Trail Of Tears

April 9, 2013
By GabrielTheAngel SILVER, Erie, Pennsylvania
GabrielTheAngel SILVER, Erie, Pennsylvania
5 articles 2 photos 0 comments

The Indian Removal act can be viewed as a promising deal, or a landmark of shame and control in American history. In the article “The Indian Removal Act and President Jackson's Response” we learn about all the positive measures America takes to ensure a bond of trust and fairness pertaining to the trading of homelands from the Indians, with farming land for the growing American Empire and its colonists. This is controversial to the article “The Trail Of Tears” found in “Memories of the Trail” by Rebecca Nuegin from Indian Removal by Grant Foreman which describes the dreadful outcomes of the Native Americans who were forced to move out of their homeland, and travel the Trail of Tears. By comparing the Indian Removal Act article with the Trail of Tears article we learn how they differ in assistance and aid to Native Americans, the level that compensation plays in making the trip worthwhile, and whether or not the Indian Removal Act strengthens the American Indians frontier.
In the article “The Indian Removal Act and President Jackson's Response” we are to believe that the Native Americans would have assistance on their journey to the new lands west of the Mississippi River, and that all of the Native American's troubles would be worth while and they were to be paid compensation for their land and such and be granted permissions towards their future to benefit them after the traveling, and also that by following the Indian Removal Act, that they were going to strengthen the south-western frontier and become greater than they were in all aspects. “To ensure that property left behind be properly appraised and fair compensation be paid, to give the emigrants “aid and assistance” on their journey” (Indian Removal Act). This says that to make sure the Native Americans follow through with the new act, they will be provided with assistance on their journey to new lands. This sounds like a sound deal to go through with so far. If I had to move somewhere, travel assistance and aid to my needs would make the trip easier to deal with and follow through as well. Another point that this article makes is that with compensation paid, and privileges added, the traveling and troubles will be all worth it in the end. “The United States will forever secure and guarantee to them, and their heirs or successors, the country so exchanged with them” (Indian Removal Act). This says that once the Native Americans receive their new land, it is theirs, and their children's children to come. Knowing that new land isn't just another bargaining chip but instead a new beginning is a wonderful privilege to know you have and sounds great in any agreement. Also “the sum of five hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be paid out f any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated” (Indian Removal Act) says that if land from the Native Americans isn't appropriately compensated for, 500,000 dollars are to be paid to the mistreated Native American land owners. These ensure great sounding compensations and promises made to last a lifetime. This article also says that following the Indian Removal act will “strengthen the South-western frontier” (Indian Removal Act) meaning that with the new land they can form communities and function as a government. This also means they have the pursuit of happiness and don't have to follow states commands any longer. With all of these benefits that would form in the south-western frontier, it could lead to “cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community” (Indian Removal Act). Although the Indian Removal Act sounds like it will ensure assistance in the Native American's journey, create permissions that once granted would make the act worthwhile, and the south-western frontier will be strengthened, almost none of these things turn out to be true in the article "Trail of Tears".
Although th Indian Removal Act was supposed to ensure assistance in the Native American's journey, prove to be worthwhile to the Native American's in the long term, and strengthen the South-western frontier, it actually led to rough travel, unworthy circumstances,and the fall of the Native American empire. Traveling to get west of the Mississippi river should have been a tolerable trip with the aid and assistance provided by the American government. However, “almost a quarter of the Cherokee Nation-died during the journey to Indian territory” (Trail of Tears). If a quarter of the Native American's died on their journey, they couldn't have had much assistance after all. The Indian Removal Act also didn't prove to be worthwhile to the Native American's because most of them ended up getting sick, dieing, or broken down mentally and physically that no matter what they got, the damage couldn't be repaired. “There was much sickness among the emigrants and a great many little children died of whooping cough” (Trail of Tears). Losing your tribes children, and family doesn't sound like an end of a deal that makes the act any more worthwhile, or fair. Getting paid, getting land, none of this compares to family and communities that make up what the Native American's live towards. Another part of the American Removal Act that seemed would benefit the Native American's but didn't was that following the act would lead to building strength in their South-western empire. “The sick and feeble were carried in waggons” (Trail of Tears). “We learned from inhabitants on the road where the Indians passed that they buried fourteen or fifteen at every stopping place” (Trail of Tears). Is this the strengthening of frontier that we thought would occur? Is this the true legacy of the Indian Removal Act? Death, sickness, and broken families do not strengthen communities. It tears them apart. The Trail of Tears was a heavy blow to many Native Americans just trying to follow America's rules. The views expressed in the Indian Removal Act were far different concerning aid and assistance, whether the Indian Removal Act would be worthwhile to the American Indians, and if it would strengthen the South-western frontier for the American Indians.
I can not be positive whether or not all the information I have is true or not, I can only present what I know, and form an opinion on how I feel about the Indian Removal Act based on my knowledge on the subject. So, I can very easily say that the Trail of Tears article best describes the Indian Removal Act. I say this because I am not comparing two different views on the Indian Removal Act, I am comparing what was supposed to be, and what actually happened. It is very easy to think something will go one way, and then find out it goes completely wrong. Whether Andrew Jackson really knew what was going to happen to the Native Americans or not, he could have helped them out a lot more once he caught wind of what was really happening. The Indian Removal Act is shown as a promising deal in the Indian Removal article, but presented as a harsh reality in the Trail of tears article. Both show what was supposed to happen, but where the first article describes all the positive things possible, the second shows all the negative things that occurred. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, and we can only hope we can stop another occurrence containing such unfairness in America the next time it starts.

The author's comments:
The trail of tears was started to be a promising guided experience, but resulted in tragedy

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