The Trail Of Tears

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Why the Trail of Tears? The Trail of Tears was the name, given by the Cherokee Indians, to the forced march from their lands in the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory during 1838-1839. This event is a huge black spot in American history. This is only one instance in the history of man where domination of a weaker race of man occurred. Through enslavement, mandatory assimilation or just the taking of the resources of these people, the white man roamed the world conquering others. Many Native Americans died during this event simply from the manner in which they were relocated. The deaths and hardships encountered on the forced march was such a travesty that the route the Indians were driven on became known as “The Trail of …show more content…
President Thomas Jefferson as well as George Washington before him (Dwyer p32) held the belief that the Indians through assimilation were equal to the white man in mind and body but that their environment had slowed advancement of them as a people. Jefferson felt the culture of the white man would overtake the natives and destroy their own way of life. In other words, it would be better for the Indians to move west for their own sake. Agreeing with Jefferson some moved west while others of the Cherokee natives stayed and assimilated to the white culture while still remembering who they were. They took on the ways of the white man and even married white women. Some even owned slaves. The five Indian tribes that were considered civilized were the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole (Dwyer …show more content…
The natives had to give up their land in exchange for land west of the Mississippi. In the end, the terms of the exchange were not upheld by the government. The white settlers didn’t want the wild untamed land west of the river; they wanted the fertile worked land in the southeast. This was not supposed to be coercion, but the President didn’t deal fairly. Where this act of injustice failed or seemed to take too long, the Georgia land lotteries took up the slack. The discovery of gold in Georgia led to a mass onslaught of whites wanting the land and its riches. The lands were redistributed from the Cherokee and Creeks to the white settlers “legally” with property deeds, without the knowledge of the Indians. They just showed up with a deed and the natives had to vacate (Dwyer

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