The Cherokee Removal
With the establishment and the settling of the new formed United States, white settlers were consistently encroaching on Indian lands. In order to keep the peace between the settlers and the native tribes, the United States adopted treaties protecting Indian lands from squatters. Presidents such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson believed the Indians could be “civilized” by adopting farming and giving up their nomad existence. The Cherokee proved that they could easily become civilized, yet there were those who still demanded their removal from their ancestry lands. If it were not for the inauguration of President Andrew Jackson and the passing of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Cherokee people could have easily integrated into American society.
The Cherokee people incorporated many of the Anglo-American ways in order to become civilized and assimilate into American society. They converted from a hunter and gathering society into an agrarian society by clearing parcels of land for farming. Farming became their primary means of food. John Ridge, a prominent Cherokee, stated, “…there is not to my knowledge a solitary Cherokee to be found that depends upon the chase for subsistence and every head of a family has his house & farm” (Trail of Tears). A few of the wealthier Cherokee, usually half-breeds, owned larger tracks of land. Some even owned slaves in which to raise cotton to be sold at market for a profit. In addition to becoming farmers, the Cherokee people structured their own way of governing. The Cherokee formed a system of government structured similar to that of the United States government. There were legislative, judicial and executive branches that establish laws, which were written in English and enforced by a court of justice, sheriffs, marshals, and constables within each district (Trail of Tears). The Cherokee people even adopted their own constitution and declared themselves a “sovereign and independent...
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