The Central Issue Regarding the Indian Removal Act
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The central issue regarding the Indian Removal Act is land and how to make everyone who occupied that land or wanted to occupy that land happy. My opinion on this matter is that Jackson issued the Indian Removal Act so white settlers could have more land, and President Jackson could move the Indians farther west. The problem with this proposal is he did not follow the rules of the act. All the Indian tribes were supposed to be moved voluntarily by the signing of treaties, but in fact they were not. This resulted in one-fourth of Cherokee Indians dying because they had to pick up and move 800 miles west. There were lives lost from suffering from cold, hunger, and diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, smallpox, and cholera. Today, we recognize this forced move as the Trail of Tears.
After President Jackson served two terms in office, Martin Van Buren was elected. President Van Buren saw that more white settlers were coming over, so he had the idea to move the Indians to reservations where they could live forever. I think that there was a better solution to all of this, maybe if the people of that time thought a little bit more about making everyone happy instead of just the settlers, lives could have been saved.
The Cherokee Indians lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains: including western North and South Carolina, northern Georgia and Alabama, southwest Virginia, and the Cumberland Basin of Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama. There homes were wooden frames covered with woven vines and saplings plastered with mud. The Cherokee Indians were farmers. They grew all of there vegetables and wheat. They got there meat by hunting.
Based on this information the Indian Removal Act was set up to hurt the Indians. The proposal I would have came up with is Cherokee Indians could have a 1,000 acres of land. On this land they could farm, hunt, and build homes. Also, my proposal would clearly state that no one could take this land or move in to this land with out permission from the head chief of the tribe. There would be papers to be sign by the President and the head chief of Cherokee tribe. Every one would be clear about the little details and no one could over ride the document once it is signed by both groups.