Indian Removal Act Of 1830

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"It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress . . . the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation” (Jackson, 1830, para.1). With promises of new lands, protection, and monies, President Andrew Jackson portrays the Indian Removal Act of 1830 as beneficial to Indians, wherein governmental financial gain is incidental. However, when considering land transactions and gold discoveries, the true beneficiaries are revealed. While strengthening the States’ white population, wealth, and power, the Indian Removal Act dispels previous treaties that ensure Indian ancestral territorial boundaries; and it ultimately facilitates the forced relocation where thousands die of starvation and exposure.

Proponents of the Indian Removal Act (the Act) advocate its benefits to the Indians. For instance, in his message to Congress, President Andrew Jackson (1830) explains, that as white settlements inevitably progress westward, current policy attributes to the slow annihilation of the Indians, therefore a speedy removal protects the Indian civilizations from extinction. He goes on to explain that the Act not only provides for this speedy removal, but provides a purchase of their current territory, endows a new extensive territory, finances relocation, and offers future support and protection; and these offers should be “hailed with gratitude and joy” (para.4), and any “pecuniary advantages which it promises to the Government are the least of its

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