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====Why Remove Native Americans?====
Why was Jackson so committed to removal? Jackson fundamentally believed that Native Americans represented a serious security risk to the United States. Jackson had taken part in the United States campaign against members of the Creek nation who followed Tecumseh in 1814. Tecumseh believed that the United States represented an existential threat to not only Creek tribe, but all Native Americans in the United States. Tecumseh lead a revolt against the United States to push back the advance of American settlers. Tecumseh's revolted was defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, but Jackson had already decided that Native Americans and US settlers could not live together peaceful. As a result the Tecumseh's defeat, Jackson imposed terms on the entire Creek nation that removed them from their ancestral lands.
Native Americans also held some of the farmlands in the Southeast United States. Several of these tribes had already begun to farm these lands and earnest and make them productive. Both states and settlers wanted to seize these agricultural lands from the Native Americans. The states, such as Georgia, cared little that Native Americans had placed farms on these lands, purchased slaves, or built homes. The tribes did not recognize the states authority over their lands, because they viewed themselves as independent nations.
====Andrew Jackson and The Removal Act 0f 1830====
Jackson strongly favored removing the 60,000 Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek and Seminole (the Civilized Tribes) from North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Indian Removal was one of Andrew Jackson's most important goals. It was so important that during Jackson’s first message to Congress, he asked for a bill and funds to move these tribes west of the Mississippi. Jackson's message was clear, Indians needed to permanently removed west of Louisiana.
The first piece of legislation passed after Jackson took office was the 1830 Indian Removal Act. The 1830 Act was just a first step in a long process that forced Native American off their land to make way white settlers.
Legal Opposition==== The Cherokee Nation resisted, however, challenging in court the Georgia laws that restricted their freedoms on tribal lands. In his 1831 ruling on Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that “the Indian territory is admitted to compose a part of the United States ,” and affirmed that the tribes were “domestic dependent nations” and “their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian.” However, the following year the Supreme Court reversed itself and ruled that Indian tribes were indeed sovereign and immune from Georgia laws. President Jackson nonetheless refused to heed the Court’s decision. He obtained the signature of a Cherokee chief agreeing to relocation in the Treaty of New Echota , which Congress ratified against the protests of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay in 1835. The Cherokee signing party represented only a faction of the Cherokee, and the majority followed Principal Chief John Ross in a desperate attempt to hold onto their land. This attempt faltered in 1838, when, under the guns of federal troops and Georgia state militia, the Cherokee tribe were forced to the dry plains across the Mississippi.
====Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears====
To achieve his purpose, Jackson encouraged Congress to adopt the Removal Act of 1830. The Act established a process whereby the President could grant land west of the Mississippi River to Indian tribes that agreed to give up their homelands. As incentives, the law allowed the Indians financial and material assistance to travel to their new locations and start new lives and guaranteed that the Indians would live on their new property under the protection of the United States Government forever. With the Act in place, Jackson and his followers were free to persuade, bribe, and threaten tribes into signing removal treaties and leaving the Southeast. With the exception of a small number of Seminoles still resisting removal in Florida, by the 1840s, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, no Indian tribes resided in the American South . Through a combination of coerced treaties and the contravention of treaties and judicial determination, the United States Government succeeded in paving the way for the westward expansion and the incorporation of new territories as part of the United States.
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[[Category:United States History]] [[Category:
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* Select portions of this article are republished from [https://history.state.gov/| Office of the Historian, United States Department of State]
* Article: [https://history.state.gov/milestones/
1750- 1775/ albany- plan| Indian Treaties and the Removal Act of 1830https://history.state.gov/milestones/1830 -1860/indian-treaties