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Cherokee and Seminole Indians

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In Georgia when gold was discovered, the Cherokee were forcibly removed from their land. The Cherokee sued in the Supreme Court for the right to remain on their land, and the ruling was in their favor.

But unfortunately, President Andrew Jackson ignored this ruling. He sent federal troops to remove the Cherokee. With the harsh winter conditions in 1838 the troops succeeded in removing the Cherokee form Georgia, and forced them to march to Oklahoma.

The Cherokee and Seminole were Indian nations and the way the settlers say it was that they were standing in the way of their progress with acquiring land. When Jackson’s troops invaded Spanish Florida in 1818 the United States gained more partly because of the motivation to punish the Seminoles because they were harboring fugitive slaves.

Seminoles waged war to protect their territory. The Seminoles were aided be the fugitive slaves that found protection among them. The First Seminole War lasted from 1817 to 1818. The presence of the fugitives enraged white planters and fueled their desire to defeat the Seminoles.

The Seminoles were corned into signing a removal treaty in 1833, but the majority of the tribe refused to leave which resulted in the Second Seminole War lasting from 1835 to 1842. Just like the first Seminole war the fugitive slaves fought beside the Seminoles again. In the end most Seminoles moved to the new territory to the west of where they already were. And the few that remained were forced to defend themselves in the Third Seminole War which lasted 1855 to 1858 when the United States military attempted to drive them out. The United States ended up paying the remaining Seminoles to leave and move to the west.

In 1831 the Cherokee went to the Supreme Court again. They based their appeal on one of Georgia’s laws from 1830. This prohibited white man from living on the Indian Territory after March 31, 1831, without a license form the state of Georgia. The court once more decide in their favor it stated that Cherokee had the right to self-government, and declared Georgia’s extension of state law over them unconstitutional. The state of Georgia refused to abide by the courts decision.

In 1830, just one year after taking office, Jackson pushed a new piece of legislation called “Indian Removal Act”; it gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes. Under these treaties the Indians were to give up their land in exchange for lands to the west and those wishing to remain would become citizens of their home state. 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 that resisted were forced by President Jackson to leave.

On the other hand the, the Cherokee were tricked with an illegitimate treaty and in 1833 a small fraction agrees to sign a removal agreement. In the end the United States sent seven thousand troops to force the Cherokees to leave their land. This became known as the Trail Of Tears in which four thousand of the sixteen thousand Cherokees died of cold, hunger, and disease they encountered while making their way to the western lands they were being forced to move to.

The Cherokee differ from the Seminoles because they used legal means in their attempt to protect their territory where as the Seminoles used war and violence.

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