The rise and development of America has a lot of historic landmarks. Being a nation of multiracial origin, discrimination was among the major problems that the minority groups in America faced. People were discriminated based on the skin color and their race. People lived very suspicious lives. Due to the differences, the Americans lived very suspicious of one another. The most devastating aspect of this discrimination was manifested when the incidence of “trail of tears occurred.” It was a historical happening where there was forceful relocation and ethnic cleansing that took place when the Native Americans were evicted from the Southeastern parts of the United States where they had settled all the years.
In the early 1830s, most parts of the lands in the current states of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida were occupied by over 125,000 Native Americans. They had claimed these places long in the days of their ancestors where they carried out cultivation. Unfortunately, the number of the Native Americans in the southeastern parts of the United States had greatly reduced after a decade. In fact, very few natives could be traced in the southeastern parts.
Indian Reaction to the Native Americans
In the American history, the White Americans hated the Native Americans that they come across in their territories. In their perception, they believed that the American Indians illegally occupied the agriculturally potential areas that the white Americans had desired. They considered them alien and unfamiliar people who they could not entertain. Therefore, the leaders like George Washington decided that the only way the Indian problem could be solved was by ensuring that the Native Americans were civilized into the White American ways of life. Civilization campaigns were, therefore, began in America to make the Native America adopt the lifestyle of the White Americans.
Removal of the Indians
The white Americans coveted the lands that were occupied by the Indian Americans. They saw these lands as potential areas for growing cotton. It was possible that the White Americans could do everything bad to acquire these lands. In 1930, President Andrew Jackson signed an act that was aimed at removing the Indians from the lands they had occupied. The Act authorized the federal government to exchange the native lands of the Indians located eastwards of Mississippi for the lands in the west an area known as Indian Colonization Zone. This is the present day Oklahoma.
Trail of Tears
The Indian Removal Act signed in 1830 was meant to be based on negotiations and agreements. There was not to be any forceful eviction of the natives. However, the federal government ignored this aspect and began to force the Indians out of their native lands. The government in 1831 began the process of forceful removal of the Indians. It began with the Choctaw, Creeks, Cherokee in that order. The forceful eviction was characterized by threats and the natives were compelled to leave without any supplies. Therefore, most of the Native American who were victims of forceful removal could not survive the journey. Some died on the way. It was indeed a painful journey.
Perdue, Theda, and Michael Green. The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears. New York: Penguin Books, 2008.
Wallace, Anthony. "The Long, Bitter Trail." In Andrew Jackson and the Indians, by Hardback ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001.