Did Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy benefit Native Americans? The Indian Removal act did a good amount of things for the Indians; but when I say good, it wasn’t really that good. This act mainly benefited people who received the land that the Indians were on. This coincides with how Native Americans were constantly treated poorly; they ended up having to travel many miles to live on new land. All this happened and Andrew Jackson believed that he was doing this for the good of the Indians. The Native Americans barely benefited from this policy.
The introduction of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy made the states that got the land the actual beneficiaries instead of the Native Americans. “Early in the 19th century, while the rapidly-growing United States expanded into the lower South, white settlers faced what they considered an obstacle. This area was home to the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chicasaw and Seminole nations. These Indian nations, in the view of the settlers and many other white Americans, were standing in the way of progress. Eager for land to raise cotton, the settlers pressured the federal government to acquire Indian territory. (Indian Removal) As the United States were expanding into the lower South, they were facing against the Native Americans, which they saw as an obstacle. The US wanted the land to plants crops and had help from the government. In other places, people wanted to settle down.
As people wanted the Indian’s land, the Indians would sign treaties they really didn’t want to sign. “The Creeks also refused to emigrate. They signed a treaty in March, 1832, which opened a large portion of their Alabama land to white settlement, but guaranteed them protected ownership of the remaining portion, which was divided among the leading families. (Indian Removal) The Indians gave up part of their land in Alabama just so that the whites could settle. Throughout the years Andrew Jackson removed a huge amount of Native Americans from their land. “By 1837, the Jackson administration had removed 46,000 Native American people from their land east of the Mississippi, and had secured treaties which led to the removal of a slightly larger number.
Most members of the five southeastern nations had been relocated west, opening 25 million acres of land to white settlement and to slavery. (Indian Removal) As Andrew Jackson was moving the Native Americans, it was opening a huge amount of land opportunities for white settlement and many other things. Native Americans were told that they would receive land in the West, but all they got was a whole lot of death. This is just one claim that shows how unbeneficial this policy was when it was designed to help the Native Americans. With the Indian Removal policy, Native Americans ended up being forced to move away from their homes.
This required them to: leave their old life, travel a dangerous journey, and ultimately live new lives. But though the War Department made some attempts to protect those who stayed, it was no match for the land-hungry whites who squatted on Choctaw territory or cheated them out of their holdings. Soon most of the remaining Choctaws, weary of mistreatment, sold their land and moved west. ” (Indian Removal) The whites basically came into the Native American’s land and squatted their territory. It resulted in them moving out of their homes and into the west. This removal wasn’t meant to be violent, “This act affected not only the southeastern nations, but many others further north.
The removal was supposed to be voluntary and peaceful, and it was that way for the tribes that agreed to the conditions. But the southeastern nations resisted, and Jackson forced them to leave. ” (Indian Removal) As the Native Americans were less cooperative, they ended up being required to move. As Native Americans moved, they would experience an incredibly dangerous journey. “At the beginning of the 1830s, nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida-land their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations.
By the end of the decade, very few natives remained anywhere in the southeastern United States. Working on behalf of white settlers who wanted to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk thousands of miles to a specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River. This difficult and sometimes deadly journey is known as the Trail of Tears. ” (History) The Trail of Tears is a memorable moment to show the tragic moments during the westward movement by the Native Americans.
They traveled many miles just so that many of them would end up dying. We were already being mean to the Native Americans, so just to top it off, we forced them to move from where they lived, and travel to west when most of them would not even make it to their destination. Before the Indian Removal policy, there already was a recurring disrespect and harm towards the Native Americans, and still there are still people who disrespect the Indians and just harm them because they do not want them there. The tribes agreed to the treaties for strategic reasons. They wanted to appease the government in the hopes of retaining some of their land, and they wanted to protect themselves from white harassment. As a result of the treaties, the United States gained control over three-quarters of Alabama and Florida, as well as parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and North Carolina.
This was a period of voluntary Indian migration, however, and only a small number of Creeks, Cherokee and Choctaws actually moved to the new lands. (Indian Removal) Native Americans believed that if they give some of their land to the government, they would get some later in return, but the United States just took it and it forced the Indians to move to new land. The Native Americans couldn’t deal with this so they wanted to protect themselves by going to court. “The Cherokee used legal means in their attempt to safeguard their rights. They sought protection from land-hungry white settlers, who continually harassed them by stealing their livestock, burning their towns, and squatting on their land.
In 1827 the Cherokee adopted a written constitution declaring themselves to be a sovereign nation. They based this on United States policy; in former treaties, Indian nations had been declared sovereign so they would be legally capable of ceding their lands. Now the Cherokee hoped to use this status to their advantage. The state of Georgia, however, did not recognize their sovereign status, but saw them as tenants living on state land. The Cherokee took their case to the Supreme Court, which ruled against them. ” (Indian Removal) The Indians declared themselves as a sovereign nation so they can be able to have their own land.
Georgia did not see their sovereignty and the court ended up ruling against the Native Americans. Native Americans would also be tricked. “The Cherokee, on the other hand, were tricked with an illegitimate treaty. In 1833, a small faction agreed to sign a removal agreement” (Indian Removal) The Native Americans would be abused constantly and almost no one would be there to help them. Although Andrew Jackson’s policy overall hurt the Native Americans, Jackson’s initial intention was meant to help them and make them safe.
Jackson’s attitude toward Native Americans was paternalistic and patronizing — he described them as children in need of guidance, and believed the removal policy was beneficial to the Indians. ” (Indian Removal) Jackson clearly wanted to help them and he thought that this policy would benefit them. Jackson wanted the Indians to travel to the west because he knew there would be a massive war and he didn’t want that happening. So did Andrew Jackson’s removal policy benefit the Native Americans? The answer is obviously no and I believe it did not benefit them all.
Even though Andrew Jackson thought that by moving Indians to the west because he wanted them to be safe and not become apart of a huge war, it still resulted in huge losses for Native Americans. As they were promised land, they would not get any of that land and so it left the whites to take the land for their uses. As they were forced to travel to the west, this is where they experienced a tremendous amount of losses. One movement called the Trail of Tears just shows that the Native Americans couldn’t even make it to where they were supposed to go.