Indian Removal Act 1830

Indian Removal Act of 1830

This is a picture of the bill proposed in 1822 to remove Indians residing east of the Mississippi River and relocate them. 

     The Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830 by President Jackson. This allowed the U.S. government to forcefully remove all Native Americans residing east of the Mississippi River. The indians would be forced to move to present day Oklahoma this journey became known as the Trail of Tears. President Jackson’s religious background influenced his belief that the land should belong to skilled Americans. 

Trail of Tears

An oil painting by Robert Lindneux in 1942 depicting the relocation to the west Indians faced known as the Trail of Tears.

     This Act was influenced by the ideology of manifest destiny because it was based on a racial hierarchy with Americans at the top. According to the racial hierarchy Americans were superior to all other races because they were the chosen ones. However, this piece of legislative sparked national debate since not all Americans agreed to inhumane treatment of another race. One of the major actors against the removal of the indians was Representative Edward Everett. He presented humanitarian and ethical consequences of relocating them (Register). This event showcased how American perspective changed from treating Native Americans as foreigners to a domestic dependent nation. Americans no longer felt it was necessary to create peaceful agreements with the Native Americans and would simply decide their fate for them. 

Map of Indian Removal

This map created by the United States government in 1836 depicts relocation areas for Indians west of Missouri and Arkansas.

     Even though a majority of Indian’s abided by the regulations stated in the Indian Removal Act certain tribes protested their relocation. One of the tribes were the Cherokee’s who fought to stay on their land because it was “the land of [their] fathers” ("Address"). However, the United States would fight against their protests claiming the land belonged to the United States and so the government had the rights to the people residing on it.