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The "Trail of Tears" is the removal of Native Americans in 1830 that led to the forced uprooting of more than 100,000 Native Americans to an established Native American territory presently known as Oklahoma. This event came about because of the western expansion and the growing confrontation that would occur with the 125,000 Native Americans that were living in the forests and prairies east of the Mississippi in the 1820s. In the 1790s the tribes were considered separate nations and agreed to acquire land from the Natives by formal treaties. Later many white Americans felt respect and admiration for the natives and even felt they could be assimilated into the white society. Some examples of the attempt to assimilate the natives are to initiate Christianity making them more civilized and even donated 20,000 for Native American literacy programs and agricultural instruction. (Kennedy et al.167-168)

There were many tribes that tried to object to white influence but the Cherokees of Georgia did take to the ways of the whites and even adopted a written legal code, developed a system of settled agriculture and opened schools on their land. The Cherokees became prosperous cotton planters and even turned to enslaving blacks. Although things seemed to be going well in 1828 it seemed it wasn't good enough for the whites because Georgia's legislature declared the Cherokee tribal council illegal and asserted its own jurisdiction over Native affairs and Native lands. (Kennedy et al.167-168)

The Cherokee would later try to appeal this decision in court and won but president Jackson refused to honor the courts decision because he clearly wanted to open Native American land to white settlers. Jackson felt obligated to rescue the injured race so he proposed the removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" of the southeast to beyond the Mississippi. Countless Native Americans died during this "Trail of Tears" to their newly



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