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Trail Of Tears

             At the conclusion of the colonials' War of Independence with Britain, during which the Cherokee had fought alongside the British, a treaty was signed in 1786, establishing the boundaries of Cherokee territory. As always, encroachments by European-American settlers continued in violation of this written agreement. A second treaty and another cession of territory was forced on the Cherokee people, sanctioning both existing encroachments as well as anticipated land hunger. In the War of 1812, however, the Cherokee natives refused to join with Tecumseh and the Creek-dominated southern confederacy of tribes, choosing instead to come to the aid of the European-Americans. The Cherokee natives were, in fact, instrumental in assisting Andrew Jackson's forces against the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, in Georgia. Their loyalty to the Union brought no benefit or protection once the conflict ended (Odur, 8 May 00). Consequently, in 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, providing for the transplanting of all Indian tribes then east of the Mississippi River, to what is present day Oklahoma. .
             During this semesters history class many topics were discussed regarding the transformation of America between 1770 and 1870. There were numerous interesting topics discussed; however, I found the topic of the uprooting the Native Americans the most interesting. This commentary will examine the circumstances that instigated the injustice better known as the Trail of Tears. Further, it this commentary will detail how the "five civilized" tribes assisted in the numerous battles the Americans faced, and how they assisted in the settling of present day America. In return, the Native Americans were "sentenced" to the American wasteland, better known as Oklahoma.
             First and foremost, we must understand what the "five civilized" tribes are and how they got coined with such a title. The tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole were coined "civilized" because they adapted quickly to European ways.

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