The Indian Removal Act

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The Indian removal act, that was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, helped destroy Native American culture east of the Mississippi River. The Indian Removal Act authorized President Andrew Jackson to negotiate with the Native Americans for their homelands in exchange for federal territory west of the Mississppi river. In theory, the Native Americans were supposed to leave their homelands voluntarily. Instead, pressure was put on the Native Americans to sign the removal treaties and were forcibly moved, by the government, west of the mississippi river leaving behind their culture east of the mississippi river. Many of the Native Americans suffered from disease, starvation and death because of the forced relocation to the west. A change in climate and environment did not assist with the relocation of this society that had first existed on the American soil. This tragic incident is most remembered as the “The Trail of Tears”. Furthermore, the lack of compensation, by the government, to the Native Americans destroyed, the already diminishing, numbers of their eastern tribes. Many Americans opposed the removal of the Native Americans and argued that they too had been civilized and should be allowed to remain on the homelands, specifically Davey Crocket. This was a valid point of debate for the Native Americans, although at this point the strength in numbers for the government were overwhelming compared to that of the Native Americans living on their homeland. On the other hand, some of the natives thought strategically about agreeing with the treaty because this would alleviate “white harassment”(Indian Removal, PBS). This shows the debate amongst the natives themselves, over the removal act, leaving some tribes divided and again assisting with the destruction of their

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