What Purpose of the Indian Removal Act of 1830? Research (Essay Sample)
Eastern Florida State College
Answer the following question based on your textbook readings AND at least TWO ADDITIONAL SOURCES. Your observations should be typed, double spaced with correct spelling and proper sentence structure, and approximately two-to-six pages in length (500-1500 words). Your research must be reflected within the body of the paper via appropriate citations. You must use footnotes or endnotes for this page (Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian, not MLA or APA). A bibliography of ALL the sources you consulted, including the textbook, should be included as part of the assignment, at the end of the reflective essay.
Based on your research, answer the questions posed below, making sure to take a clear position on the final two question components.
What was the purpose of the Indian Removal Act of 1830? What was the rationale given in 1830 for this Act? What were the short and long term results of this Act? Was the Indian Removal Act justified? Why or Why not? Given the impact of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans are reparations (definition: compensation for loss suffered or wrong-doing, injustice done) appropriate today for the descendants of those displaced native peoples? Why or why not?
Indian Removal Act of 1830
Purpose of the Indian Removal Act of 1830
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 allowed the forced emigration Indian Tribes living east of Mississippi to the Indian territories that had been established west of Arkansas and Missouri. Native Tribes that resisted their removal were forcibly evicted through military battles and legal means. The Act envisioned that there would no longer be Indians living east of the Mississippi River, who had to relocate to the established reservations in the west of the Mississippi River. The Act and other similar treaties sought to have the Indians to relinquish titles to lands to the White settlers.
Rationale of the Act
The Indians had been depicted as a wandering people who had no attachment to the land, and if the settlers take over the land they would put them to better use. The Act was adopted as the federal government sought to free up the land in the American South where cotton farming had become lucrative. The south was a rural based agricultural society, and boom in cotton trading made the land more valuable and it could be bought cheaply. Since there were Native Americans still residing on the lands, the only options were to buy the land or take the land forcibly. The Act authorized eviction of the Indians from lands that could be occupied by Whites, and these lands represented economic betterment. The abundance of the land could only benefit the settlers when they owned larger and more fertile lands.
Short and long term results of this Act
One of the short-term results of the Act is that the Indian tribes were to be relocated to new areas especially Oklahoma. This disrupted their way of life, while they had to start from scratch in the newly settled reservations as they received very little compensation. Another short-term effect was the decline in the population of the people as they made their journey and had to adapt while living in Oklahoma. Additionally, there Native Americans suffered economically as they were relocated to desolate lands that could not support farming activities because of poor soils, and this further impoverished the community. Additionally, as they were removed from their home lands where they had established communities, they faced starvation and were exposed to diseases.
The long-term effects have had long lasting effect on the Native American families. For the people living in reservations there are high risk of chronic as well as preventable diseases. Additionally, most Indian tribes are poor and barely have marketable skills. The Native Americans also do not have the same opportunities while they have been disenfranchised for so long. Additionally, the descendants of the Indian Tribes have been concentrated in reservations since the ACT was implemented and this has influenced the population demographics of the people. Those who resided in more fertile lands were more likely to be prosperous compared to their peers, but they were considerably poor than other Americans.
Justification for the Indian Removal Act
The Act was unjustified and the Indian tribes had shown intention of self-determination years prior to the Act’s adoption. In 1827, legislators were alarmed by the Cherokee people who adopted a constitution similar to that of the U.S, highlighting that they had sovereignty over their land. They were one of the few Indian tribes that adopted Western ways and Georgians passed their own laws asserting that they had jurisdiction over all the lands in the state. This preceded the removal of all the Indian tribes, and there were fears that they would reassert their right to the land. Senate debates before the act was adopted also highlighted that White Americans had every right to own uncultivated.
Another reason why the Act was unjustified is...
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