Free Essay On The Indian Removal Act And President Andrew Johnson

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: America, United States, Europe, Politics, People, Government, President, Experience

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/11


The Indian Removal Act is a law signed by President Andrew Jackson that provided the President the power to negotiate with the American Indians for their withdrawal and removal from districts around the eastern side of the Mississippi river. This act also instigated the voluntary transfer of the American Indians to their ancestral home. Among the affected group is called the Five Civilized Tribe. This tribe includes the Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee . These tribes who managed to integrate with the westernized culture through learning how to read, write, understand and speak a language did not have much choice but to concede to the law of the United States and ended up living in Oklahoma. All the leaders of these tribes concurred when President Andrew Jackson won the election in 1832 via a landslide victory election. While the Native Americans agreed to free up the Southeast land for settlement purposes, unfortunately, this act favored the claims of the white American settlers who intended to take hold of the tribal lands. Fertile land surrounded the Southeastern part of the Mississippi river and it appeared it was one of the main reasons for demanding such group of lands. As described, there was a smooth transfer and relocation of the American Indians, however, this was not true as these Indians experienced manipulation, forceful and coerced in order to give up their lands. There were about 40 tribes removed from these areas composed of roughly 70,000 to 100,000 Indians .
There is a strong belief that the Manifest Destiny had a significant relevance and impact that echoed through the Indian Removal Act. During the period of Manifest Destiny, the American Federal Government developed this concept with the intention of extending the territory and area of the nation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean . The expansion intended to bring forward new customs for the society in their manner of living, gaining new riches and new crops. What took place is that American settlers moved throughout the continent, forcing Native Americans to leave and annex their Native American land and some unfortunately expanded to slavery. Indian people across the territory of American experienced deprivation especially in owning legitimate lands. The consequence of the Manifest Destiny is the ethnic cleansing of several Native American Land that eventually led to the Indian Removal Act. Both these concepts contradicted to the vision of President Thomas Jefferson that was; to combine the European Americans and the Indian Americans as one people . It was also during the era that the European Americans were in transit and expansion towards westward and continue to conquer and claim lands. Since the United States Federal Government supported this voyage, thus, the creation and promulgation of the Indian Removal Act. As a result of losing their land, American Indians had to wage war, experienced different types of diseases and even extermination. The Federal Government offered the freed land from the Native Americans cheaply for the European settlers. Unfortunately, European Americans and the Indian Americans have different concept on how to manage and maintain their lands. Indian Americans lived and managed their lands loosely. Chiefs spearheaded the management of land and the administration was more democratic, non-authoritarian and decentralized. On the other hand, European Americans used their lands to hunt, farm and staying for the tribe. The concept of ownership was not part of the values of the European Americans .
When President Andrew Jackson succeeded during the 1830 election, his platform devoted for opportunities for common man both in the economic and political aspects. He appeared as nationalist as he fought for the rights of the people. Regrettably, the signing of the Indian Removal Act by the President evinced a negative impact on the American nation as the act itself did not preserve and strengthen the American ethnicity and apparently favored the opportunistic European Americans. It appeared that the removal and relocation of the Indian American within their land diminished respect to the roots of these people as well as evinced that these individuals are lesser people because of the treatment of the government. Also, with the relocation of the Indian Americans, the livelihood of these people suffered because of the loss of their native lands. As an effect, poverty and loss of wealth doomed these people and eventually led to death to some of the Native Americans . The Native Americans continuously experienced and lived through poverty when the transferred occurred to Oklahoma. For several years, Native Americans combat an unfortunate lives in a land where deprived of resources to live abundantly. Consequently, the white Americans gaining fertile lands and industrious property from the native people increased their wealth. The European Americans benefitted heavily on the new farmlands that they cheaply bought from the American government and used it to their advantage and improved their livelihood.
As an after though of leaning what the Indian Removal Act is, its relevance to the era of Manifest Destiny and its effect to the lives of the Native Americans, it is unfortunate to learn that President Andrew Jackson did not manage to balance his nationalist intention among all citizens of the United States. His leadership approach fell short as other lives suffered, experienced and promoted slavery and poverty in the American nation. What the Native Americans went through his reign appeared as destructive and devastating in the ancient history of the United States.

Works Cited

Davis, E. "An Administrative Trail of Tears: Indian Removal." The American Journal of Legal History (n.d.): 50-55. Web Doc.
Foner, E. and J. Garraty. Manifest Destiny. 1991. Web Doc. 5 April 2015.
Ingersoll, T. To Intermix with our White Brothers: Indian Mixed Bloods in the United States. United States: University of New Mexico Press, 2005. Book.
Library of Congress. "Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents of American History." 2015. The Library of Congress. Web. 5 April 2015.
McDonnell, J. The Dispossession of the American Indian. Indiana University Press, 1991. Book.
Perdue, T. Mixed Blood Stains: Racial Construction in the Early South. The University of Georgia Press, 2003. Book.

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