In the early nineteenth century, an infant America was increasing in population and expanding in the South until settlers were faced with the dilemma of the Native Americans. Anglo-Americans had two very distinct stances on how to deal with southern Indian tribes, particularly the Cherokee. One side was eager for land and developed the idea that Indians were both racially and culturally inferior and a hindrance to American progress, while on the other hand, some Americans believed that the Cherokee tribe was a sovereign, independent nation and that moral responsibility required the United States to protect them.
Pro-removal Americans rallied behind leaders such as, Andrew Jackson and William Cass. Jackson's patronizing attitude toward Native Americans was, based on his ideology that Native Americans were children in need of guidance. Jackson also advocated that the removal policy was beneficial to the Indians. Cass believed the Native Americans were unsophisticated and white settlers were racially superior. In his essay, Removal of the Indians, Cass depicts, “We doubt there is, upon the face of the globe, a more wretched race than the Cherokees, as well as the other southern tribes, present….(The Cherokee Removal, pg. 117).” Cass alluded to the underlying racism that piloted the argument for expulsion of the Cherokee. Many white settlers concurred with the belief that Indians were racial inferior and therefore white settlers and Native Americans could not live together. Cass also asserted in the same essay “A barbarous people, depending for subsistence upon the sanctity and precarious supplies furnished by the chase, cannot live in contact with a civilized community (The Cherokee Removal, pg. 116).” Some Americans supported this because they deemed anything different than them as wrong. The pro-removal argument was justified thru the belief that race determined character. For some Anglo-Americans race made Native Americans menial