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Trail of Tears

            In 1786, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "It may be regarded as certain that not a foot of land will ever be taken from the Indians without their consent (PBS)." Forty-Four years later, in 1930, the Unites States Congress passed the Removal Act, which provided funds for the relocation of Indians. Of the tribes to be relocated were the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Seminole. Some moved peacefully and others resisted by the use of force, for they believed that it was their land and did not want to stand by while others forced them from their heritage. Natives sought to use the American Court system in court battles like the Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia and Worcester vs. Georgia. The decision made by the Court was that even though the Cherokees were not considered a separate state or nation that they were still a community within a nation. The court ruled that Georgia did not have the right to force the Natives off of their land. This was a ruling that President Jackson refused to enforce and the removal continued. In 1838, the US Army forced the Cherokees west of the Mississippi. They were the last of the Natives to be removed. This is known as the "Trail of Tears". "An estimated 4,000 dies from hunger, exposure and disease; the journey became known as the "trail were they cried" for the Cherokees and other removed tribes (Cherokee)." Jacksonian Democracy was exposed, for it was filled with prejudice and greed. In an interview, conducted at a dedication ceremony of a monument to one of those lost on the 'Trail Of Tears' it was said, .
             "When President Jackson looked at the importance of the Indian Territory, he did not see benefits for the Indians. His democracy did not want to share what the land had to offer with those living on the land. Jackson's attitude toward the Indians could be summed up in his words: "Humanity weeps over the fate of the Indians, but true philanthropy reconciles the mind to the extinction of one generation for another".

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