Native American Removal
Great intentions don’t always reflect in the actions. If the great intentions aren’t reflected in the actions they are not received by those being effected by them. This was the case with the Indian Removal Act of 1830. What happened with the Native Americans was immoral. It violated their political, legal, and human rights.
There are many places where the Americans failed, but when we treated the Native Americans like cattle it was one of the worst things we’ve ever done. President Andrew Jackson defended the Removal Act policy because he believed that he was going to be helping the aborigines of America. He wanted then to be a “happy, prosperous people”. He thought they were a lost and wandering people. He did not understand their culture and just wanted to help them be more “civilized”. When the court gathered for the Cherokee Nation vs.
State of Georgia in 1831 they ruled that the Indian tribe did have constitutional rights, but their motion for an injunction against certain laws against Indians in the state of Georgia was denied. They did not pay attention to their “certain, unalienable rights.” Many treaties were signed with the Indians by the Americans. These treaties made it so that the Native Americans could stay on their land, have certain human rights, and make sure that no one bothered them. Many Americans ignored these treaties.
The Indians were a very happy and prosperous people already and had many advances in their own society before the colonists came. As the Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation states, many things were done “without their consent”. Cherokee Chief John Ross, in 1836, had much to say in the defense of the Native Americans and their rights. He shared that they were being attacked and that their homes and possessions were taken from them right before their eyes. Even their land, which they had grown and lived on since their forefathers had passed, was being “legally stolen”.
Nothing was being done. The United States government did nothing. John G. Burnett and a Baptist Missionary were aware and observed the treatment of the Natives that were being pushed westward. They tell how the Indians were loaded and threatened about as though they were cattle or sheep.
Their conditions were horrid. They were not allowed to make fires or to take their possessions. Everything they ever owned or knew was left. Many died because they had no warmth or blankets during the crowded wagon ride and stops in the cold and rain. In summation, this case has been thus proven that the Native Americans were violated politically, legally, and were stripped of their human rights. Politically they were given no voice and no true court representation.
Their legal rights were totally stripped. The constitutional power held no authority over the decisions made against the Indians. As far as their human rights, they didn’t even know what those were anymore. They were treated like prisoners as we dragged them from their homelands. This is one part of history that needs to be purposefully never repeated.
Let this forever be the home of the brave and the home of the free!