Background: One of President Andrew Jackson’s more controversial moves was to defy a Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. government had no right to interfere in a sovereign Indian Nation, by forcing the Cherokee Indians to move to Oklahoma. Although this was an illegal act, President Jackson held a great deal of power among supporters in Congress and in the public, allowing him to get away with forcing the Cherokee out anyway. To make his case to his supporters, President Jackson issued a press-release about his decision. How to Prepare for this assignment: Read about the Trail of Tears (and Age of Jackson) in your textbook, and see the relevant lecture. This context is important for the quality of your reply. Your task: Read the text of this message, focusing especially upon the bolded text towards the end. Then do a little Googling so you answer one of these questions in a single post. Note: You will not be able to see anyone else’s posts until you have made yours. This is not really a discussion assignment, but rather more of a public (to the class only) blog. No replies need to be made, but students are certainly welcome to reply to any post in a civil manner if they wish. Three questions options, pick ONE to answer in your single post: 1. In 1830, what was the Cherokee Nation like (where was it, how many Cherokee were there, did they have a governmental system and civilization of any kind, or were they, as Jackson noted, simply “a few savage hunters?”) 2. What did Jackson mean, do you think, when he said the Cherokee could over time cast off their “savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community?” 3. Thinking like a historian: Now Google “Oklahoma Supreme Court,” to find news on a very recent Supreme Court ruling on what part of the territory of Oklahoma belongs to the Natives still. Notice that some of that native territory reserved to the Cherokee and other tribes has been taken by the State and has cities, like Tulsa, in it, which makes things very interesting. Now, if our current President, (Trump) wanted to pull an Andrew Jackson-like move against this new Supreme Court ruling, (especially knowing that he has a great deal of support from voters in Oklahoma) what might he do? MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES ON INDIAN REMOVAL President Andrew Jackson It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress, and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages. The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual States, and to the Indians themselves. The advantages which it promises to the Government are the least of its recommendations. It puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the General and State Governments on account of the Indians. It will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters. ( ) It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community. ( ..) Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the States and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or perhaps utter annihilation, the General Government kindly offers him a new home, and proposes to pay the whole expense of his removal and settlement.
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