President Jackson


 "The decision of the Jackson administration to remove the
Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River in
the 1830's was more a reformulation of the national policy
that had been in effect since the 1790's than a change in
that policy." The dictum above is firm and can be easily
proved by examining the administration of Jackson and
comparison to the traditional course which was carried out
for about 40 years. After 1825 the federal government
attempted to remove all eastern Indians to the Great Plains
area of the Far West. The Cherokee Indians of northwestern
Georgia, to protect themselves from removal, made up a
constitution which said that the Cherokee Indians were
sovereign and not subject to the laws of Georgia. When the
Cherokee sought help from the Congress that body only
allotted lands in the West and urged them to move. The
Supreme Court, however, in Worcester vs. Georgia, ruled
that they constituted a "domestic dependent nation" not
subject to the laws of Georgia. Jackson, who sympathized
with the frontiersman, was so outraged that he refused to
enforce the decision. Instead he persuaded the tribe to
give up it's Georgia lands for a reservation west of the
Mississippi. According to Document A, the map shows
eloquently, the relationship between time and policies
which effected the Indians. From the Colonial and
Confederation treaties, a significant amount of land had
been acquired from the Cherokee Indians. Successively,
during Washington's, Monroe's, and Jefferson's
administration, more and more Indian land was being
commandeered. The administrations during the 1790's to the
1830's had gradually acquired more and more land from the
Cherokee Indians. Jackson followed that precedent by the
acquisition of more Cherokee lands. According to Document
B, "the first of which is by raising an army, and
[destroying the resisting] tribes entirely or 2ndly by
forming treaties of peace with them", "under the existing
circumstances of affairs, the United States have a clear
right, consistently with the principles of justice and the
laws of nature, to proceed to the destruction or expulsion
of the savages." The use of the word savages, shows that
the American had irreverence toward other ethnic
backgrounds. Henry Knox wanted to destroy the cherokee
tribes inorder to gain land for the United States, although
he questions the morality of whether to acquire the
cherokee land, his conclusion forbode's the appropriation.
According to Document C, "That the Cherokee Nation may be
led to a greater degree of civilization, and to become
herdsmen and cultivators, instead of remaining in a state
of hunters, the United States will from time to time
gratuitously the said nation with useful implements of
husbandry." The statement made by Henry Knox shows an
ethnocentric view toward the indians. Knox viewed them as
savages, and said that the role of the United States is to
propagate their evolution into herdsmen and cultivators
instead of hunters. What Knox did not realize was that he
was attempting to change the culture of the Cherokee
Indians, and that would be an infringement upon their
sovereignty. According to Document E, "[In exchange for
Georgia's cession of claims to certain western lands] . . .
the United States shall, at their own Expense, [obtain for]
the Use of Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably
obtained on reasonable terms, the indian Title . . . to all
the other Lands within the State of Georgia." The statement
above, explains how the United States is being avaricious
in expanding the State of Georgia into cherokee lands.
Manifest Destiny and irreverence toward the Cherokee
Indians can be explained by this. According to Document F,
"The Indian tribes . . . have for a considerable time been
growing more and more uneasy at the constant diminution of
the territory they occupy, although effected by their own
voluntary sales, and the policy has long been gaining
strength with them of refusing absolutely all further sale
on any conditions . . . . In order peaceable to counteract
this policy of theirs and to provide an extension of
territory which the rapid increase of our numbers will call
for [they should be led to an agricultural way of life,
thus lessening their need for land], In leading them thus
to . . . civilization . . . I trust and believe we are
acting for their greatest good." Thomas Jefferson believed
that some people were dependent(slaves, women, indians) and
some people were independent (White males), he believed
that the independent of society should help the dependents
to become independent. Jefferson was attempting to be
benevolent toward the indians, but Jefferson was only
trying to acquire the land for the United States. Precedent
was reinforced in the United States not respecting rights
of sovereignty of the Cherokee Indians. According to
Document H, "I have long viewed treaties with the Indians
an absurdity not to be reconciled to the principles of our
Government. The Indians are the subjects of the United
States, inhabiting it's territory and acknowledging it's
soverignty, then is it not absurd for the soverign to
negotiate by treaty with the subject. . . ." Andrew Jackson
had made the assumption that the Indians were subjects to
the united states, which is not factual. Jackson is
explaining that subjects should not have to negotiate a
treaty, and that taking the land should be a right of the
master (U.S), upon his slave (Cherokee Indians). According
to Document N, ".....[I am] deeply impressed with the
opinion that the removal of the Indian tribes from teh
lands which they now occupy . . . is of very high
importance to our unio, and may be accomplished on
conditions and in a manner to promote the interest and
happiness of those tribes . . . For the removal of the
trives within the limits of the State of Georgia, the
motive has been peculiarly strong, arising from the compact
with that State, whereby the United States are bound to
extinguish the Indian title to the lands within it,
whenever it may be done peaceably and on reasonable
conditions." Again, the United States is expanding upon
Cherokee land, which Monroe believes that will benefit the
Indians and benefit the Americans. The statement is a
contradiction because Monroe as well as the president's
before him, believe that they are helping the Indians, but
are actually oppressing the Indians According to Document
O, "It has long been the policy of Government to introduce
among them the arts of civilization, in hope of gradually
reclaiming them from a wandering life." Converting the
Cherokee Indians from hunters into cultivators, seems like
the object of Jackson's speech, but the underlying reason
for the movement is for gold which was found in Georgia.
"Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the
Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their
attempt to establish an independent government would not be
countenanced by the Executive of the United States, and
advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi or submit
to the laws of those States." Jackson gives the Cherokee
Indians an ultimatum, whereby either the Cherokee Indians
move west of the mississippi or they will have to abide by
the laws of Georgia and the United States. The Cherokee
Indians seeking their independent sovereignty, moved west
of the Misssissippi, while almost half of their tribe had
been decimated (The Trail of Tears). Again, The United
States is violating the soverignty of the Cherokee Indian
land and is following precedent of the past policies toward
the irreverance of Indian Lands. According to Document P,
"The Cherokee Nation, then is a distinct community. . . in
which the laws of Georgia can have no force, and which the
citizens of Georgia have no right to enter but with the
assent of the Cherokees themselves or in conformity with
treaties and with the acts of Congress . . . ." The
statement made by John Marshall is correct by saying that
the territorial boundries and land of the Cherokee Indians
is soverign to the Cherokee Indians. Marshall announced
that the laws of Georgia are not applicable within the
Cherokee Lands, and the constitution acknowleges the
soverignty of it's bordering territories. Since the Supreme
Court couldn't enforce this opinion, Jackson carried
through his act of moving the Indians west of the
Mississippi. All in all, from the early 1790's to the late
1830's, the policy that Jackson set forth reinforced the
precedent which shaped national Indian policy between 1789
and mid 1830's._ 


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