American History 131-I3
April 1, 2013
The Cherokee Removal
Long before the United States existed, the Cherokee people lived in the valleys of the rivers that drained the southern Appalachians. Within their villages the Cherokees built their towns, cleared their fields, planted their crops, and buried their dead. They also claimed a larger domain of land that extended into what is now known as Kentucky and Virginia. (Perdue and Green, pg.1) On these lands the Cherokee men would hunt deer, other game, and gather raw materials that would be essential to their way of life. The Cherokees also divided what tasks were done rather rigidly on the basis of gender. For example the Cherokees associated farming with women and hunting with men. (Perdue and Green, pg.2) Although the tasks of the Cherokees were divided by gender, they still allowed both men and women to speak on important issues. The Cherokee men and women would gather in the townhouse or council house were they would conduct debates on important issues and conduct ceremonies. Also the leadership within the Cherokee community also rested on the one who inspires followers rather than someone born to office. (Perdue and Green, pg.3) Even though all of these factors summarize how the Cherokees lived, there was one of the main aspect of who how they lived would be one of the main reasons that Native Americans were consider “uncivilized”. The Cherokees believed that is was up to them to keep everything around them in balance and when one of their people were killed, they felt that it was their duty to avenge their death. When the war party was form they would often go out and target easier victims and this included women and children. It was because of this type of warfare that would often strike Europeans. (Perdue and Green, pg.3) Although Europeans were not the first non-Indians to come into contact with the Cherokee people, they were the first to challenge the Cherokee belief system
Cited: Perdue, Theda, Michael Green. The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents, Second Edition. Boston: MA, Bedford/ST. Martin’s, 2005.