Andrew Jacksons Removal Of Native Americans

Friday, February 18, 2022 6:45:18 AM

Andrew Jacksons Removal Of Native Americans



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Trail of Tears: Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830

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Jackson saw the bank as a corrupt, elitist institution that manipulated paper money and wielded too much power over the economy. His opponent for re-election in , Henry Clay, believed the bank fostered a strong economy. Seeking to make the bank a central campaign issue, Clay and his supporters passed a bill through Congress to re-charter the institution. Another political opponent faced by Jackson in was an unlikely one — his own vice president. Following the passage of federal tariffs in and that they believed favored Northern manufacturers at their expense, opponents in South Carolina passed a resolution declaring the measures null and void in the state and even threatened secession.

Vice President Calhoun supported the principle of nullification along with the notion that states could secede from the Union. Although he believed the tariff to be too high, Jackson threatened to use force to enforce federal law in South Carolina. Within weeks, a compromise was passed that included a modest reduction in the tariff along with a provision that empowered the president to use the armed forces if necessary to enforce federal laws.

As he was leaving a memorial service for a congressman inside the U. Capitol on January 30, , deranged house painter Richard Lawrence emerged from the crowd and pointed a single-shot gold pistol at the president. When the gun failed to shoot, Lawrence pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. The infuriated Jackson charged the shooter and hammered him with his cane while bystanders subdued the attempted assassin. The English-born Lawrence, who believed he was an heir to the British throne and owed a massive amount of money by the U. Despite his popularity and success, Jackson's presidency was not without its controversies. One particularly troubling aspect of it was his dealings with Native Americans.

He signed and implemented the Indian Removal Act of , which gave him the power to make treaties with tribes that resulted in their displacement to territory west of the Mississippi River in return for their ancestral homelands. Jackson also stood by as Georgia violated a federal treaty and seized nine million acres inside the state that had been guaranteed to the Cherokee tribe. Although the U. Supreme Court ruled in two cases that Georgia had no authority over the tribal lands, Jackson refused to enforce the decisions. As a result, the president brokered a deal in which the Cherokees would vacate their land in return for territory west of Arkansas.

Jackson also nominated his supporter Roger Taney to the U. Supreme Court. The Senate rejected the initial nomination in , but when Chief Justice John Marshall died, Jackson re-nominated Taney, who was subsequently approved the following year. Justice Taney went on to be best known for the infamous Dred Scott decision , which declared African Americans were not citizens of the United States and as such lacked legal standing to file a suit. He also stated that the federal government could not forbid slavery in U. The Whig party failed to win the presidential election, which was captured by Martin Van Buren.

Jackson, however, left his successor with an economy ready to crater. Having taken a financial loss from devalued paper notes himself, Jackson issued the Specie Circular in July , which required payment in gold or silver for public lands. Banks, however, could not meet the demand. When Jackson arrived in Nashville in , he met Rachel Donelson Robards, who, at the time, was unhappily married to but separated from Captain Lewis Robards. Rachel and Andrew married before her divorce was officially complete — a fact that was later brought to light during Jackson's presidential campaign. Although the couple had legally remarried in , the press accused Rachel Jackson of bigamy. Jackson's willingness to engage his and his wife's many attackers earned him a reputation as a quarrelsome man.

During one incident in , Jackson even challenged one accuser, Charles Dickinson, to a duel. However, President Jackson and his government frequently ignored the letter of the law and forced Native Americans to vacate lands they had lived on for generations. In the winter of , under threat of invasion by the U. Army, the Choctaw became the first nation to be expelled from its land altogether. Thousands of people died along the way. The Indian-removal process continued. In , the federal government drove the Creeks from their land for the last time: 3, of the 15, Creeks who set out for Oklahoma did not survive the trip. Some wanted to stay and fight. Others thought it was more pragmatic to agree to leave in exchange for money and other concessions.

To the federal government, the treaty was a done deal, but many of the Cherokee felt betrayed; after all, the negotiators did not represent the tribal government or anyone else. Senate protesting the treaty. By , only about 2, Cherokees had left their Georgia homeland for Indian Territory. Scott and his troops forced the Cherokee into stockades at bayonet point while his men looted their homes and belongings.

Then, they marched the Indians more than 1, miles to Indian Territory. Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera and starvation were epidemic along the way, and historians estimate that more than 5, Cherokee died as a result of the journey. By , tens of thousands of Native Americans had been driven off of their land in the southeastern states and forced to move across the Mississippi to Indian Territory.

In , Oklahoma became a state and Indian Territory was gone for good. Today, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail is run by the National Park Service and portions of it are accessible on foot, by horse, by bicycle or by car. Trail of Tears. Start your free trial today. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

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