- Term Papers and Free Essays

Jackson Dbq

Essay by   •  December 8, 2010  •  1,659 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,629 Views

Essay Preview: Jackson Dbq

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

The generalization that, “The decision of the Jackson administration to remove the Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River in the 1830s was more a reformulation of the national policy that had been in effect since the 1790s than a change in that policy,” is valid. Every since the American people arrived at the New World they have continually driven the Native Americans out of their native lands. Many people wanted to contribute to this removal of the Cherokees and their society. Knox proposed a “civilization” of the Indians. President Monroe continued Knox’s plan by developing ways to rid of the Indians, claiming it would be beneficial to all. Andrew Jackson ultimately fulfilled the plan.

The map indicates the relationship between time, land, and policies, which affected the Indians. The Indian Tribes have been forced to give up their land as early as the 1720s. Between the years 1721 and 1785, the Colonial and Confederation treaties forced the Indians to give up huge portions of their land. Successively, during Washington's, Monroe's, and Jefferson's administration, more and more Indian land was being commandeered. The Washington administration signed the Treaty of Holston and other supplements between the time periods of 1791 until 1798 that made the Native Americans give up more of their homeland land. 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.

In later years, those speaking on behalf of the United States government believed that teaching the Indians how to live a more civilized life would only benefit them. Rather than only thinking of benefiting the Indians, we were also trying to benefit ourselves. We were looking to acquire the Indians’ land. In a letter to George Washington, Knox says we should first is to destroy the Indians with an army, and the second is to make peace with them.

The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act of 1793 began to put Knox’s plan into effect. The federal government’s promise of supplying the Indians with animals, agricultural tools and appropriate instructions only showed how unaware the government actually was of the native peoples’ lives. First, it claimed that the Indians were easily influenced, saying that their tradition of common landholdings could be effortlessly changed. The promise was also ignorant to the fact that Indians have had years of agricultural experience. The focus was mostly on Indian men. In these societies the fact that women traditionally did the farming was irrelevant. Officials believed that Indian women, like those of European descent, should properly limit themselves to child rearing, household chores, and home manufacturing. The Federal government has violated the Indian Tribes independence and sovereignty. The government has forced them to become civilized. The Indians are natural born hunters, yet they have grown to become herdsmen and cultivators as it states in the Treaty of Holston. The government wanted to shape their lives to better accommodate the white peoples need for land because of the ever-growing population. In a letter to Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson says Indians “should be led to an agricultural way of life, thus lessening their need for land.” The Indians had taken up many white aspects of life. A member of the Cherokee nation, Sequoyah, invented a Cherokee alphabet that made possible a Cherokee-language bible and a bilingual tribal newspaper. According to a letter written by Calhoun to Clay, the Cherokee nation also had established “two flourishing schools among them…Besides reading, writing, and arithmetic, the boys are taught agriculture and the ordinary mechanics arts; the girls, sewing, knitting, and weavingвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This wasn’t the customary culture of the Native American people. These hunters and rugged outdoors-people now had schools and a civilization. They never had these things prior to the governments’ civilization plan. James Vann, a Cherokee, had a house built in Georgia around 1804 with 800 acres, 42 cabins, 6 barns, a sawmill, a blacksmith shop, a trading post, 1,133 peach trees, 147 apple trees, and slaves. This was a clear indication that some Cherokees had assimilated into white society. These once simplistic people were now being distracted by the seemingly ornate lives of Americans.

On March 4, 1817, General Andrew Jackson explained to President James Monroe that the Indians were U.S. subjects. He also explained that subjects should not have to negotiate a treaty, and that taking the land should be a right of the United States upon the Cherokees. In his “First Annual Message to Congress,” Monroe declared the beginning of a future plan to remove the Indians, claiming that, “The hunter state can exist only in the vast uncultivated desert.” On March 29, 1824, John C. Calhoun told Monroe that the growth of the Cherokee civilization and knowledge is the result “of the difficulty of acquiring additional cessions from” them. In late 1824, in his annual message to Congress, Monroe proposed that all Indians beyond the Mississippi River be removed. He sent word to Congress proposing removal three days later. Monroe said his suggestion would protect Indians from invasion and grant them with independence for “improvement and civilization.” Force wouldn’t be necessary, because Monroe believed Indians would freely accept western land free from white encroachment. In his “Plan for Removing the Several Indian Tribes West of the Mississippi River,” on January 27, 1825, Monroe explained that he believes acquiring land from the Cherokees will benefit them as well as America.

The Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws were the main focus of Monroe’s proposition. They had rejected the proposal. They had negotiated thirty treaties with the United States between 1789 and 1825 and wanted to remain to the left of their ancestral land. In the 1820s, Georgia accused the federal government of failing to fulfill its 1802 promise to remove the Indians in return for the Georgia’s



Download as:   txt (10.5 Kb)   pdf (123.9 Kb)   docx (12.3 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on