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The Indian Removal Act

This is an example of how a research paper on the Indian Removal Act might begin.

Relationships between Americans and Native Americans had been problematic since the founding of the colonies in the early 1600s. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in an effort to displace the Five Civilized Tribes from their land in Southern states to land west of the Mississippi.

The Indian Removal Act

Tribes involved in the The Indian Removal Act

The Five Civilized Tribes lived in what is now Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. These Five Civilized Tribes were:

  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Choctaw
  • Creek
  • Seminole

Many of these tribes had adopted American culture. However, as President, Andrew Jackson began a policy that would remove these tribes from their land and way of life. A gold rush in Georgia that began in 1828, as well as expanding white settlers made demand for Indian lands great. Jackson, supported by an 1823 Supreme Court ruling, held that Indian tribes could occupy land, but not own it, and could not be treated like separate sovereign nations.

Signing the Indian Removal Act into Law

By signing the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830, Jackson ordered the forcible removal of these tribes to land west of the Mississippi River. The event became known as the “Trail of Tears” and resulted in the deaths of thousands of Native Americans throughout the 1830s. Some tribes, such as the Seminoles, refused to move, leading to the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842. Eventually, the United States got its way and forcibly moved the survivors to federal land in “Indian Territory,” now the state of Oklahoma.

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