Conan Hodgkinson Hodgkinson 1
November 19, 2018
The Indian Removal Act Violated the Constitution
The US government’s forced removal of the Cherokee from their traditional lands in 1838 via the Indian Removal Act (also known as the Trail of Tears) violated the constitution in a variety of ways. For Example, In the story Samuel’s Memory it is stated that the American soldiers trashed Cherokee houses while searching for weapons before forcing them out of their own homes; “ They enter our home and begin knocking over pottery and looking into everything.” This action clearly violates the fourth amendment which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out the requirements for search warrants based on probable cause. The American soldiers had no right to search their homes, as they had no evidence or reasonable grounds to suspect the homeowners were hiding any contraband inside. Another way in which the Indian Removal Act violated the constitution is how they seized the guns of the Cherokee people. This is also mentioned in the story Samuel’s Memory after Samuel and his mother are taken to where the soldiers have their horses and Samuel sees his father in the distance; “The men who rode off return with my father, Elijah. They have taken his rifle and he is walking toward us.” The seizing of Cherokee people’s guns for no reason other than the fact that the soldiers fear the Cherokee may fight back against tyranny using their firearms is not only ironic,...