Indian Removal Act of 1830: Native American Perspective

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 10:37   /   Views: 313
The year was 1838; more than six hundred wagons loaded with Cherokee Indians were hauled into the west in the cold October rain. They were forced to leave their homes and everything they held dear and were accustomed to their entire lives. The removal of Native Americans from their lands by the Indian Removal Act of 1830 violated their political, legal, and human rights.

Taking away freedom and land without consent from Native Americans was a violation of their political rights. Native Americans had no freedom. If anything they were captives. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 ordered soldiers to imprison Native Americans in stockades. They had no say to change this. They protested and went to courts, but they had no power in U.S. government and their personal votes did not count. The courts ruled against them although Chief Justice John Marshall declared, "...that an Indian tribe or nation within the United States is not a foreign state in the sense of the constitution...". They were considered a part of the United States, yet no democracy existed for the Native Americans. Their reasoning and advocated desires were ignored. Isn't that a violation of political rights?

Stealing lands from Native Americans and being dishonest with treaties was a violation of their legal rights. The Native Americans had been living on that land for years--way before the U.S. even existed! The Native Americans helped white Americans and established formal treaties with the U.S. that guaranteed them their residence, privileges, and peace from intruders. However, a letter from Cherokee Chief John Ross says otherwise...In his letter, Ross protests to the Senate and House of Representatives of how trespassers have looted, hurt, and even killed members of his tribe. Despite the treaties--and the laws enforcing them-- Native Americans were still being disturbed, and although, the treaties were still active during the Removal Act; their lands were still taken. The U.S. took what had not belonged to them and committed document fraud towards the Native Americans. There is nothing legal about that.

In consequence to the Indian Removal Act of 1830, human rights of Native Americans were violated. They were not treated as human beings and their cause had been devalued, and even considered subordinate to the United States by Andrew Jackson in his defense of the Removal Policy in 1830. Jackson referred to them as 'savages' and were lowered to the state of livestock as the Removal Policy took place. A private sent to carry out the Removal Policy by the name of John G. Bernett, describes how the Cherokees were herded like cattle and exposed to harsh conditions. They were miserable and unhealthy. Many of them died before they reached the other lands of pneumonia due to the carelessness of the U.S. government. Their pride--along with everything else--had been striped away. They were forced to leave with no time to collect anything. Many of them slept on the floor and without blankets on their way to the Bayonet Point where they were imprisoned. With no home or personal possessions; they were forced to live like animals. Their human rights were not just violated, they were exterminated.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 denied Native Americans the right to democracy and was a political violation. It was also legally incorrect and inhumane to the Native Americans. Not only was it unfair to them, but was also a contradiction to the morals and values that make the United States what it is today.

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