The Removal of Native American Tribes from Their Indigenous Lands: An Analysis of Arguments and Legalities

674 Words Jan 6th, 2018 3 Pages
Morally, proponents of this action cited the fact that these Native Americans were "savages" (Jackson) with no rights to their land; legally, they were expected to adhere to the rights of the states and the federal government of the U.S. Those who were against Indian removal believed that legally they were entitled to their land because of their lengthy history in occupying it, and that morally their rights as people substantiated their claims to the land. A review of both arguments reflects the fact that the latter position is the most convincing. The crux of the moral argument stating that Native Americans should abdicate lands east of the Mississippi river is that they are allegedly uncivilized, and as such have no moral rights to those lands. This argument is based upon the conception that the eastern portion of the country had been civilized by Westerners, and that uncivilized people are best suited for uncivilized territory such as that found in the Western portion of the country in the beginning of the 19th century. President Andrew Jackson unequivocally posited this viewpoint in his First Annual Address to Congress in 1829 when he said that "Indians in general, receding farther and farther to the west, have retained their savage habits" (Jackson). This statement makes it…
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