The Trail of Tears

Shannon Schwartz

Background Information

The Trail of Tears was something that had happened during the 1830's. This forced the Cherokee tribes out of their homes and on their way west of the Mississippi because of Andrew Jackson who had passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States. He had been elected by popular vote, which was mainly because Jackson claimed to represent the "common man." Then as the political parties in the U.S. started to develop more, Jackson had become the new leader of the democrats; not the republicans. But among this there was the Whig Party that is also known as "anti-Jacksonites." Who Jackson had opposed.
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Indian Removal Act of 1830


The Indian Removal Act (passed by Andrew Jackson) had authorized him to make the Native Americans move into unsettled land so that he could take theirs. Many white people at this time wanted the lands that the Indians had because there was gold found which made land valuable. After the act was passed the Cherokee were forced out with just what they had on them at that moment even though many of them had resisted.

Trail of Tears

Over the fall and winter of the years 1838 and 1839 the Native Americans that were still left were forced on this big journey to get to the new land that was out west. All of that way they were forced to walk, no matter how horrible the weather might have been. It is approximated that 4,000 or more had died during this time, whether it was from the disease, starvation, or the weather. They were even given blankets that had smallpox on them in order to kill them! Which is how this trail got its name.

My Reaction

I think that what Andrew Jackson had decided to do with the Indians was unfair and cruel. Especially because of how the natives had the land first and were being forced away from their homes with rarely a choice. But I understand how during this time period it may have seemed like the right thing to do to Jackson and the whites. But all the unnecessary torture the natives had to go through was just simply uncalled for.