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A people’s history of the United States – “As Long as Grass Grows and Water Runs”

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“As Long as Grass Grows and Water Runs” is an article written by Howard Zinn. I found the article from “A People’s History of the United States”. Howard Zinn claims to show a series of controversial facts about the Revolutionary war and Indian removal.

Howard Zinn states the main historical facts of the early 1820’s and all 120,000 Indians that lived east of the Mississippi. Jackson was a land speculator, merchant, slave trader, and the most aggressive enemy of the Indians in the early American history. Jackson soon established the tactic of promising rewards in land and goods. When the war ended, Jackson and friends of his began buying up the seized Creek lands.

Zinn states that Rogin said it was “the largest single Indian cession of southern American land.” Jackson’s 1814 treaty with the Creeks started something new and important. Settlers moved into Indian lands and there fore the Indians attacked because their land was invaded. It is known to all white men, that Indians are not deceitful. The white men spoke badly about the Indians and looked at them unpleasantly. Indians do not steal. If the Indians would only move to new lands across the Mississippi, Cass promised in 1825 at a treaty council with Shawnees and Cherokees, The United States will never ask for your land there. Everything in the Indian heritage spoke out against leaving their land, but the Whites were still encouraged to settle on Indian land.

Among the evidence that Zinn cites about the Indians, were federal treaties and federal laws that gave Congress, not the states, authority over the tribes. Jackson ignored this, and supported state action. Thousands of whites invaded and destroyed Indian property. Jackson ordered federal troops to remove them, but also ordered Indians as well as whites to stop mining. The white invaders seized land and stock that forced the Indians to sign leases, there soon after the Indians protested, sold alcohol to weaken resistance and even killed frame which Indians needed for food. Violence by Indians upon other Indians increased.

The Creeks defrauded of their land and were short of money and food, that’s why they refused to go west. Starving Creeks began raiding white farms, while Georgia militia and settlers attacked Indian settlements. This began the Second Creek War. White men were allowed to visit the Indian communities and Indians often were guests in white homes. At this time Jackson was now moved to speed up Indian removal. The Creek families were attacked by land-hungry white marauders-robbed, driven from their homes and even the women were raped. The treaty was signed anyway. Now the Georgia whites stepped up their attacks to speed the removal.

I believe that the Violence between whites and Indians have always been an issue, maybe that’s why now they are greatly rewarded for what they believed in and fought for, their land. I also think it was disgusting when President Van Buren spoke to Congress and said, “It affords sincere pleasure to apprise the Congress of the entire removal of the Cherokee Nation of Indians to their new homes west of the Mississippi”. I mean the Indians found the land before we ever knew it existed and for a president to say such a thing is frowned upon in my standards. If anything we should have at least shared and learned from one another instead of taking their land and respect from them.

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