Native Americans Indians faced numerous challenges to their survival as people on their own lands in the eighteenth century. The Indians found themselves under severe pressure by settlers and speculators in the new nation interested in expanding east and westward of North America, either by acquiring Indian lands by treaty or by force. The American people at the time viewed Native Americans as uncivilized and savage. In May of 1830, Congress passed The Indian Removal Act, headed by President Andrew Jackson 3. Even Thomas Jefferson, who often cited the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy as the model for the U.S. Constitution, supported Indian Removal as early as 1802. Its main goal was the removal of the southeastern Indian tribes. Jackson convinced the American Indians that with whites surrounding the Indian, their culture was slowly being destroyed. It was the Native American who suffered most from Andrew Jackson's vision of America. With all this in mind the Indian Removal act was inhuman and in no doubt it should've been done differently. This journey of the removal was called the Trail of Tears, and this paper will show the effect it had on the Cherokee.
The native people of the North America lived for hundreds of years in peace. However, in 1540 the everyday lives of the Native Americans came to an alarming halt. It was in that year that Hernando de Soto came in contact with the native people of North America 1. From then on the natives, known as Indians, would come in contact with settlers from around the world that would be after their land. They would eventually adopt some of the foreigners’ ways. They would even go as far as to involve themselves in some of the colonial wars.
American settlers' hunger for Indian land, however, led to violent conflict as the Trail of Tears. During the nineteenth century as many as one hundred thousand Indians were moved westward. The Indians from five different tribes were removed. The removed tribes were the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and the Seminoles. The one Indian tribe that was most devastated by the white settlers were the Cherokee Indians. This group of people were the ones who experienced one of the most horrific removals in our nation’s history.
The Cherokees occupied the valleys of the southern Appalachian Mountains, by the valleys, ridges, mountains, and streams they developed a culture based on farming, hunting, and fishing. In the southeast, they had lived in villages along river valleys where they planted their crops on river terraces and hunted over large areas 4. The Cherokee Indians were a unique people because their belief system is the premise that good is rewarded and evil is punished. The Cherokee were spiritual people and were good at healing. The Cherokee tribe we very known for their hospitality. They are so respectful that when they spoke one would speak at a time and when they finished he or she would fall silent to listen to the other. The...