Removal of Native Americans from Georgia

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In most of the slave states, the onward march of cotton cultivation placed an enormous pressure on remaining Indian lands. During the 1820’s, other states, like Missouri, forced its Indian population to leave the state. Soon after Missouri forced its Indians to move, other slave states, including Georgia, followed with the policy of expulsion. The Indian Removal Act of 1830, provided for uprooting the Five Civilized Tribes-the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole- with a population of about 60,000 living in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. These tribes had made great efforts to become everything republican citizens should be. The Cherokee were the most advanced. They had even written their own framework of government to that of the Constitution of the United States. But Jackson often referred to the Indians as savages and supported Georgia’s efforts to seize their land and nullify the tribe’s laws. Until 1803 Georgia distributed land based on the “headright” system. Each family had the “right” to 200 acres of land for himself and 50 acres of land for each member of his family, up to 1000 acres. After the Revolutionary War a number of governors signed land grants of greater amounts than the law allowed. This resulted in The Yazoo Land Fraud. In 1794 four Yazoo companies bribed and intimidated a bill through the assembly that sold them between thirty-five to fifty million acres of land for only $500,000. Once the bill passed there was a public outcry. There was a major upheaval in Georgia because of the methods used to pass the bill. Eventually the act was rescinded in 1796. All records of the bills and resulting sales were burned in front of the State Capital. The State refunded the money for the land, but some of the land had been resold to people who refused the money, preferring the land instead. The State
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