The Policies Of The Federal Government Toward Native Americans During The Period From 1820-1844 – Essay Example

The Policies of The Federal Government Toward Native Americans During The Period From 1820-1844. Native Americans were living in their land peacefully and contended, until United States took over by power and force. The Indians were situated in lower south which was home for the various Indian tribes such as Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole. However, as the population and requirements for United States kept growing, government needed that land for cotton production.
In early 1820, various treaties were negotiated with Natives for exchanging land in west for land in south. A few Indian tribes even moved voluntarily to west. But in 1823, a law was passed by Supreme Court that Native Americans do not have the right to own any land in United States as it has the “Right of Discovery”. One Indian tribe, Cherokee decided to fight legal war against the whites who kept harassing them by stealing their livestock and burning their houses. They declared themselves as a separate nation in 1827, in order to be legally capable of owning their lands. However, the whites were merciless and their constitution was first rejected by state of Georgia and then by Supreme Court.
In 1829, Andrew Jackson became president who had the most hateful attitude towards Native Americans. He presented, many believed, one of the most brutal and vicious act passed by the federal government called “Indian Removal Act” (Prucha). The act was passed in 1930 by Congress to forcefully migrate Native Americans in order to gain access to their lands. As a result of this act about 100,000 natives were moved to west. In order to force Cherokees out of their land, U.S. government sent 7000 troops, who did not even allow them to take their belongings. The people of Cherokee walked their way to west and this historical march is known as “Trail of Tears”, in which 4000 people died of hunger and cold.
References
Prucha, Francis P. "Andrew Jacksons Indian Policy: A Reassessment." Journal of American History 26. (1969). 527-39.