“Trail of Tears” : a Deadly Journey Across the Mississippi River

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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In the early year of the 1830s, Native Americans lived across the U. S, including places like Georgia and North Carolina. By the end of this time, few were left around, since the natives were now sold and worked for white settlers. To settlers, the Natives were simply people they did not know or see as equals; the settlers just saw them as strangers who lived on land they wanted. This led to the relocation of the Natives by a deadly journey across the Mississippi River, that came named the Trail of Tears.

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During this journey, many would not make it due to the dangerous route and other conditions, such as illness. During this time, the settlers not only took that Natives’ land right from under them, but also made them take on their religion and language and take on the European economic practices. In the Southeast U.S., the “Five Civilized Tribes” was created, which consisted of Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek, and Cherokee natives. While Indian removal of the North happened, it wasn’t as common as in southern states.

In this time, when white settlers were attempting to obtain the natives’ land, they would go to Jurassic measures if the natives would not give their land up, including burning their houses, staying on land they did not own, and even stealing their livestock. Even the government got involved, and laws were passed to limit the natives as much as possible such as preventing natives coming onto settlers’ land and limiting what the natives could do overall. From the government involvement, two big cases were made, being Cherokee Nation v Georgia in 1831 and Worcester v Georgia in 1832, but the Supreme Court outlawed these cases, stating that Georgia or any other state can have no force, meaning the settlers cannot forcefully take the natives’ land. Even though the Supreme Court outlawed the cases, people rarely respected that and still used force to obtain the land owned by the natives. Andrew Jackson was one of the most common supporters of the “Indian removal” and even had many campaigns for it.

In 1830, the “Indian Removal Act” was passed, giving the right to the government to peacefully and fairly trade land with the natives, this also prevented anyone from persuading the natives to give up their land; it had to be a fair trade that benefited both parties. Even though this was the law, just like the two cases listed before, it was sometimes ignored, and the natives were forced to leave their land with no choice. Once the Trail of Tears began, the Cherokee was divided into two groups, those who wanted to stay and fight for what was theirs, and those who thought, it would just be best to pack up and leave for an exchange of goods, such as money. By the year 1838, only around 2,000 or so Cherokee left their homeland for Indian territory. During the Trail of Tears, more than 5,000 Cherokee died due to diseases such as whooping cough, typhus, and many others, not including starvation, which also was the result of a lot of these fatalities. This horrible event happened until 1839, and in 1907, when Oklahoma became a state, Indian territory was completely gone, although the government promised the natives that it would not be touched.

The Trail of Tears was a horrible event that caused many deaths, and the loss of land for many. This is an important event in history that we should all know about and have knowledge of what these people went through. Settlers truly thought that just because the natives were different from them, that they have the right to take their land which is unjust. This event will always have a way of informing people on one of the worst things our country has gone through and knowing about this really helps put things in perspective of how this time was.

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"Trail of Tears" : a Deadly Journey across the Mississippi River. (2021, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/trail-of-tears-a-deadly-journey-across-the-mississippi-river/