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The Political Issues Of The Indian Removal Act Of 1830

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The Political Issues of the Indian Removal Act of 1830
Former President Andrew Jackson was responsible for putting the Indian Removal Act of 1830 in place. It forcibly removed five civilized Native American tribes— Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—from the southern United States. The act would stay in effect until the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842. Native Americans’ feelings toward the United States government have changed from one of annoyance to disgust since being taken advantage of during the Indian Removal Act. In this research paper I will illuminate the political issues involved with the Indian Removal Act by examining whether Jackson’s decision to move forward with the Act was constitutional, defining the
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According to John T. Fierst,
The idea of removal as a solution to the “Indian problem” had been kicked around since the eighteenth century. Policy makers were drawn to it in the 1820s for two reasons: the weaken position of the Native Americans after the War of 1812 made removal possible; and the pressure to open up new lands made this action politically desirable. (9)
In addition, the southern states with “large populations of Native Americans pressured the administration to change its policies,” (Fierst, 9-10) pertaining to the Native American presence and relations. The most outspoken state was Georgia, who wanted the Native Americans evacuated from the state’s lines so that it could claim the land. Since Andrew Jackson believed that the Native Americans, living within the United States, had no sovereignty over the land, more authentic steps were taken to remove them upon his election. The Native Americans felt betrayed by the American people. After all the work and effort to help the white man through means of trade, the Native Americans were now being forcibly removed from their homes and made to move to the other side of the Mississippi River, hundreds of miles away. The Choctaw tribe was told that they needed to choose quickly between “surrendering tribal sovereignty and removing to the west.” (Davis, 67) They were told that if they moved peacefully, they would receive rations and provisions; however, if they decided to stay-
They would be subject to suit
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