Conflicts Over Land . 11-2. Objectives. How Native American peoples were forced off their lands in the Southwest. How President Jackson defied the Supreme Court. Cherokee Nation.
Before European incursion, the Cherokee Nation in Georgia had a thriving civilization. Robust economy, an alphabet, and farming to support their civilization. Then gold was discovered and miners, speculators, and settlers wanted to move in.
In the Southeast, the “Five Civilized Tribes”, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw, had established farming communities. When Americans wanted their land, they sought help from the government who wanted the tribes to move to lands west of the Mississippi River. This action was supported by President Jackson.
In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act which authorized the federal government could pay the Indians to move from their lands. In 1834 the Indian Territory was created (present day Oklahoma).
The Cherokee through treaties with Georgia had negotiated status to be an independent nation within Georgia. So the Cherokee were not going to just leave so they took their case to court.
In a landmark case, the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Marshall, ruled the Cherokee did not have to move from their land.
Jackson had supported Georgia in the case. When he heard the decision, he proclaimed, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now, let him enforce it.”
In 1835, the Cherokee agreed to a treaty to leave their land. Thousands of Cherokee refused to honor the treaty
President Jackson sent General Winfield Scott and 7,000 troops to remove the Cherokee. The Cherokee left. The trip from Georgia to Oklahoma was filled with danger. The young and old wee most vulnerable. Because of all the hardships, the journey is known as the “Trail of Tears”.
In 1832, Sauk Chieftain Black Hawk led a force of Sauk and Fox back to their native lands in Illinois. This led to a series of clashes with soldiers that included a young Abraham Lincoln.
The Seminoles of Florida led by Chief Osceola successfully resisted attempts to drive them from their lands using guerilla tactics. Eventually, federal forces let the Seminole stay in Florida.
In Eastern Oklahoma, territory occupied by plains tribes such as the Osage, Comanche, and the Kiowa's, allowed a territory to be created called The Indian Territory.
The Five Civilized Tribes, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, and the Choctaw, settled in the Indian Territory where their culture and civilization grew.