What was the reason for the Indian Removal Act?
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was approved and enforced by President Andrew Jackson. This act enabled the forced removal of Native American Tribes from their already claimed lands to land west of the Mississippi River. The reason for this forced removal was to make westward expansion for Americans easier.
Removal of the Indians was his answer to questions of national security, Wilson said. “Overall, Jefferson had to do what was best for security, the economy,” she said. “He was pushing westward and if the Indians resisted, they would have to be dealt with.”
The removal of the Cherokees was a product of the demand for arable land during the rampant growth of cotton agriculture in the Southeast, the discovery of gold on Cherokee land, and the racial prejudice that many white southerners harbored toward American Indians.
In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects.
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy.
Thomas Jefferson believed Native American peoples to be a noble race who were “in body and mind equal to the whiteman ” and were endowed with an innate moral sense and a marked capacity for reason. Nevertheless, he believed that Native Americans were culturally and technologically inferior.
Nakia Parker: While Indian removal expands the growth of slavery in the South, it also expands slavery westward because indigenous people who enslaved African-Americans could bring enslaved people to their new home in Indian territory.
The Caddo tribe of Louisiana initially used the ambiguity left by the Louisiana Purchase to its advantage. In the treaties that followed, the Caddo nation gave up nearly one million acres of ancestral land to the United States by 1835. After that date, the Caddos were forced from their land and into Oklahoma.
In 1830, US Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, forcing many indigenous peoples east of the Mississippi from their lands. The violent relocation of an estimated 100,000 Eastern Woodlands indigenous people from the East to the West is known today as the Trail of Tears.
The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connected Siberia to present-day Alaska during the Last Glacial Period, and then spread southward throughout the Americas over subsequent generations.
Cherokees Forced Along Trail of Tears A considerable force of the U.S. Army—more than 7,000 men—was ordered by President Martin Van Buren, who followed Jackson in office, to remove the Cherokees. General Winfield Scott commanded the operation, which became notorious for the cruelty shown to the Cherokee people.
By 1836, a removal treaty, contested within the Cherokee nation, had been signed by The Ridge and westward exodus had begun. General Winfield Scott sped the removal along as well as put many Indians into stockades along the way. The Trail of Tears found its end in Oklahoma.
Wounded Knee Massacre, (December 29, 1890), the slaughter of approximately 150–300 Lakota Indians by United States Army troops in the area of Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota. The massacre was the climax of the U.S. Army’s late 19th-century efforts to repress the Plains Indians.