The Indian Removal Act : The Impact Of The Indian Removal Act

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One of the defining moments of President Andrew Jackson’s career, if not the most significant, was the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This was a controversial bill at the time and the impact from it is still felt today. The Indian Removal Act directly led to the displacement of thousands of Native Americans; including four thousand deaths during the Trail of Tears, the forced march from Georgia to Oklahoma. While overt racism played a clear role in relocating Native Americans past the Mississippi, it is possible that other factors were at play. The living conditions in many of the states were poor for Natives and Jackson hoped that giving them a new location to live could remedy these problems while opening the land up for white settlers. Jackson was a groundbreaking President in many regards. He was an orphan and did not come from the upper class. He was the first President to actively campaign for votes and when elected in 1828, he would continue the previous policies for moving Native Americans to the Indian Territory as he believed this is what the voters wanted. During this time, many Southern states restricted the rights of Indian Nations. Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi all stripped Native Americans of their civil rights, abolished the tribal unit, rejected ancestral land claims, and would not allow them to vote or testify in court. Before the Indian Removal Act, Native Americans signed various treaties with the federal government in regards to keeping their land.
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