Indian Removal Act
By: Tessa Schroeder & Kenzie Balcerak
Andrew Jackson & the Removal Bill
In 1829, the Cherokee Indians discovered gold within their homeland, Georgia. This was reported back to President Andrew Jackson. He then wanted to move all Native Americans living on the East side of the Mississippi River, to the West of the river. So at Jackson's request, the United States Congress opened a fierce debate on an Indian Removal Bill.
In the end, the bill was passed, but the votes were close. The Senates votes passed the bill; 28-19, the House also passed the measure; 102-97. Jackson then signed the legislation into a law on June 30, 1830.
Indian Removal Act
At first, Andrew Jackson didn't believe that Native Americans should be living with the whites, so he left them alone; until one day, when the Cherokee Indians found gold in their land. At that point, Jackson then created a bill that called for all Native Americans living on the East of the Mississippi to relocate to the West side of the river. He went to Congress and created a treaty. Some tribes left, but most fought for their land.
When the Native American people heard of their new reputation of being "uncivilized", instead of fighting with the Americans, they simply created a Cherokee language, they created a constitution similar to the Americans, wrote newspapers, and elected leaders to show they had a government. They hoped now, that they followed what the civilized whites do, they would be about to keep there land and live with the Americans in peace. But that was just the opposite. Georgia refused to recognize that they were trying to unite. Georgia threatened to take their land, so the Cherokee's took their case to the U.S Supreme Court and won a favorable decision. The Court told Georgia they had no right to move the Native's to different land. The Georgia officials simply ignored the rule, and Jackson refused to enforce it. Jackson was angry with Marshall because John Marshall switched sides during these acts. He stated "Mr. Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it!".
Forced to the West
When the Cherokee people, led by Chief John Ross, heard that the white people were coming to move them, they built a barrier formed form upright wooden posts to protect themselves. They resisted to leave until the bitter end. They Americans had no patience and marched about 20,000 Cherokees to the Indian Territory at gunpoint. Nearly a quarter of the Cherokee tribe perished on the cold and dreadful, Trail of Tears.
Trail of Tears