Andrew Jackson (served 1829 - 1837). A Georgia law depriving the Indians of their rights was argued up to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled unconstitutional. Jackson, who was determined to rid the eastern part of... [continues]
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